Cardinals win streak snapped by Royals

Cardinals win streak snapped by Royals

WASHINGTON – CUA saw its four-game winning streak come to an end on Friday evening as the Cardinals were upended by Scranton 76-60 inside the DuFour Center.  CUA trailed by only three, 43-40, at halftime but was outscored 33-20 in the second half.  With the loss the Cardinals fall to 12-5 overall and 4-2 in the conference, while the Royals improve to 11-5 and 5-1 in league action.

After trailing by just three at intermission, CUA saw Scranton rip off the first nine points of the second half to take a 52-40 lead with 16:18 remaining in the game.  Less than a minute later, the Cardinals had cut the lead to just eight when Emily Grabiak got inside for a score.

CUA kept within striking distance and closed to within nine on Kerri Confrey's bucket with 12:33 on the clock, but seven straight points from the Royals put the Cardinals in a 16-point hole, 65-49.

From there Scranton was able to maintain a comfortable lead on the Cardinals and the Royals held on for the win.

Jill Woerner (19) and Grabiak (10) finished in double figures for CUA, while Confrey handed out a team-high five assists.  Grabiak led the Cardinals in rebounding with nine boards and she was also one of four CUA players with two steals. 

The Cardinals shot just 2 of 16 from three-point range (12.5 percent) and turned the ball over 25 times, after they had been turning it over an average of just 17 times in their last eight games.

Megan Kopecki led the Royals with 17 points and 10 boards, while Alison Sweeney added 10 points.  Scranton shot an even 50 percent in the first half and finished at 46 percent for the game.  The Royals outrebounded CUA 45-38 and recorded 15 steals on the evening.

CUA came out of the gate on fire, racing out to leads of 8-0 and 12-2 in the opening 3:25 of action.  Slowly, Scranton chipped away at the Cardinals lead and with 12:20 remaining in the first half, the Royals had tied things at 13.

From that point forward the teams went back-and-forth, exchanging blows for the rest of the half.  CUA took a five-point lead on a three-point play by Jill Woerner with 9:40 on the clock, and Katarina Owunn's layup with 8:47 remaining again gave the Cardinals a five-point lead.

Scranton eventually took the lead from CUA and with 4:06 to play Sweeney hit a jumper to put the visitors in front by three, 34-31.  Mary McGann answered with a huge three-pointer down the other end though to tie things at 34.

With the score tied at 38 Scranton's Katherine Torto splashed a three to put the Royals on top 41-38, but Woerner got inside for a layup to bring CUA within one, 41-40.  Tayler Pallotta then answered with a layup of her own with only seven ticks to go, sending the teams into halftime with the Royals leading 43-40. 

On Saturday CUA looks to begin a new winning streak when the Cardinals play host to conference foe Moravian inside the DuFour Center.  Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.