14th straight home win helps No. 13 Cards clinch playoff berth
WASHINGTON – No. 13 CUA (20-1, 9-1) scored the first 20 points of the game en route to a 66-48 win over Drew (8-13, 4-6) on Saturday afternoon, and clinched a berth in the upcoming Landmark Conference Tournament. The Cardinals forced 28 turnovers and converted them into 26 points and placed three players in double figures on the way to their sixth straight win.
The 2011-12 conference champion, CUA will now have a chance to defend its title later this month when the Landmark tourney gets underway. The Cardinals win on Saturday increases their home win streak to 14 straight, including nine in a row this season.
CUA ripped off a 20-0 run right from the start, holding Drew without a point for the first 7:29.
Despite the Cardinals fast start, Drew was able to cut it to a 12-point game with 8:29 remaining in the first half on Whitney Mackay's layup.
CUA answered with six straight, opening up an 18-point bulge with 5:40 to play before the half.
The back-and-forth continued with the Rangers scoring seven of the next eight to pull within 12 with 2:39 remaining.
Drew then got even closer, getting to within eight on Mackay's jumper just before the buzzer.
Another Drew bucket to begin the second half brought the Rangers to within six, but baskets by Katarina Owunna and Jenny McGann pushed the Cards lead to 10 less than a minute later.
Drew continued to hang around, pulling to within five with 17:11 on the clock, but CUA then put its foot down, exploding with an 18-0 run to go in front by 23 with 12:12 to play.
The Rangers tried to make one final push, getting to within 16 on Jennifer Mateo's 3-pointer with 5:53 on the clock, but CUA did not allow Drew to get closer than 15 the rest of the way.
Owunna and Jill Woerner shared top scoring honors for CUA with 18 points each, while McGann added 14. Grabiak dished out 11 assists, tying her career high, and Woerner ripped down 11 boards to complete the double-double.
No Drew played reached double digits, with Mackay and Courtney Stephens finishing with nine points.
On Wednesday, No. 13 CUA continues its homestand when the Cardinals welcome Susquehanna to town. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.