By Jared Prenda
The cool fall air has brought the return of basketball season to the Catholic University of America, as the men’s team traveled to Foggy Bottom for a metro rivalry. The team fell 69-64 to Division I crosstown rivals George Washington University on Sunday, October 28th for an exhibition game. Despite their proximity, this is the first time the two teams have played each other since 1984, with CUA owning the series record 26-21.
Senior guard Jimmy Golaszewski led both teams with 28 points, just 3 short of his career high in the opening game of the season. He went 7-15 from the field, and 4-9 from deep, while also shooting 10-12 at the free-throw line. Golaszewski grabbed 5 rebounds and turned the ball over once in 31 minutes of play.
The Cardinals rallied with their opponents all night despite the conference difference. In the first half CUA dominated the boards, with junior Riley Hayes grabbing 12 rebound shots in the first half. CUA managed to only trail GW by 3 points at the end of the first half when freshman Will Turgeon hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to bring the score to 34-31.
Golaszewski was joined by junior center Riley Hayes, who led both teams with 13 rebounds and grabbed 4 points in his 24 minutes of play. This effort helped CUA score 14 points in the paint and 9 on second chances. Catholic also out-rebound the Colonials 48-46.
The second half was when the Colonials managed to start pulling away, gaining their biggest lead of the night, 65-53, with only 3:39 left to play. The Catholic team instantly fought back with a 11-3 run to bring the game within 4 points, 68-64. The Cardinals had one more chance to pull out a victory when they forced a GW turnover with only 14 seconds remaining, but senior Andre Mitchell’s 3-point attempt was blocked and George Washington made 1-of-2 free throws to end the game 69-64.
Despite this effort the team had a statistically poor shooting night, going 34.4% from the field and only 8-25 from three-point range. Outside of Golaszewski, the team had a poor night shooting from free-throw line, going 12-20 as a team. Beyond this, the team’s loss could be attributed to its efforts in the paint despite out-rebounding their opponents. GW outscored Catholic 22-8 in the paint in the second half and posted 9 second-chance points. The Colonials were also able to take advantage of the CUA turnovers scoring 14 points off 10 turnovers.
The team is in a good position as the official start to its season draws near. The Cardinals play cross town rival Marymount (Va.) on the Franny Murray Court in the DuFour Center on November 13th. The team went 15-11 overall last year and 9-5 in the Landmark Conference. CUA men’s basketball will begin Landmark Conference play at Drew University on December 1st.