December 20, 2010

Big day from Briones lifts Cardinals to sixth straight win

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Freshman Liz Briones hit 9 of 12 shots en route to a game-high 20 points as she led the CUA women's basketball team to its sixth straight win, a 67-54 victory over Wentworth on Monday evening.  CUA's defense was once again strong as the Cardinals held the Leopards to 34 percent shooting.

Mary McGann scored 13 points for CUA, while Kerri Confrey added eight and Emily Grabiak scored six.  Confrey pulled down a team-high seven boards for the Cardinals and Briones and Grabiak totaled six each.  CUA outrebounded Wentworth 41-35 and also forced the Leopards into 35 turnovers. 

Kristen Vallone led three Leopards in double figures with 15 points, while Kendra Kerr (12) and Meagan Pennock (11) joined her.  Vallone added 10 boards for a double-double and Kerr handed out a team-best three assists.

CUA led by nine with 9:37 remaining in the opening half but five straight Leopard points made it an 18-14 game with 8:40 to play before halftime.

A 12-0 Cardinals run over the next four and a half minutes upped their lead to a comfortable 30-14 margin, and they eventually took a 35-22 lead into halftime.

CUA came out of the gates and opened the second half with an 8-1 run to extend to a 20-point advantage, but the Leopards answered with an 11-2 run to cut it to an 11-point game with 11:53 to go.

The game of runs continued as CUA ran off 9 of the next 11 points to go back in front by 20 with under nine to play.  The Cardinals lead grew to 21 with 5:21 on the clock, but Wentworth refused to go away, responding with a 10-0 run to cut the CUA advantage to nine, 63-52.

That was as close as CUA would allow its opponent to get though, as the Cardinals held the Leopards to only two points in the final three minutes of action.

CUA closes out its Florida trip on Tuesday when the Cardinals take on Luther beginning at 1:00.

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