Cardinals drop tightly contested game at Waynesburg 67-63

WAYNESBURG, Pa. – The Cardinals dropped a tough 67-63 decision to Waynesburg University in the 2011 ECAC championship on Sunday.  CUA (19-10) got as close as a single point in the final five minutes but was unable to get any closer and the Yellow Jackets (21-9) hung on for the victory.  Jill Woerner led CUA with 23 points.

The Cardinals took a one-point lead on Woerner’s basket with 6:46 remaining in the game, but it was short lived as Elisha Jones hit a jumper less than a minute later to put the home team back in front.

Katarina Owunna’s basket at the 4:49 mark again brought the Cardinals within one, but Emilee Wagner scored an old-fashioned three-point play for the Yellow Jackets and they took a 61-57 lead.

The Cardinals cut the lead in half on Kerri Confrey’s layup with 2:26 on the clock, and following an empty possession by both teams CUA was forced to foul.  Malaeja Leggett then went to the free throw line and sank a pair to put the Yellow Jackets in front 63-59.

Two free throws by Woerner brought CUA within 63-61 and the Cardinals fouled once again, sending Hannah Hunter to the stripe.  Hunter hit both of her attempts to extend to a four-point lead but CUA’s Liz Briones nailed a jumper down the other end and the Cardinals were again within two.

Needing the Yellow Jackets to miss one or both of their free throw attempts the Cardinals fouled Hunter, but she again hit two shots to make it a 67-63 game with under ten seconds to play.   The Cardinals had one final shot but it was off the mark and Waynesburg had held on.

Owunna and Jenny McGann joined Woerner in double figures with ten points apiece for CUA, while Confrey and McGann handed out four assists each.  Owunna ripped down 14 rebounds and also recorded two of the team’s seven steals.

Four Yellow Jackets finished in double digits, including Hunter with 16, while Brittany Spencer led the squad with 11 rebounds. 

Neither team shot the ball particularly well with CUA connecting on 46 percent and Waynesburg hitting 40 percent.

CUA raced out to a 13-2 lead in the opening 5:22 but Waynesburg outscored the Cardinals 18-5 over the next six minutes to go in front 20-18 with 8:56 left before halftime.

Jones’ jumper at the 5:55 mark put Waynesburg on top 29-23, which was the Yellow Jackets largest lead up to that point.  The lead hit eight on Hunter’s basket with 4:44 remaining, but CUA scored the next four to trim the deficit in half.

Following a Briones 3-pointer with 1:04 on the clock, the teams traded foul shots in the final minute of play and Waynesburg eventually took a slim 39-38 lead into the locker room.

The Cardinals 2010-11 season ends with a record of 19-10.  CUA’s 19 wins are its most since 2005-06 and are tied for the third most in school annals.

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