By: Chris McManes
WASHINGTON – Kevin and Kyle Phanord will be attending dental school at the University of Florida next fall.
On Wednesday night at DuFour Center, Kyle drilled four 3-pointers and Kevin Phanord filled his usual defensive stalwart role to help lead Catholic University to a 79-66 victory in a Landmark Conference Tournament semifinal.
Fonville added seven rebounds and six assists for CUA, which will host Susquehanna (22-3) for the Landmark championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The No. 2-seeded Crusaders advanced with a 77-72 win over Scranton. They split with the Cardinals during the regular season, each winning on its home court. Susquehanna is ranked 16th in the nation by D3hoops.com.
Jay Howard added 15 points and nine boards for the Cards, who outrebounded the Eagles, 41-31, and made 23 of 31 free throws (74 percent) to just 2 of 5 for Juniata.
Every one of Kyle Phanord's 12 shots was a 3-point attempt. The two he dropped in in the midst of a 10-0 sprint turned a 54-52 Cardinal lead into a 12-point bulge with 2:18 to go. An earlier 7-0 run erased a 47-45 Juniata advantage midway through the second half.
CUA made just 43 percent of its field goals but came up with eight steals and turned 12 turnovers into a dozen points. The Cardinals outscored the Eagles 13-4 on second-chance points.
"I'm very proud of our determination on the defensive end and on the glass," CUA Coach Steve Howes said. "Our shots weren't falling like they normally do, but we stayed poised and finally got some to fall."
Marcus Lee paced the Eagles (16-10) with 19 points and nine rebounds. Damon Rickens made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. Brandon Martinazzi added 11 points and three assists.
Cardinal junior Louis Khouri, the Landmark's most recent Player of the Week, totaled seven points, five rebounds and four steals. Kevin Phanord played 13 minutes off the bench, made his only shot and contributed three assists, a rebound and a pair of steals. More importantly, he showed why he was named 2014-15 Landmark Defensive Player of the Year.
"Kevin was the same as always, effective and intense on defense," Howes said. "He changes the game for us."
Fonville, CUA's All-American point guard and reigning Landmark Player of the Year, was 5 of 9 from the field and 12 of 16 from the line. In the final 1:09 when Juniata was fouling to stop the clock, he was 10 of 11.
The Cardinals will be vying for their first Landmark Tournament crown since 2013 and third NCAA playoff appearance in the past four seasons.