Catholic 70, Mary Washington 47

Feb. 13, 2002

The DuFour Center crowd reacts as Matt Hilleary lines up, then shoots the free throw that netted him his 1,000th career point.

WASHINGTON - Catholic scored the final six points of the first half and opened the second half on a 15-3 run to break the game open and defeat Mary Washington 70-47. The win guaranteed the No. 3-ranked Cardinals homecourt advantage throughout the CAC playoffs.

Junior forward Matt Hilleary, who sat with two fouls for most of the first half, scored his 1,000th career point with 1:15 left in the game when he hit the first of two free throws. He played just 19 minutes and took just six shots from the field, but added four assists and blocked four shots, all in the second half, as Catholic locked down defensively on Mary Washington. The Eagles (9-15, 5-7 CAC) shot just 9-for-35 in the second half (25.7%) as Catholic pulled away.

Catholic struggled offensively, as the Cardinals played most of the first half without Hilleary and the entire game without starting point guard Bobby Henning (7.5 points, 6.0 assists per game), who was sitting out as a precautionary measure after spraining his ankle near the end of Saturday's 79-70 loss at Marymount. But Catholic (21-2, 12-1) found its stroke late in the first half and turned a 22-22 tie into a 33-24 halftime lead. The Cardinals then hit seven of their first eight shots from the floor in the second half to break the game open.

Catholic got 12 points apiece from junior guards Craig Avallone and Kevin Wise, sophomore forward William Morley and junior backup forward Chris Altenburger, while sophomore forward Blair Mills came off the bench to add 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting.

Mary Washington placed four in double figures: John Kidwell (12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds), Dan Dupras (11), Chris Hairston (10) and Evan Fowler (10).

The Cardinals clinched a share of their fifth consecutive regular-season CAC title, and can lock it up outright with a win at St. Mary's on Saturday (4 p.m. tipoff) or by a York loss at Marymount. Catholic holds the top seed in the conference tournament regardless, thanks to sweeping York in the regular season.