Season comes to a close for Catholic

Mar 8, 2003

WASHINGTON - Ben Martinez scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half as Montclair State ended Catholic's season as the Red Hawks defeated the Cardinals, 95-78, in a NCAA Tournament Second Round game Saturday night at the DuFour Center. Catholic ends the 2002-2003 season at 24-5 while Montclair State improves to 23-5.

Matt Hilleary led CUA with 18 points and 11 rebounds. The senior added seven blocks, two assists, and two steals. He was one of five Cardinals in double figures.

Kevin Wise's sharpshooting helped Catholic to an eight-point lead towards the end of the first half as his basket from downtown made it a 34-26 lead.

The Red Hawks battled back from a 38-36 deficit at halftime by outscoring Catholic 59-40 in the second stanza using a 16-4 run midway through the half.

Pierre Mitchell added 19 points but his biggest bucket was his trey with less than five minutes in the game to give the Red Hawks a 10-point lead. Mitchell finished with 19 points. Teammates Michael Cluck (11 points/10 rebounds) and Joseph Thomas (13 points/10 rebounds) both posted double-doubles.

The Cardinals could only get within 85-78 with just over a minute before Montclair iced the game going 6-of-6 from the free-throw line down the stretch.

Catholic was 29-of-61 from the floor and 10-of-23 from downtown. But the second half, the Cardinals could only hit on 2-of-9 from beyond the arc.

Montclair State advances to their first Sweet 16 since 1984 and set a season-high in victories (23).

Seniors Hilleary, Wise (six points, seven assists), and Craig Avallone (12 points, five rebounds) end their four-year careers with 103-18 record, two CAC Tournament Titles, and a NCAA National Championship in 2001.