January 30, 2013

McGann's career night helps lead No. 13 Cardinals past Eagles 77-74

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Senior Jenny McGann scored a career-high 22 points on 6 of 12 shooting and classmate Jill Woerner added 18 to move into third on CUA's all-time scoring list, in a 77-74 victory at Juniata on Wednesday evening.  The No. 13 Cardinals led the Eagles by as many as 16 points in the second half, before having their lead trimmed to just one with 2:01 to play.  CUA then scored four of the final six points to earn their fifth straight win.

A three-point play by McGann with 16:28 to play in the game upped CUA's lead to 52-36 and the Cards appeared to be in full control of this one, but Juniata decided to make things difficult down the stretch.

Natalie Hager's jumper with 10:23 to play pulled the Eagles to within 12, and a 3-pointer by Paige Dennison one minute later made it an 11-point spread.

Three foul shots by Jordan Speck then brought Juniata to within eight with 8:35 on the clock, and two more free throws by Speck at the 5:48 mark made it a seven-point game.

Back-to-back baskets by Kelsey Livoti and Dennison with two minutes to play cut CUA's lead to just one, setting up an entertaining ending.

On CUA's next possession, Emily Grabiak was fouled, and after hitting one of two at the charity stripe, CUA was up 74-72.

The two teams then went 1:32 without scoring before McGann sank two free throws with only 21 ticks remaining to put CUA in front by four.

Another Grabiak free throw made it a five-point spread, before Livoti scored at the buzzer to set the final margin at three.

McGann's 22 points weren't only a career high, it also marked the first time she has scored at least 20 points in a game in her career.  Woerner meanwhile now has 1,405 career points, one better than Carol Schnepp's 1,404, which she scored from 1999-2003.

CUA did a great job at the free throw line, sinking 26 of 35 attempts (74.3%), and the Cardinals won the rebound battle, 40-38. Woerner finished with a team-high five steals and Katarina Owunna was the third Cardinal in double figures, with 18 points.

Four Eagles hit double-digits, led by Livoti with 14 points, while Hileman was the team leader in assists with five. 

CUA's defense held the Eagles to 35.4 percent shooting from the field and also forced them into 19 turnovers.

Juniata grabbed an early lead, before CUA went in front on Woerner's basket with 17:22 to play in the first.

McGann's 3-pointer with 14:50 to play pushed the lead to four, but Livoti answered with a three of her own to make it a one-point game.

Two free throws by Owunna with 8:40 on the clock gave CUA a five-point advantage, but Juniata came right back and made it a one-point contest with 7:05 to play.

The Cardinals scored the final four points of the half and took a 41-34 lead into the break.

The No. 13 Cardinals welcome Drew University to town on Saturday afternoon for a 4 p.m. start.

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