WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the Catholic University women's basketball team enters the heart of league play, things are looking up.
The Cardinals (8-4) won their fourth-straight game Wednesday, 64-29, over Swarthmore on Franny Murray Court. It was their largest margin of victory and fewest points allowed this season.
Junior Megan Stafford and freshman Luca Mamula led Catholic with 10 points apiece. Mamula was particularly efficient, hitting 4 of 6 shots in 10 minutes of play. Junior Mollie Reynolds added nine points, while freshman Ashley Smith and junior Sydney Poindexter scored eight points each.
The Cardinals held the Garnet to 8 of 63 shooting (13 percent) and turned 28 turnovers into 19 points. Swarthmore (2-9) struggled mightily from 3-point range, knocking down just 1 of 25 and was 12 of 24 from the free throw line.
Catholic's defense and the Garnet's errant shooting resulted in Swarthmore scoring its fewest points since a 54-27 loss to Muhlenberg during the 1997-98 season.
The Cardinals scored the game's first seven points and led 20-2 at the end of the first quarter. They took a 36-9 lead into halftime.
Catholic freshman Mary Kelly played nine minutes, collected three rebounds and blocked three shots. Sophomore Maggie Rakowsky recorded four of the Cards' 17 steals. Twelve Cardinals saw action, none more than 23 minutes.
The rebounding battle was fairly even, with Catholic holding a slight 53-47 advantage. Poindexter and sophomore Courtney McCool recorded six each. The Garnet's Audra Woodside led all rebounders with seven. Four other players had six each.
Papke led Swarthmore with six points.
The Cardinals host Landmark Conference rival Moravian on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The win was the Cardinals' largest margin of victory since a 68-31 win at Goucher on Jan. 17, 2018 ... It was the least points Catholic has allowed since a 76-24 victory over Merchant Marine on Feb. 1, 2014 ... The two points the Cards allowed in the first quarter is the fewest it has given up in the opening period since it held FDU-Florham to a deuce on Dec. 30, 2016 ... Catholic held Swarthmore to nine points in the first half, the least it has allowed in a half since women's basketball went to quarters in 2015-16 ... The Cardinals made 13 of 14 free throws.