WASHINGTON - No. 23 The Catholic University of America earned the opportunity to host a Landmark Conference semifinal game after a 72-49 conference victory over Elizabethtown on Wednesday evening. With the win, the nationally-ranked Cardinals are now 21-3 overall and lead the Landmark at 12-1.
The Catholic victory came as a team effort with 25 bench points and 11 total scorers. Junior Payton Smith tallied a team-high 14 points while fellow starter, senior Melissa Errico scored 12. Senior Bridget Power led the reserves with seven points and shot 100-percent from the field, while junior Samantha Cowan and freshman Caroline Sullivan each registered six.
Sullivan and rookie Megan Stafford each pulled down a team-high seven rebounds for the Cardinals while Stafford and Smith each registered game-highs with three steals.
The Cardinals outscored the Blue Jays in each of the four quarters and started the first 10 minutes on a 16-9 run. Senior Bernadette Launi put the Cardinals on the board with a game-opening layup and tallied five of Catholic's 16 first quarter points.
Catholic produced its highest scoring period in the second quarter with 21 points. Smith began the period with two good free throws and tallied four more points throughout the quarter. Launi and Errico each scored four while Power knocked down a 3-pointer. Sullivan and classmate Mollie Reynolds each racked up two points as the Cards went to halftime with a 26-37 advantage.
Following the break, Catholic increased its margin to 15 points (53-68) with six field goals and 4-of-4 free throws in the third period.
The Lady Cards stayed strong in the final 10 minutes shooting 72.7% from the field in the final quarter while gaining their largest lead of the night (23 points) for the 72-49 conference victory.
No. 23 Catholic wraps up its regular season on Saturday, February 18 in Bethlehem, Pa., versus Moravian College. The Cardinals and Greyhounds are set to tip-off at 2 p.m.
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