WASHINGTON – Catholic University sophomore Michelle DeSantis (Trumbull, Conn. / Lauralton Hall) and junior Jayni Webster (Bryn Mawr, Pa. / Country Day Sacred Heart) are having a phenomenal start to the 2014-15 season, and Sunday night was no exception, as the pair recorded season-high scoring outputs in the squad's 76-45 win over the Eagles of Bridgewater (Va.) College at the DuFour Athletic Center.
"Tonight was a great team win. We had a great couple of days of practice and prepared well so I am proud of the way we came out and competed today," said CUA head women's basketball coach Matt Donohue.
DeSantis led the afternoon with 21 points, three assists, a perfect finish from the free-throw line and even outing from behind the arc, as Webster contributed with 17 points.
"Jayni and Michelle are leaders in this program and two of the toughest kids I have ever coached. They take a lot of responsibility for how this team plays and they took it upon themselves to set the tone for us today," stated Donohue. "Whenever we needed a stop or a basket, they both seemed to be in the middle of the action. They did a great job of getting our transition game going today as a result we were able to feed off of that energy and close out the game in a strong fashion."
Additional CUA contributions came from freshman Payton Smith (Spring Lake Heights, N.J. / St. Rose High School), who came off the bench and pulled down a team-high seven boards, all of which were on the defensive side of the ball. Melissa Errico (Harrington Park, N.J. / Old Tappan) was outstanding on defense blocking four Eagles' shots and grabbing six rebounds, while fellow forward Josephine Migash (Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Trinity) collected six rebounds and a team-best four steals.
Catholic promptly took the lead with a 10-2 advantage by the 15:57 mark of the first half and holding the Eagles scoreless from the field for seven minutes. But, once Bridgewater was on the board the Virginia guest remained motivated for the next five minutes, outscoring the Cardinals 16-8 and taking the lead twice with 8:20 remaining.
Nonetheless, with a series of missed baskets and turnovers by the Eagles and the Cardinals regaining its composure, Catholic reached a first-half high 12-point margin lead and an eventual halftime score of 34-24.
DeSantis and Webster were already in double-figures at the end of the opening 20 minutes with 11 points and 10 points, respectively, as Errico led with five boards.
Webster opened the second half for the Cardinals, netting her second three pointer of the contest and igniting the offensive fire, as CUA improved on its first half numbers from the field to capture the 76-45 win.
Bridgewater's Heather Cantrell and Jessi Strom led the offense with eight points apiece. Oshene Kelly finished with a team-high seven rebounds, while Jessica Lam circulated three assists and Cassidy Burkholder collected two steals.
By the numbers, Catholic shot 64 percent from the charity stripe (18 of 28), a season-best 40 percent from the field (27 of 67) and 22 percent from behind the arc (4 of 18).
The Cardinals return to the DuFour Athletic Center after the Thanksgiving break to take on No. 1 Farleigh Dickinson University – Florham on Sunday, November 30 at 2:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.
Notes: The FDU – Florham Devils are the reigning 2013-14 NCAA Division III National Champions, who returned 10 of its 12 student-athletes from last season.