CUA cruises past Staten Island to claim spot in championship
WASHINGTON – Using terrific offensive balance and suffocating defense, the CUA women's basketball team cruised into the championship of the Fairfield Inn Holiday Tournament on Saturday with a 79-58 win over Staten Island (1-7). The Cardinals forced 34 turnovers, placed four players in double figures and outscored their opponent 44-24 in the paint to improve to 8-2.
CUA jumped out to a 23-8 lead in the opening 7:33 as the Cardinals forced eight turnovers in that time and converted countless layup opportunities. The Cardinals lead grew to 19 on Brielle Crites' basket with 9:29 remaining before halftime, while Jesse Ford's jumper at the 5:22 mark made it a 20-point game.
The Cardinals led by as many as 23 points in the opening half, which happened on two occasions, and they took a comfortable 16-point cushion into intermission, at 47-31.
After Staten Island pulled to within 13 early in the second half, CUA ripped off a 15-5 run to go on top by 23, 62-39. The lead then swelled to 28 on Holly Janicki's first three pointer, this one coming with 8:06 remaining. From there the Cardinals cruised as they remained unbeaten at home (3-0).
Jenny McGann led CUA offensively with 13 points, while Jill Woerner, Mary McGann and Janicki each scored 10. 13 Cardinals saw action on the day, as CUA handed out 19 assists on 35 field goals.
The Cardinals pulled down 10 more rebounds than their opponent, recorded an incredible 19 steals and scored a whopping 36 points off turnovers. Freshman Liz Briones continued her strong play with a team-high 10 boards, and Mary McGann dished out five assists.
In the final contest of the day, Manhattanville outlasted Marymount 59-56 in a down-to-the-wire finish. Four Manhattanville players scored in double digits, led by Simona Gordon with 15 points.
CUA will now take on Manhattanville in the 2011 Fairfield Inn Holiday Tournament championship on Sunday evening at 8 p.m. inside the DuFour Center Gymnasium. In the consolation game, Marymount will match up with Staten Island. That game is scheduled for a 6:00 tip.