Landmark champion Cardinals open NCAA Tournament on Friday

Landmark champion Cardinals open NCAA Tournament on Friday

WASHINGTON - Two-time Landmark Conference champion CUA opens NCAA Tournament play Friday evening when the Cardinals host Cabrini in a 1st round game. FDU-Florham and Widener meet in the other 1st round game with the winners meeting on Saturday for a spot in the Sweet 16. CUA, which has won a school-record 26 games, defeated Scranton 72-52 last weekend in the conference title game, behind a career-high 22 points from Emily Grabiak.

Winners of a school-record 19 straight, Cabrini arrives in Washington after winning the CSAC title over Gwynedd-Mercy 49-38 on February 23. The Cavaliers' 24 wins are the most in school history.

In the second half of its 72-52 win over Scranton for the Landmark title, CUA exploded for a season-high 41 points, while allowing a season-low 17 points to the Royals. The Cardinals shot 43.5 percent in that 2nd half, while Scranton hit only 14.3 percent.

In the last four games, CUA has been led in scoring by four different players. During that time, three different Cardinals have led the team in rebounding and assists.

CUA puts its 19-game home win streak on the line this weekend. The Cardinals are a perfect 14-0 at home this season, having outscored opponents by an average of 14.6 points per game. CUA is also holding its opponents to 31.8% shooting from the floor and 21.5% from 3-point range at home.

CUA is one of 15 Division III schools with its men's and women's teams in this year's NCAA Tournament. The 14 other schools are Calvin, Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Wheaton, Christopher Newport, Williams, Trinity (Texas), Whitworth, Emory, Amherst, Cabrini, Washington University, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Ithaca, and Rochester.

Emily Grabiak leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.88). The junior also leads the Landmark Conference and ranks 11th in the country in assists (5.6). Grabiak enters the tournament with 310 career assists, good for fifth in school history.

Cardinals Head Coach Matt Donohue will be coaching in his 10th postseason game at CUA on Friday. He is 6-3 thus far, and 0-1 in the NCAA Tournament.

Here is more information on the three teams traveling to Washington this weekend:

Cabrini College (Radnor, Pa.)
24-3 overall
16-0 CSAC record
Head Coach: Kate Pearson
Leading Scorer: Brittany Sandone (14.8)
Last game: Defeated Gwynedd-Mercy College, 49-38

Widener University (Chester, Pa.)
21-5 overall
16-2 MAC Commonwealth record
Head Coach: Alisa Kintner
Leading Scorer: Jennifer Egee (12.2)
Last game: Lost to Lebanon Valley, 68-56

FDU-Florham (Madison, N.J.)
24-3 overall
12-2 MAC Freedom record
Head Coach: Marc Mitchell
Leading Scorer: Kyra Dayon (18.5)
Last game: Defeated King's College, 76-64

For more information on the 2012-13 Cardinals, check out the CUA game notes.

Click here to view the NCAA Tournament page.

Friday's first game between FDU-Florham and Widener tips at 5:30 p.m. from inside the DuFour Center. CUA and Cabrini then take the floor at 7:30. The winners square off on Saturday beginning at 5.

Click here for links to live video and stats for all three games throughout the weekend