By Jared Prendra
The Lady Cardinals Basketball team continues their season long run of dominance as they obliterate the Goucher Gophers, 75-46. This victory marks the 25th ranked Cards ninth straight win, and brings the team to an 18-2 overall record and a flawless 9-0 in conference play. The number one team in the Landmark Conference looks to carry their momentum throughout the final 5 games of the season before the playoffs.
The CUA team set the tone for the game early, by going on a 14-4 run on the opening 8 minutes of the first quarter. The Cardinals hit one final 3-pointer from junior forward Samantha Cowan in the final moments of the opening 10-minute period to take a 17-8 lead into the break. The Birds continued their path to victory on an opening And-1 from freshman starter Megan Stafford to start the 2nd quarter. The Catholic team continued to cruise against Goucher and entered half time with a commanding 13 point, 36-23 lead.
A story that has lasted all throughout the season for the Lady Cards is a dominant presence from their bench players. The reserves contributed 29 points in the team effort, led by Cowan with 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. Freshman Sydney Poindexter went 6-of-7 from the field to tally a career high 12 points.
The Cardinals lost no momentum entering the beginning of the 3rd quarter, as Mellisa Errico a senior forward, scored on 3-straight jump shots to open the half. This led to 11-6 run for CUA to close out the period with a 54-32 lead.
As they have with every other game this season, the Birds showed no sign of easing up in the 4th quarter. Catholic scored 21 points in the final period of play, which was the team’s highest scoring quarter.
Many familiar faces had stand out efforts in the stellar victory. Starting senior Bernadette Launi grabbed 9 rebounds and denied 2 shots on the night. Errico, a former Landmark Conference tournament MVP, lead the team with 22 points, snagged 5 rebounds, and swatted the ball 3 times.
In addition to these individual performances, a lot of the Cardinals success is due to their team efforts. On Wednesday, the team did what it does best by turning defense into offense by turning 21 turnovers into 22 points. The Lady Cards also dominated the boards by grabbing 18 offensive rebounds, which translated to 22 second-chance points. Finally, the Cardinals used their speed to score 12 points off the fast break.
The 25th ranked Catholic team returns to their quest to the playoffs on the road this Saturday, February 4th. The team will take on the 5-4 Drew University Rangers in their quest to attain a perfect in-conference record as the Landmark Tournament approaches at the end of the month. The 75-46 victory puts the team to a .900 winning percentage on the season, and puts the team one game closer to sealing the number 1 seed in the playoffs.