Dixon's career day not enough as CUA falls in overtime 83-81

Dixon's career day not enough as CUA falls in overtime 83-81

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – One day after losing a heartbreaker at the buzzer, CUA had a chance to win its game at Susquehanna in the same fashion, but Jason Banzhaf's three-pointer was off the mark and the Cardinals fell to the Crusaders 83-81 in overtime.  The setback puts CUA at 1-2 in the Landmark Conference and 10-4 overall, while Susquehanna remains unbeaten in the conference at 3-0 and improves to 7-7 overall.

Following a basket by CUA senior R.J. Dixon with 3:36 remaining in regulation, the Cardinals were up 67-62, but Susquehanna scored five straight to tie the score at the 1:24 mark.  A Brian Baker jumper gave the lead back to CUA but J.T. Wilson answered with an old-fashioned three-point play to put the home team up one, 70-69.

With nine seconds to play Wilson made one of two at the line, which made it a two-point game, leaving CUA with one final chance to either win it or send the game into overtime. 

Shawn Holmes drove to the hoop and got off a contested shot that was off the mark, but freshman Pete Schramm grabbed the miss and was fouled on the put-back attempt with 0.2 seconds on the clock.  The first year center then calmly stepped to the line and sank both shots to tie the score at 71 and send the game into OT.

Susquehanna opened up a five-point lead with 59 seconds to play in the extra session but CUA got to within one on four straight points from Dixon.  The teams then traded free throws, which made the score 82-81 in favor of the Crusaders with 19 seconds on the clock. 

Susquehanna was then attempting to inbound the ball, but CUA's Spencer Reed made a terrific play and caused a turnover, giving the ball back to the Cardinals.  CUA was unable to score though and Rob Estep was fouled and headed to the line for the Crusaders.

Estep hit one of two attempts to make it a two-point game, and again CUA had one final chance to either win it or force another overtime, but Banzhaf's three was just off the mark as time expired.

Dixon netted a career-high 28 points for CUA, including five three-pointers, while Banzhaf (17) and Holmes (14) joined him in double figures.  Banzhaf also pulled down 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season, and as a team CUA registered 12 steals.

Estep finished with 25 points on 9 of 15 shooting for Susquehanna, while Wilson scored 19 and Spenser Spencer added 15.  The Crusaders shot 51.9 percent from the field for the game, including a 53 percent showing from downtown, but they did commit 21 turnovers.

CUA led by eight, 21-13, with 11:36 remaining before halftime following a three by Dixon, but Susquehanna ran off eight straight to tie things at 21 with 8:06 on the clock.  The Cardinals were able to maintain a lead for most of the remaining time in the half, and took a slim 35-34 advantage to the locker room.

CUA will be back in action on Friday, January 14 when the Cardinals travel to New York to take on Merchant Marine Academy.  Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.