CUA makes NCAA Tournament debut on Friday vs. Mules
WASHINGTON - CUA makes its long-awaited NCAA Tournament debut this weekend when the Cardinals head to Alliance, Ohio for the first and second rounds. CUA defeated No. 10 Juniata 79-69 on February 25 to claim its first-ever conference championship and send the Cardinals into the Big Dance.
The Cardinals face Muhlenberg in the first round on Friday evening, with host Mount Union taking on La Roche in the other first round matchup. The two winners will then meet on Saturday with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line.
For the first time this season, the Cardinals were among other teams receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN Division III Coaches Poll. CUA received six votes in the latest poll, while Muhlenberg garnered 10 and sits 25th in the poll.
After turning in a terrific performance in the Landmark Conference Tournament, Katarina Owunna was named the conference's Player of the Week on Monday. A native of Pittsburgh, Owunna averaged 17 points on 58% shooting and 11.5 rebounds in CUA's two tournament wins. She posted a double-double in both games.
Only one team has shot above 50% from 3-point range vs. CUA this season (Moravian, 55%, 1/6/12), while 18 have shot below 30%. In their last 14 games, the Cardinals have held teams to 22.9% shooting from downtown (60-262).
In the last two seasons, the Cardinals are 19-6 on the road, including an 11-2 mark this season. CUA is outscoring its opponents by 14 points on the road this season, while holding the opposition to 31% shooting overall and 27% from three.
CUA's 22 wins this season are the most in school history. The Cardinals' 41 wins over the last two seasons ties for the most over a two-year span in program history. CUA also won 41 games during the 2003-04 (21) and 2004-05 (20) seasons.
The Cardinals' 11 Landmark Conference victories this season are their most since joining the league. CUA's previous high was nine, which it achieved last season.
Gene Wang of the Washington Post wrote about CUA's historic season on Thursday, March 1. See the entire article here.
Kevin Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner talked about the efforts of CUA Head Coach Matt Donohue to turn the Cardinals program around in this article.
CUA and Muhlenberg will square off at 5 p.m. on Friday evening on the campus of Mount Union. There will be live audio and stats of the game available.