Catholic 79, William Paterson 76

Nov. 23, 2002

WASHINGTON - Catholic rallied for a 79-76 overtime win over William Paterson on Saturday afternoon in non-conference action at the DuFour Center in the season opener for both teams.

Senior Matt Hilleary (Manassas, Va./Seton School) led the way with 26 points but his biggest basket was with two seconds remaining in the second half to force the overtime period. Hilleary grabbed an inbound lob pass in the paint from junior William Morley (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) and beat two Pioneer defenders to tie the game.

Down 9-7 early in the first half, William Paterson then went on a 15-1 run to open the lead. With just over two minutes in the period, sophomore Tim Burke (Wall, NJ/CBA) connected on a huge 3-pointer and completed the four-point play to get the Cardinals within eight at 35-27.

Catholic (1-0) came roaring back in the second half as consecutive three-pointers from seniors Kevin Wise (Newtown, Pa./Notre Dame) and Craig Avallone (Lincroft, N.J./Christian Brothers Acad.) tied the game at 41-41. Wise finished with 18 points and Avallone chipped in eight.

Down three points at 67-64 with just 45 seconds in the game, Wise would connect on a huge three-pointer to get the DuFour faithful to their feet.

Keith Hardy's lay-up with five seconds put William Paterson back on top, setting the stage for Hilleary's heroics.

In the overtime period, junior Blair Mills' (Hebron, Md./Wicomico) short jumper gave CUA a 75-71 lead midway through the extra session. Just over a minute later and after Wise hit one of two free throws, WPU's Tim Benoit sank a 3-pointer to make it a 76-73 game. Wise would seal the game on the next possession by hitting his fourth 3-pointer on the night.

Brandon Constantine's layup with 45 seconds drew the Pioneers within three, but Benoit's 3-pointer on the last Pioneer possession was no good.

Khayri Battle led William Paterson (0-1) with 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Benoit finished with 20 points and five rebounds.

This was the first season-opening win since the 1997-98 season when Catholic defeated Haverford. Catholic's losses since then have come to three Division I squads and William Paterson last season.

The Cardinals are back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 26, as they play at Haverford at 8 p.m.