Cardinals pull away from CCNY to advance to title game

Cardinals pull away from CCNY to advance to title game

WASHINGTON – Following a tight 30 minutes of basketball, CUA eventually pulled away from pesky CCNY (2-9) on Saturday to earn a 60-42 victory in the opening round of the Residence Inn Greenbelt Classic.  Senior Jason Banzhaf registered a double-double for the Cardinals with 23 points and 12 rebounds, as CUA (9-2) held a commanding 45-25 advantage on the backboards.

With CUA leading 39-34 with 12:25 to go in the game, Andy Roell splashed a three and freshman Pete Schramm followed with a layup to put the Cardinals on top by ten.

After senior Brian Baker got free for a trifecta at the 7:57 mark CUA had its biggest lead of the afternoon, 49-36.  A pair of free throws by Roell with five to play pushed the lead to 14, while three more freebies, one by Nate Koenig and two from Shawn Holmes put the Cardinals on top 56-39 with 3:45 remaining.

CUA never looked back from there as it ran its record to 4-1 at home and won its second straight game overall.

Senior R.J. Dixon scored 10 points for CUA and also handed out five assists, while Schramm had a solid day with eight points, six boards and a blocked shot.  The Cardinals sank 9 of 10 free throws in the second half and held the Beavers to 24 percent shooting in that second stanza.

Matas Rascius finished with a team-high 10 points for the Beavers, who got to the free throw line just four times as a team.  CCNY did hit seven shots from beyond the arc, but placed only one player in double figure points.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair with neither team able to open up more than a five-point lead, which came at the 16:37 mark when CCNY led 10-5.  The teams were tied on six occasions during the opening 20 minutes, the last time coming on a Banzhaf layup with 47 ticks on the clock.

In the day's opening contest, Southern Maine (7-3) downed Rivier (4-3) behind 24 points from Isaac Corteze.  He hit 9 of 18 shots from the field and the Huskies forced the Raiders into 29 turnovers.

CUA will now take on Southern Maine on Sunday afternoon in the championship of the Residence Inn Greenbelt Classic at 4 p.m inside the DuFour Gymnasium.  In the consolation game, CCNY and Rivier will play one another beginning at 2.