Cards Down Crusaders 55-49
CUA ends two-game skid
WASHINGTON - The Catholic University women's basketball squad improved to 6-4 on the season with a 55-49 non-conference win over the Susquehanna Crusaders (7-3) Saturday afternoon at the DuFour Center. The game marked the final meeting between the two teams before becoming conference opponents in the newly formed Landmark Conference which both institutions are moving to for the 2007-08 academic year.
The teams played each other even in the first half with the duo of Kristen Linderoth (Spring Lake, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) and Maria Rojas (Naples, Fla./LaSalle Academy) leading the way. The pair scored CUA's first 12 points of the game thanks to two layups by Linderoth as well as a jumper and pair of treys from Rojas. The first half saw six lead changes and two ties making it 24-24 at the break.
Rojas and Linderoth each had eight points in the first and three players pulled down four rebounds including Shannon Mertz (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) , Jackie DeBorger (Floral Park, N.Y./Holy Trinity) and Linderoth. Crystal Schenk led the Crusaders with seven points. The first half was incredibly sloppy with the teams combining for 20 turnovers and eight steals.
Freshman Justine Gray (Somers, N.Y./John F. Kennedy Catholic) hit a jumper to begin the second half and the Cards never looked back. Sixty percent shooting from beyond the arc helped put CUA up by as much as eight at one point but the squad was never able to pull away. With three minutes to go, Susquehanna got within two but a three pointer by Rojas gave CUA the five point lead.
With one minute left the Crusaders again made the deficit two but Linderoth put the game away thanks to a layup off of a perfectly executed out of bounds play. Susquehanna was forced to foul giving the Cards the 55-49 victory.
Linderoth continued to dominate in the paint during the second half with 12 points and five rebounds giving her a team-high 20 and nine respectively on the afternoon. Rojas finished with 11 while Gray chipped in ten. CUA outrebounded the opponent 38-34 and also shot a remarkable 50 percent from long range.
The Cardinals have a busy week ahead of them with three games scheduled. The squad starts off at Montclair State on January 2nd.