CUA to begin 2012-13 season vs. crosstown foe Colonials

CUA to begin 2012-13 season vs. crosstown foe Colonials

WASHINGTON – After opening its last two seasons vs. Division I foes Notre Dame and Florida, the CUA men's basketball team will stay in the metro area to begin its 2012-13 season when the Cardinals face George Washington on Saturday, November 3 inside the Charles E. Smith Center.  The game will pit CUA Head Coach Steve Howes against his former boss and mentor, Colonials Head Coach and 1988 CUA graduate Mike Lonergan.

"We are thrilled and honored to open the season against George Washington," explained Howes, who earned his 150th career win last season.  "Coach Lonergan took our program and athletic department to new heights when he was here, and has established himself as one of the best basketball minds in the country.  Besides my parents, he has had the single greatest influence on my life.  It will be a unique opportunity to face my mentor and friend."

Howes played for Lonergan from 1993-95 at CUA, and later served as an assistant coach under him in two different stints (1998-2000, 2001-2004).

In Howes' eighth season at CUA, the Cardinals went 19-9 in 2011-12, and advanced to their second straight ECAC championship.  CUA has now won at least 18 games in 14 of the last 15 seasons.

Lonergan recently completed his first season as George Washington's head coach.  Prior to returning to the district, he served as the head coach at the University of Vermont for six seasons, guiding the Catamounts to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and the NIT in 2007 and again in 2011.

Prior to that, he served as an assistant at the University of Maryland, which followed a highly successful 12-year run as head coach at CUA.  Lonergan won 251 games on the Cardinals' sideline, went to seven straight NCAA Tournaments and led CUA to the 2001 National Championship.

"As an alumnus, former player and coach, it's exciting for me to get Catholic University on our schedule for an exhibition game," Lonergan said.  "CUA has been very special to my family and we will be forever indebted to Catholic University and the people there. Coach Howes has continued to maintain the great basketball tradition at CUA and we are excited to follow Florida and Notre Dame as the Cardinals' next exhibition game opponent."

Lonergan won his first game at GW on November 11, 2011 with a 64-48 defeat of UMES.  The Colonials have a very strong class of recruits signed to come in for next season, including local product Joe McDonald, who was recently named a Parade All-American.

This will be the 52nd meeting between the crosstown rivals with CUA leading the all-time series, 31-20.  The last game took place in 1983, a 117-73 win by George Washington.  CUA's last win in the series came in 1971 by a score of 77-74.