CUA snaps skid by grinding out 65-57 win over Susquehanna

WASHINGTON – The Cardinals toughed out a 65-57 win over Susquehanna (9-10) on Friday evening to snap their two-game losing streak and improve to 13-6 overall.  CUA's defense held the Crusaders to 36 percent shooting and the Cardinals outscored their opponent 8-2 in the final 2:43 to earn the win.

Susquehanna's Rachael Hughes drove to the bucket for a layup with 3:11 to play to make the score 57-55 in favor of CUA, but Emily Grabiak's jumper down the other end pushed the Cardinals lead to four with 2:43 on the clock.  Grabiak's basket capped a possession in which CUA grabbed two offensive rebounds off a pair of missed three-pointers.

Following a defensive stop, CUA got the ball back and again the Cardinals used offensive rebounds to gain an extra possession.  Grabiak grabbed a missed Jill Woerner shot and Kerri Confrey eventually got to the hoop for a basket and a six-point lead with under two minutes to play.

Samantha Cartwright's jumper with 1:43 remaining made it a four-point game, but for the third straight trip CUA was able to extend its possession with multiple offensive rebounds.  The Cardinals ran the clock from 1:40 all the way down to 52 seconds before the Crusaders got the ball back, but they eventually turned it over.

That led to a pair of made free throws by Grabiak with 25 seconds to go to make it 63-57 in favor of CUA, and Jenny McGann's steal and layup in the closing seconds sealed a hard-fought win for the Cardinals.

Three CUA players scored in double figures on the night, including Woerner with 14, Jenny McGann with 11 and Katarina Owunna with 10.  Woerner added 11 rebounds and an impressive six blocks, while as a team CUA pulled down 41 boards, including 12 on the offensive end.

Confrey handed out six of CUA's 15 assists and the Cardinals registered 10 steals as a team, while shooting an even 50 percent from the floor, including 52 percent in the final 20 minutes.

Erika Barron scored 19 points for the visitors, but she shot just 6 of 14 from the field, while Hughes added 18 points.

CUA found itself down 13-6 after a layup by Susquehanna's Samantha Pelletier with 13:58 to play in the opening half, but the Cardinals slowly chipped away and eventually tied things at 15 on Owunna's jumper with 9:42 on the clock.

Owunna's second straight basket then put the Cardinals on top 17-15, but the Crusaders quickly answered to knot the score at 17 apiece.

Liz Briones' basket with 5:47 to play gave CUA a five-point cushion, while Confrey's layup with 4:31 remaining pushed it to a seven-point lead, 28-21.

Susquehanna countered with an 8-0 run capped by Barron's three with 1:37 on the clock, but Owunna answered with yet another jumper down the other end to give CUA the lead back. 

Barron then stroked another trifecta, this one coming with 52 ticks on the clock, but Confrey made one of two free throws just before the half to send the Cardinals into intermission down only one, 32-31.

CUA's win sets up a huge showdown on Saturday afternoon inside the DuFour Center as the Cardinals welcome the team directly in front of them in the Landmark Conference standings in Juniata.  Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.  CUA's SAAC program is sponsoring a Blackout on Saturday and fans are encouraged to wear black to the game.

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