Image courtesy of Catholic Athletics
By Garrett Farrell
The Catholic University Women’s Basketball team bounced back from an opening loss to Drew University in dramatic fashion, winning its next four games over the course of 12 days. The team’s win streak now has them ranked second in the Landmark Conference, behind only the University of Scranton Royals.
The team’s wins came two a piece from the Moravian College Greyhounds out of Bethlehem, PA, and the Juniata College Eagles from Huntingdon, PA. The Cardinals had one home game and one away game against each school, and have clinched a .500 record for the season. Additionally, the Cardinals are the only team in the Landmark Conference with a record over .500 that has played at least three games.
The team also showed an immense amount of grit in this winning streak, as their average margin of victory was only 5.75 points during the stretch. Additionally, in three of the four games Catholic was trailing going into the fourth quarter, and trailed with only 12 seconds left to play in their most recent game. It has often been said that the mark of a championship team is the ability to win in close games, and this is certainly a good indicator for the Cardinals, as they begin to look ahead to the Landmark Conference playoffs, which begin on March 2.
Over the course of the season, the team has shown both balance in and propensity for scoring: three players, (sophomores Erin Doherty and Rachel Bussanich, and junior Amanda Johnson) rank in the Landmark Conference’s top five point scorers. In addition to their offensive successes, the team has had great defensive performances; both Bussanich and Johnson are among the top five players in the conference for both total rebounds and steals, while Johnson ranks third in shots blocked. For her efforts in the team’s last three games, Bussanich, who is a forward for the team, was named the Landmark Conference Women’s Athlete of the Week.
In the next week the team has three more games, two of which come against the University of Scranton, and one of which is a rematch against Drew University, who is the only team this year that has won against the Cardinals.
The Landmark Conference regular season is more than halfway through, and thus far the balance on both offense and defense makes it seem like the Cardinals are ready for a run at the title, however, only time will tell.