WASHINGTON, D.C. - Catholic University women's basketball freshman Rachel Bussanich scored a career high 11 points, but the Cardinals shot just 30.8 percent from the floor and totaled 30 turnovers in losing their first game of the season, 74-39, to Salisbury Tuesday on Franny Murray Court.
Catholic (7-1), who is receiving votes in both the WBCA Top 25 Coaches Poll and d3hoops.com women's Top 25, dropped its third-straight game at home to its former Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) rival after losing in 2017-18 and 2014-15.
Bussanich tied her career high which she set in her collegiate debut, a 92-68 win over Anna Maria at home on November 10. She was 5-of-7 from the floor while adding three rebounds in 20 minutes.
The Sea Gulls (4-4), who have now won back-to-back games by 30 or more points after a 79-36 win over Wesley last Tuesday, scored 39 points off turnovers.
Thanks to a 20-6 run over the final 5:39, Salisbury led 30-16 after the first quarter with 16 of those points coming off of nine Cardinal turnovers.
Catholic cut its deficit to 11 in the second quarter on a free throw by Bussanich with 5:23 remaining and again on a layup by freshman Erin Doherty with 3:50 to play. However, that would be as close as the Cards would get as the Sea Gulls closed the half with a 9-0 run to take a 44-24 halftime lead.
Sophomore Luca Mamula scored all seven of her points in the first half while reigning Landmark Conference Athlete of the Week, senior Sydney Poindexter, was held to just two points on 1-of-4 shooting.
Freshman Erin Thompson finished with seven points in 13 minutes of action while freshman Ella Torp grabbed a career-high five rebounds. Freshman Madison Rosenberg also had a career high in rebounds with three.
Catholic looks to get back on track when its opens Landmark Conference play on Saturday at home against Drew. Tipoff is at 4 p.m., following the men's game against the Rangers. The Cardinals were picked to finish fourth in the conference preseason poll while Drew was picked fifth.