Cardinals Take On Division I Opponent Navy

Cardinals Take On Division I Opponent Navy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Nine different members of the Catholic University women's basketball team scored in the team's first action of the season, an exhbition contest against Division I opponent Navy on Wednesday evening at Alumni Hall. The Midshipmen defeated the Cardinals 81-36 in Annapolis, Md. 

Junior forwards Sydney Poindexter and Megan Stafford led the team with seven points each in the contest against a Navy team coming off a program-best 25-8 season a year ago. 

"They're a good team, one that won 25 games last year and competed for a spot in the NCAA tournament in the Patriot League," said head coach Matt Donohue. "When you play a team of that caliber, they're going to expose your weaknesses and areas that you need to get better. That can be a great thing, as long as you handle that and treat it the right way."

The Cardinals hung tough early, grabbing four steals in their zone defense in the first quarter. A three-pointer from freshman guard Mollie Paolino put Catholic up 5-3 with 5:14 to play in the first. Fellow freshman Luca Mamula notched six points of her own in her first collegiate start. 

The Midshipmen responded with a 24-6 second quarter run to control the contest. The Cardinals trailed 37-13 at the half.

Poindexter battled a lengthy Navy lineup on the boards, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. She was 3-4 from the free-throw line as well. Stafford added five rebounds and was active on the defensive end, nabbing four steals to lead the Cardinals. 

Freshman Ashley Smith and senior Sarah O'Neill made back-to-back buckets in the third quarter for the visitors.  

The Midshipmen found the advantage on the glass, outrebounding Catholic 48-32. They also scored 30 points off 30 Cardinals' turnovers. Freshman Kolbi Green led all scorers with 17 points thanks to four three-pointers for Navy. 

"You see the little details that we need to do better as a team and things we need to do so we're more competitive," Donohue said after the game. "From fouls, to the importance of rebounding, to our spacing on the court, playing a team of this quality lets you see where you're deficient and gives an opportunity to fix things before we really start the season to get better moving forward."

Senior Emily O'Connor made an impact in her four minutes of play returning from a ACL injury last season, adding four points and one slick assist to Stafford late in the fourth quarter. Stafford followed up the next possession and sunk a three-pointer for a quick five point sequence for Catholic. 

Wednesday night's game was the first between the Cardinals and Midshipmen since February 15, 1990. More frequent opponents during Navy's time as a Division II team during 1977-1990, Catholic and Navy have squared off nine teams, with the Midshipmen leading the all-time series 7-2. 

Up next for the Cardinals is their first home game of the season on Sunday, November 11. Catholic takes on Stevens at 3 p.m. in the DuFour Center. 

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