No. 11 Cardinals hold off Eagles for 62-53 win

No. 11 Cardinals hold off Eagles for 62-53 win

WASHINGTON – No. 11 CUA (18-2, 8-1) exacted revenge on Juniata College on Wednesday evening, pulling away for a 62-53 victory inside the DuFour Center.  The Eagles (13-7, 5-4) handed the Cardinals their lone conference loss of the season earlier this month, but CUA saw to it that this night would be different.  After leading by 18 with 8:15 to play, CUA's lead dwindled to four before closing the game on a 9-4 run.

A Chris Kearney layup with 8:15 remaining gave CUA a comfortable 51-33 advantage, but Juniata then started heating up.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Alex Raymond and Brian Scholly pulled the Eagles to within 10 with 6:11 to go, and after Raymond drained another trifecta, this one with 4:26 on the clock, CUA's lead was down to six.

Kevin Stapleton then got inside for a layup to make it a four-point game with 3:24 remaining. 

Steve Limberiou sank a jumper down the other end for CUA to push the lead to six, and after a Juniata turnover, freshman Bryson Fonville drilled a huge 3-pointer to make it a nine-point cushion.

The Cardinals never looked back from there and picked up their sixth straight win.

Shawn Holmes finished with a team-high 16 points for the Cards, while Kearney (14), Fonville (13), and Nate Koenig (10) joined him in double figures.

Kearney added 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end, and Fonville handed out five assists.

CUA came into the game ranked 14th in the country in field goal percentage defense, limiting teams to 38 percent shooting, and tonight was no different, as the Cards held the Eagles to 32.7 percent.

Stapleton knocked down three 3-pointers and led the visitors with 15 points, while Scholly added 12.  The Eagles handed out 14 assists on 18 made field goals, led by Jeremy Hays' seven.

CUA started strong, scoring the first seven points of the night, but Juniata quickly came back with five straight.

A layup by Fonville with 7:43 to play before halftime put CUA in front 19-11, and two Kearney free throws pushed the lead to 10.

The lead hit 14 following two Holmes free throws with 4:39 to go, and an off-balance 3-pointer by Limberiou just before the buzzer sent the Cards into intermission with their largest lead up to that point at 16 points.

No. 11 CUA returns to action on Saturday evening when the Cardinals welcome Drew to town for a 6 p.m. tip.