Cardinals Down Falcons in First Round of NCAA's

Cardinals Down Falcons in First Round of NCAA's


Cardinals Down Falcons in First Round of NCAA's
Fumai leads with 19 points


WASHINGTON - The Catholic University Cardinals (23-5) defeated the Messiah College Falcons (19-7) 58-37 friday night in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CUA's DuFour Center in Washington, D.C.  The win marks the sixth time the Cards have advanced to the second round of the tourney, the last time was in 2004.

The Cardinals and Falcons fought for control and tied it up twice in the opening minutes of the first half, but CUA pulled ahead and never allowed Messiah to take the lead.  The Cardinals dominated the remainder of the half, expanded their lead to 15, and headed to the locker room ahead, 29-14.

Catholic University's Scott Fumai (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) and Patrick Dwyer (Williamsburg, Va./Walsingham Academy) led all scorers with seven each in the first half while Matt Henninger added six for Messiah.  Fumai and Steven Papageorge (Annandale, Va./Falls Church) led on the boards for the Cardinals with five apiece.

The Falcons opened the second half strong and engineered a 9-0 run to cut the Cardinals' lead to six.  CUA held off the onslaught and regained their momentum, never losing the lead in the second half.  After a few tense minutes, the Cardinals ended up ahead by as much as 21 and won the game 58-37.

Fumai was the leading scorer of the night with 19 while Henninger led the Falcons with 14.  CUA's Dwyer and Messiah's Ryan Witmer lead in rebounding with 13 and seven, respectively.  The Cards were dominant underneath outrebounding the Falcons 50-30.

CUA moves on to the second round of the tournament at the DuFour Center on Saturday versus Lincoln University of Pennsylvania.  The game tips off at 7:00 p.m.