YORK, Pa. – In a battle of top-20 teams, No. 17 Catholic University of America beat No. 18 York College (Pa.) 60-52 on Monday.
The Cardinals trailed by eight with 10:13 to play before outscoring the Spartans 21-5 the rest of the way to improve to 13-0 this season. Emily Grabiak netted a game-high 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting, while Jill Woerner added 12 points.
CUA found itself down 47-39 following a Brittany Hicks jumper with 10:13 remaining in the game. The Cardinals then scored nine in a row, capped by Karlyn Dixon’s 3-pointer with 7:01 on the clock to surge in front 48-47.
Kelsey Murphy gave the Spartans the lead again with five minutes to play, but Katarina Owunna answered down the other end for the Cardinals to put the visitors in front 50-49.
A basket by Woerner made it a three-point lead and, after Grabiak stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a layup, the Cards were on top by five.
With less than two minutes on the clock, Kelli Josephsen put CUA ahead by seven, but Aja Wallpher drilled a 3-pointer for York seconds later to cut it to a four-point game.
CUA went 4-for-4 at the free-throw line and played strong defense in the final minute to seal the victory.
The first half was close throughout, with seven ties and two lead changes. Grabiak’s 3-pointer six minutes in gave CUA a 10-7 lead, but Loreta Tonuzi answered with a three of her own and the game was tied.
A jumper by Woerner with 10:34 on the clock put the Cards on top by three, only to see Tonuzi hit another three to tie the score again.
The Spartans grabbed a four-point lead with 7:52 to play, before CUA got to within one on Woerner’s basket at the 4:10 mark.
York opened up another four-point lead, but the Cardinals clawed their way back again, with back-to-back baskets by Dixon sending the game into halftime tied at 24.
Dixon had a great game off the bench for CUA, with seven points, two rebounds, two assists, a block, a steal and no turnovers in 20 minutes, while Josephsen tallied eight points, five boards and three blocks.
CUA shot only six 3-pointers, sinking half of them, and the Cardinals made 13 of 17 free throw attempts.
Tonuzi and Kristen Haley led the Spartans (11-2) with 12 points apiece, and Hicks pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
York was held to 31 percent shooting and committed 25 turnovers.