By Jared Prenda
The Lady Cards lived up to their number one ranking in the Landmark Conference Preseason poll with a dominant 68-49 win over the Rangers of Drew University this past weekend. The win brings the soaring Cardinals to 3-1 on the year, and the promise of another successful season in the Landmark Conference.
Senior Sam Cowan made the first start of her career and made an instant difference as she drained a trey only 3 seconds into the game. The forward would post 13 points, 8 rebounds, and a game-leading 6 assists in her debut. She was joined by highly-anticipated senior transfer Briana Bull who put up a double-double for the Birds with 14 points and 10 boards. The reigning Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Year also posted a game high 2 blocks and snatched 1 steal.
One-minute following Cowan’s opening bucket, Bull hit a 3-pointer of her own to give Catholic an early 6-0 lead. The Rangers had fight in them early in the game, managing to tie the game at 12 at one point. A layup from sophomore forward Megan Stafford, however, gave Catholic a lead they wouldn’t surrender only 7 minutes into the game.
The second quarter opened in a similar fashion as the first when senior Payton Smith drained a 3 one minute into the quarter to expand the CUA lead to 21-16. Following an 8-0 sparked by a Cowan layup the team gained its largest lead of the half at 29-16. The team would eventually lead by 6 (29-23) at the end of the opening stanza.
The Lady Cardinals stayed hot as they opened the second half of play following sophomore Sydney Poindexter’s opening basket and Smith’s second trey of the night. The team would continue to dominate the quarter and take a 52-39 advantage into the fourth quarter.
CUA finished even stronger than they opened, outscoring the Rangers 16-10 in the fourth quarter to win 68-49.
Overall, the team outperformed its opponents in almost every statistic. The had 4 more rebounds than Drew with 42 rebounds, which were converted into 14 second chance points. They also forced 27 turnovers which they turned into 19 points. They also had more points in the paint, on the fastbreak, and from their reserves than their opponents.
The team returns to action at home against Neumann University this Saturday at 4 PM. The Cards enter the matchup with a 3-1 record and look to keep their momentum as conference play looms in the future.