Cardinals ride hot offense to win; Dixon nets 1,000th
WASHINGTON – Senior R.J. Dixon scored a game-high 21 points, including the 1,000th of his career, and CUA's offense was in high gear for the second straight game as the Cardinals sprinted past Susquehanna 84-57 on Friday evening inside the DuFour Center. The win is CUA's second straight and lifts its record to 13-6 overall and 4-4 in the Landmark Conference, while the Crusaders fall to 8-11 overall and 4-4 in the league.
Dixon becomes CUA's 38th 1,000-point scorer after he sank 7 of 12 shots from the field and all five of his free throw attempts. The North Carolina native scored 13 first half points to put him at 999 for his career, and he did not wait long to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau, converting an old-fashioned three-point play on CUA's first possession of the second half as the DuFour Center crowd roared with appreciation.
The Cardinals were in control of this one right from the start, ripping off the game's first 13 points in a span of 4:02. The Crusaders finally got on the board with a three-pointer by Spenser Spencer with 15:46 to play in the opening half.
Dixon's jumper in the lane with 14:59 to play before halftime gave the Cardinals an 18-3 advantage, with baskets by Pete Schramm and Nate Koenig keeping the margin at 15 over the course of the next several minutes.
In the final two minutes CUA took its game to another level, outscoring Susquehanna 10-2 during that span to open up a 43-18 advantage at halftime.
CUA senior Jason Banzhaf recorded yet another double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore Shawn Holmes had a terrific all-around game with seven points, eight assists, three steals, six boards and only one turnover. Schramm finished with 12 points and six rebounds and Kearney added nine tallies.
The Cardinals pulled down 50 rebounds on the night, to only 31 for the Crusaders, and CUA's defense held the visitors to 36 percent shooting from the floor, including a 21 percent showing from downtown. Harley Sullinger was the lone Susquehanna player to reach double figures with 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting.
Dixon's historic three-point play right after halftime gave CUA a 46-18 lead, while Brian Baker's three with 19:05 to play made it a 29-point game.
After Susquehanna trimmed it to a 21-point game with 16:20 on the clock, CUA scored seven straight to go on top by 28 with under 15 remaining.
The Crusaders made one final push and got to within 19 with 10:16 to play, but the night belonged to CUA as the Cardinals responded with a 9-0 run to take a commanding 69-41 lead with 5:51 to play.
Senior Ryan Horka's layup with 11 ticks on the clock gave CUA a 30-point bulge, before Susquehanna's Mike Perillo answered with a three down the other end to set the final margin at 27.
On Saturday, CUA will play host to Juniata inside the DuFour Center Gymnasium as the Cardinals look for three straight. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. and at halftime CUA will celebrate its 100-year anniversary of men's basketball by honoring many of its 1,000-point scorers, basketball Hall of Famers and the 2001 National Championship Team. CUA's SAAC program is sponsoring a Blackout on Saturday and fans are encouraged to wear black to the game.