Catholic 64, Marymount 56

Feb. 23, 2002

Matt Hilleary and the Cardinals cut the nets down after beating Marymount in the CAC title game for the second consecutive year.

WASHINGTON - Catholic defeated Marymount 64-56 in the CAC Tournament final at the DuFour Center on Saturday afternoon to win its fourth crown in the program's history. For the second consecutive year, the Cardinals edged the Saints to return to the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore Will Morley (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) scored a team-high 15 points and junior Craig Avallone (Lincroft, N.J./CBA) had his first career double double, scoring 13 points and pulling in a career-high 10 rebounds to pace Catholic.

Freshman Bobby Henning (Bricktown, N.J./East Brunswick) sank two free throws to give CUA a 20-15 lead with just over 12 minutes to play in the first half. From there the Cardinals went on a 10-0 run to increase their lead. With CUA up 32-18 with six minutes to play, each team had difficulty finding points as Catholic and Marymount went scoreless for a three-minute span. Junior Matt Hilleary (Manassas, Va./Seton) helped to break that drought with his thunderous dunk off a long inbound pass from Adam Dickman to help get the crowd to its feet. Hilleary finished with 14 points and six blocks. His counterpart,
Marymount's Dallas Crawley, was held to just four points and four rebounds.

The second half saw the Saints (19-9) use a 20-4 run down 40-24 to tie it up on Carson Robinson's 3-pointer with 8:49 to play. Free throws from junior Kevin Wise (Newtown, Pa./Notre Dame [N.J.]) and Hilleary put CUA back on top but the pesky Saints would not go away. Crawley's jumper tied the game for the fourth time at 50-50 with six minutes to go.

Crawley would get the Saints within three points at 58-55 with his one-handed rebound/dunk off a Devin Archie miss at the 1:19 mark. On the ensuing possession, Morley was called for an offensive foul, turning the ball back over. Archie could only hit the second of two free-throws to make it a 58-56 game with 53 ticks on the clock. Craig Avallone then made it 60-56 on his driving layup to seemingly take the wind out of the Marymount sails.

Catholic (25-2) was successful on 19 of 23 attempts from the line including going 6-for-8 in the last five minutes of the game.

The Cardinals shot 20-of-49 (40.8%) for the game and just 7-of-18 and 0-of-6 from 3-point land in the second half. Marymount connected on 20-of-53 (37.7%) and six of 13 from downtown.

The teams each turned the ball over 18 times and saw the Saints hold a 34-32 rebound advantage.

The NCAA Tournament selection is on Sunday, Feb. 24, and first-round play begins on Thursday, Feb. 28. Should Catholic receive a first-round bye, they will host a game Saturday, March 2, at the DuFour Center at 7 p.m.