Cardinals Best Eagles on Senior Day
CUA earns second seed in CAC Tourney
WASHINGTON - The Catholic University men's basketball game on Saturday was a must-win for both teams involved. The winner would get the number two seed in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament while the loser would be the fourth seed at best with the possibility of dropping lower. After forty hard-fought minutes the Cardinals (19-5, 11-5 CAC) came away with the 74-61 win and the number two seed while the Mary Washington Eagles (15-9, 9-7 CAC) dropped to the number six position.
After losing a close one earlier in the season in Fredericksburg, the Cards came out fired up immediately taking over the game. The Eagles stayed in it firing away from beyond the arc making three of eight trey' s in the first seven minutes but from then on it was all CUA. Fueled by a trio of three's of their own over a two-minute span, the Cards went up by 12 at one point late in the half. At the break CUA held a solid 13 point lead, 41-28.
Center Stephen Wheeler (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) led the Cardinals with nine points and four rebounds while Nick Olivero (Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson) chipped in eight and Patrick Dwyer (Williamsburg, Va./Walsingham Academy) had seven. CUA continued to play nearly perfect basketball with just three turnovers to UMW's five and also outrebounded the Eagles 14-11. The Cards shot 58 percent from the field in the first half and 54 percent from three point range.
The Cardinals held strong in the second half not allowing their lead to dwindle down. The closest the Eagles ever came was bringing the deficit to eight with 5:09 remaining but CUA rattled of four straight points to squash any hope the Eagles had of coming back. As UMW was forced to foul the Cardinals hit nine of their last 12 free throws to seal the 74-61 victory.
Four Cardinals scored in double digits with Wheeler post 15 and Dwyer and Olivero notching 13 apiece. Senior Scott Fumai (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) rounded out the scoring with 12 points and eight rebounds. CUA held the advantage in turnovers (10-12) and shooting percentage (49-36) but didn't fair well down low getting outrebounded 33-30.
CUA will host a CAC tournament quarterfinal game on Tuesday against the Salisbury Sea Gulls. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.