Youngsters lead the way for Cardinals on Senior Night

WASHINGTON – On a night in which it celebrated its seniors, CUA received a terrific performance from a trio of underclassmen with Liz Briones (23), Katarina Owunna (19) and Jill Woerner (17) each hitting for double figures in a 78-62 win over Goucher.  Senior captain Kerri Confrey dished out 10 assists in the win, and in the process set CUA's single season record with 150 helpers.

The teams played an entertaining first 20 minutes with CUA taking a one-point lead into halftime.  Goucher retook the lead early in the second half with a jumper from Taquasia Lambert and a pair of free throws by Elizabeth von Ende, which gave the Gophers a 36-33 advantage.

Mary McGann's free throw with 15:52 on the clock tied the game at 38 and from there the Cardinals scored seven straight to open up a 45-38 advantage.

Woerner's steal and layup with just under 11 to play gave the Cardinals their first double digit lead of the night, and Holly Janicki's 3-pointer on CUA's next possession opened up a 55-43 advantage.

CUA continued to pour it on, scoring seven straight, and the lead grew to 62-43 with 8:46 on the clock.  Briones' trifecta with 6:56 on the clock then made it a 21-point game, and CUA was in full control of this one.

Goucher did make one final run and got to within 13 with 4:10 to play, but the Cardinals answered with six straight to go in front 75-56 at the 2:52 mark.

CUA trailed 12-2 in the early going due to the Cardinals coming out cold and Goucher was able to take advantage.  The Gophers led 20-12 following a Leia Roberts-Brown jumper at the 11:31 mark, but Owunna answered with a pair of baskets sandwiched around a free throw to pull CUA within three, 20-17.

Over the next several minutes Goucher extended its lead to eight, but the Cardinals reeled off eight straight of their own, capped by Briones' jumper at the 4:54 mark to knot the score at 27.

Mary McGann's 3-pointer with 1:30 to go in the half then gave the Cardinals their first lead since it was 2-0, but Elizabeth von Ende answered down the other end for Goucher with a jumper to tie the score at 30.

Briones got inside for a layup to put CUA on top by two, but von Ende responded with a basket of her own to tie the game for a third time.  With under 20 seconds to go Woerner was fouled, and after she hit one of two at the line the Cardinals took a 33-32 lead into the break.

After struggling from the field early CUA regrouped and shot 55 percent in the second half.  The Cardinals did an excellent job of sharing the basketball, as they recorded 22 assists on 28 field goals, led by Confrey's ten.  CUA also tallied 15 steals and forced 24 turnovers, and the Cardinals bench outscored its counterpart 38-7.

Goucher was led in scoring by von Ende with 15 tallies, while Precious Kollock added 12.  The Gophers shot just 34 percent in the second half and wound up shooting 38 percent for the game.

Prior to the game CUA honored Confrey and fellow senior Kelly Ryan, along with their families, in the annual Senior Night ceremony.

The Cardinals will now move onto their first-ever Landmark Conference Tournament where No. 4 CUA will take on top-seeded Juniata in the semifinal round.  That game is slated for Wednesday at 7 p.m. 

The other semifinal will pit second-seeded Scranton against No. 3 Moravian with the winners meeting on February 26 in the 2011 Landmark Conference championship game.

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