CUA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Pick Up Big Wins on Senior Night

Image Courtesy of CUA Sports

By John Diaz

February 12 marked Senior Night for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at the Catholic University of America, and both teams left Franny Murray Court victorious that day. Students, parents, and alumni alike came out to support both teams. Both teams took on Landmark Conference rival Moravian University. The games had significant implications for the teams’ postseason chances. Currently, the boys sit in third in the conference with the second and first spot well within reach. The girls only trail Scranton University in the conference, but not by much. With only a few games left in conference play, the Cardinals have a chance to make a push towards Landmark Conference Championships for both the men’s and women’s teams. 

On Saturday, the men’s showdown against Moravian went back and forth for the whole first half. It almost looked as if the game would be decided on the final possession. However, after halftime, the Cardinals came out on fire. The team went on a 28-12 run late in the second half to help pad the lead. Sophomore Jesse Hafemeister finished the game with 27 points. Throughout the game, the crowd hoisted signs and big head cutouts for the four seniors: David Angelo, Frank Lumaj, Jalen Nougues, and Sam Golden. The seniors all shared the court during the final minutes of the game, securing the win for Catholic in front of the big crowd.

About a half-hour later, the girls took the court. The game went back and forth, with each team exchanging buckets. By the time halftime came around, the score was tied. The game looked like it would be decided by whoever had the ball last, like how the men’s game appeared at halftime. But also like the men’s game, the Cardinals took over after halftime. The Cardinals, currently ranked number 20 in the nation, outscored Moravian by 17 in the second half. The team found success by driving to the hoop, attacking the paint, and drawing fouls. Luca Mamula, Amanda Johnson, and Maggie Bednarek, the three seniors, provided a spark for the team in the second half. Other big-time contributors include junior Erin Doherty, who scored 21 points in the win. When asked about what it means to get the win on senior day, Doherty expressed her appreciation for the seniors.

“It’s always great to get a win at home but to do it on senior day was even more exciting,” Doherty said. “The seniors have done so much for our program, so it was awesome to see our team connect so well and be successful on senior day. Everyone contributed in different ways and it led to a big win and a memorable day for the seniors!”

Doherty continued about the success of this year’s team.

“I think one big factor that has contributed to our success this season is the close-knit environment of our team. We are all so close with one another and want to see each other succeed, which allows us to push ourselves to our highest potential. Additionally, everyone puts in work in the offseason which has allowed us to have the success that we have found on the court this season.”

Doherty then commented on what she believes this team is capable of doing.

“We have a really big week coming up, and I would say that our main goal is to just focus on controlling the controllables. We make it our goal to get 1% better each day and let the rest take care of itself. Once we take care of business this week, we are hoping to be competing for a conference championship in a few weeks!” 

The girls close their season out with away games against Landmark Conference rivals, Elizabethtown and Scranton on February 16 and February 19, respectively. The boys close out their season with a home game against Elizabethtown on February 16 and an away game against Scranton on February 19. Both teams look to follow up these games with a postseason run.

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