- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 12, 2003

Catholic misplaced its championship poise in the final minutes of a taut affair with Johns Hopkins yesterday at DuFour Center.
The Cardinals, Division III national champion two seasons ago, resorted to ill-advised shots on three consecutive possessions after the Blue Jays rallied from a seven-point deficit and tied the game with 4:08 left on a pair of free throws by Dan Naturale.
A bad shot by Matt Hilleary led to one by Will Jawando and then one by Will Morley, which led to a spurt by the Blue Jays and the demise of the Cardinals 77-69.
"That sequence there kind of reminded me of the Clark (Mass.) game," Catholic coach Mike Lonergan said, referring to the Cardinals' disappointing loss in the Sweet Sixteen game last season. "I think I had like four timeouts left, and I didn't think of using one because I figure we have experienced players on the floor who have been in this situation in the past. The guys panicked, or whatever. Maybe right now, we don't have a go-to player."
For the 11-2 Cardinals, the nation's fourth-ranked team according to D3hoops.com, it was their first loss against a Division III opponent this season and their first at home since losing to Clark last March. They could point to a number of guilty areas. The Cardinals shot 35.5 percent and were outrebounded 42-30. They had 12 turnovers compared to 11 assists. The Cardinals also made only one of 11 3-point attempts. Kevin Wise came into the game shooting .413 percent from behind the arc but was held to 1-for-5.
The Cardinals seemed on the verge of putting the game away midway through the second half after two free throws by Craig Avallone pushed the advantage to 48-41. The Cardinals failed to deliver a follow-up blow, however, and the Blue Jays were able to hang around.
With the game tied 61-61 and the shot clock winding down, Jay Kreider pulled up in traffic and converted a 3-pointer, the biggest shot of the game and the one that worked on the heads of the hosts.
Junior forward Morley led the Cardinals with 22 points and six rebounds. Hilleary, a first-team preseason All-American, had 13 points and seven rebounds but failed to impose his will on the proceedings.
The Blue Jays (9-3), though unranked nationally, defeated Navy 66-61 last month.

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