Cardinals Hold On to Beat Yellow
CUA snaps Randolph Macon's ten-game win streak
WASHINGTON - The Catholic University women's basketball team (14-7) put themselves in the driver's seat Monday evening against the Randolph Macon Yellow Jackets (16-4) at the DuFour Center. The Cards' had a good first half and overcame some late RMC surges to get the 68-63 win in their final non-conference game of the season. The victory also snapped Randolph-Macon's ten-game win streak that has been going on since December.
The Cardinals put together a strong performance in the first half led by senior forward Shannon Mertz (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation). After going up by at much as 11 to start the half, the Yellow Jackets came back to pull within one at 9:40. However, the Cards had one more push in them to gain the lead before the break. Winning by two with six minutes to go CUA manufactured a 9-0 run to close out the half up 31-20.
Mertz led all scorers with nine while Kate Robinson (Emmitsburg, Md./Catoctin) added seven thanks to a buzzer beating three. CUA controlled the boards with the 19-10 advantage and committed just seven turnovers to RMC's 11.
As the Cards tried to build upon first half momentum, the Yellow Jackets chipped away at the deficit by getting the ball down low. RMC forward Molly Ariail was almost unstoppable scoring 22 points in the second half but the Cardinal defense was able to pressure the others and score on the offensive end. With seven minutes remaining Randolph Macon had come all the way back to pull within two. Mertz reacted by scoring four points and pulling down a rebound to put CUA back in a two-possession situation. As the time ticked away the Cards were able to counter every Yellow Jacket sting and held on to win 68-63.
Mertz led the Cards with 22 tying her career high set earlier this season. Maria Rojas (Naples, Fla./LaSalle Academy) added 13 points and eight assists while Robinson had nine points but a game-high ten rebounds. The Cards outrebounded RMC 33-22 and shot 46 percent from the field. Ariail had 29 points for Randolph Macon.
CUA will be back in action on Saturday with a CAC contest at the DuFour Center against Salisbury beginning at 2:00 p.m.