Strong team effort leads CUA past Scranton 68-63

Strong team effort leads CUA past Scranton 68-63

WASHINGTON – Playing one of its best all-around games of the season, CUA downed Scranton 68-63 on Friday evening inside the DuFour Center.  The win is the Cardinals' first over the Royals since the formation of the Landmark Conference prior to the 2007-08 season and moves them to 15-4 overall and 6-2 in league play.

Emily Grabiak netted a career-high 20 points for CUA on 6 of 12 shooting with Jill Woerner also scoring 20 points.  Katarina Owunna pulled down seven rebounds, blocked three shots and dished out three assists, with Claire McEvily also dishing out three helpers.

Scranton was led on the offensive end by Meredith Mesaris, who scored 22 points, while Alison Sweeney netted 14 and Sidney Jaques added 11.

The early portion of the game was very tight, with three ties in the first six minutes.  Karlyn Dixon's 3-pointer at the 13:07 mark put CUA on top 12-11, but Jacques answered with a three of her own down the other end to put the Royals in front by two.

CUA responded with a 9-0 run, capped by an Owunna layup at the 10:09 mark to put the Cardinals on top 21-14.  Holly Janick's trifecta at the 6:45 mark gave CUA a ten-point cushion, and her layup two minutes later pushed the lead up to 12.

Woerner's bucket with just over a minute to go in the half again made it a 12-point advantage for CUA, and the Cardinals eventually took a 10-point lead into the break.

Scranton scored the first four points of the second half to get within six, but the Cardinals responded with an 8-0 run to open up  a 45-31 lead with 15:33 to play in the game.

The Royals answered with a run of their own, scoring 9 of the next 11 points, to get within 47-41 at the 9:37 mark.  Grabiak's 3-pointer a minute later extended the Cardinals lead back to nine, however.

Later in the half, a four-point play by Sweeney made things interesting, as the Royals were down just five, but Woerner got free for a layup down the other end to make it a seven-point CUA advantage.

Another Woerner basket, this one coming with 4:45 to play, extended the lead to 12, and Grabiak followed with another score to make it a 60-48 game.

Scranton refused to go away, getting the lead all the way down to three on Mesaris' 3-pointer at the 1:02 mark, but Grabiak went a perfect 6 of 6 at the charity stripe in the final minute to preserve the win for CUA.

On Saturday, CUA will welcome Moravian to the DuFour Center for a 3 p.m. tip.  The Cardinals defeated the Greyhounds earlier this month in Pennsylvania.

CUA Head Coach Matt Donohue and junior Jill Woerner give their thoughts on the big win over Scranton below.