WASHINGTON — The Catholic University of America women's basketball team won its 10th game of the season on Wednesday night inside the DuFour Center as the Cardinals downed Johns Hopkins, 61-54, behind a career-high 25 points from senior Payton Smith.
It was the second 20-point game in the past five contest for Smith who hit 6-of-8 shots from the field with 3-of-4 3-pointers and 10-of-12 free throws. She rounded out an impressive line with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Catholic built a 33-19 halftime lead and held a 10-point advantage after the third period but Johns Hopkins continued to battle back.
The Blue Jay used a 12-2 run to open the fourth and tie the game at 53-all with just under four minutes in regulation.
Smith came through for the Cards however as she ended the run with a 3-pointer that put Catholic back ahead for good.
Hopkins was able to close it to two on the next possession but Samantha Cowan came up with a big find to a streaking Smith in the lane who converted with just 26 seconds left.
Smith also added three clutch free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
Cowan joined Smith as Catholic's double-figure scorers with 10 points and ended the evening with a double-double as she grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
Catholic won the turnover battle, 21-16, and converted those Johns Hopkins miscues into 25 points.
The Cardinals also knocked home 72-percent of their free throws while the Blue Jays only connected on 10-of-17 attempts.
Catholic returns to Landmark Conference play in its next game as the Cardinals host undefeated Juniata on Saturday, January 6 at 4 p.m.
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