A Successful Week for Women’s Basketball Brings Them to 14-4
Erin Alburtus, Tower Staff
January 26, 2012
Filed under Sports
The CUA women’s basketball team had a big weekend, defeating both opposing teams at their home courts. Both matches were Landmark Conference games. Last Friday, the girls proved victorious against Merchant Marine Academy, winning 64-38. They beat Drew the next day with a score of 66-50.
Though Merchant Marine dominated the start with a 7-6 lead in less than 16 minutes of play in the first half, the Cards went 8-0, including two three pointers in a row from Rachel Ferri.
With less than 11 minutes to play, Catholic pulled ahead by 11 points with baskets by Jackie Waldron and Jenny McGann. Merchant Marine remained close behind until the five-minute mark, when Catholic pulled ahead by 14 points by the end of the half.
The second half began in Catholic’s favor with a 21-point lead over the Mariners. Buckets from Katarina Owunna, Jenny McGann, and Karlyn Dixon pulled the Cards to an impressive 26-point lead.
Eleven CUA players scored, and 18 had assists.
“Merchant Marine was physical and big on rebounds but couldn’t handle our full court pressure,” said Mary Hagaman.
“Merchant Marine is always a tough game because they are very physical and unwilling to give up. However, we came out and had one of our best team performances. Every player that went out on the court stepped up and made a difference,” said McGann.
The game against Drew was closer in score, but the Rangers were no match for the persistent Cardinals. The first half remained tight and ended with a one-point lead thanks to a jumper from Catholic’s Liz Briones.
The Cardinals came out in the second half ready for a fight, outscoring Drew 41-26. CUA’s leading scorer for the game, Owunna, put Catholic in front by 10 with two free throws. After a three pointer from the Rangers, Catholic fired back with six straight points.
Buckets from McGann, Jill Woerner, and Claire McEvily gave the team a 14-point advantage, and Drew never got closer than 11 for the remainder of the game.
“Our strategy was to play our game, which was score on transition, pressure them on defense, and play as a team. Drew had good shooters and were also big rebounders, but couldn’t stop our inside presence, specifically Katarina Owunna,” said Hagaman.
McGann said the team is inspired to beat Drew for an injured player, Dana Coronato, who transferred from Drew to Catholic this year.
“Dana is injured this year, but she’s still a great addition to the team and we wanted to win that game for her. Drew came out hitting a lot of shots, but we made adjustments and played consistent[ly] the whole game,” she said.
The game puts Catholic in third place and brings them to 5-2 for the Landmark Conference.
The Cards were also victorious against the College of New Jersey in a home game on Tuesday. Catholic stormed onto the court with force and was up 33-11 by the end of the first half.
The girls were ahead by nine when Emily Grabiak’s baskets at the 10-minute mark set the team on a 12-0 scoring spree. Claire McEvily’s layup brought the score to an impressive 29-8. Liz Briones’ buzzer shot gave Catholic a 22-point advantage at the end of the half.
CUA began the second half as strongly as the first, and with less than 20 minutes of play the team was ahead by 32. The Lions attempted to come back, and an 11-point run brought the score to 50-27 with about 10 minutes left.
Catholic fought back, and baskets from McGann, Kelli Josephson, and Karlyn Dixon helped end the game in a 59-37 victory against the Lions.
Owunna led the team in baskets, putting up 15 points and pulling down nine rebounds for the Cards. Grabiak ended with 10 points, and McGann and Woerner managed eight each.
“We wanted to improve on playing the whole 40 minutes without letting the other team getting any runs. We need to be coming to grasp with our capabilities and knowing we can beat the upcoming teams,” said Hagaman.
Catholic will take on Scranton at home on today. Tip off for the Landmark Conference game is set for 5:30, before the men’s basketball game at 7:30.