March 02, 2024
The Cardinals men's team lost a tough battle in the second round of the Division III NCAA Tournament on Saturday. (Catholic University/Patrick G. Ryan)

While the Catholic University basketball season has come to a close, no fans will forget the runs both the men's and women's teams put on this season.

The men's NCAA Tournament run concluded Saturday evening in a tense high-level battle between the Cardinals and the Profs of Rowan. Rowan picked up an 89-85 victory over the Cardinals to advance to the Sweet Sixteen next weekend. 

On Saturday, Rowan and Catholic put on a show in front of a sellout crowd of more than 1,100 fans inside the DuFour Center. Tommy Kelly, Jake Timby, and Enzo Sechi all scored 17 points for Catholic, but the Cardinals couldn't overcome the performance from the Rowan trio of Marcellus Ross, Khalif Meares, and Ja'Zere Noel. Ross scored 31 to lead the group as they combined for 74 of the team's 89 points in the victory. 

“They didn't, they fought, they clawed, they battled their way back. It was incredible. It was an incredible game environment," Catholic coach Aaron Kelly said. “There wasn't a moment in this one where the crowd wasn't involved. There wasn't a moment where it didn't feel like a heavyweight fight."

Catholic's 85 points were the third-most scored in an NCAA Tournament game in program history. 

Landmark Conference Player of the Year Jesse Hafemeister said it was a magical weekend, no matter the result, thanks to the overwhelming crowds in attendance.

"All the other athletic teams here do a great job showing support," he said. "It means the world to all of us on the team, and we couldn't be any more grateful for them.”

Read more about the game on the Catholic athletics page.

In the women's tournament game, the Cardinals lost to host Washington & Lee in Virginia, 80-70, despite Sarah White's 15 points. Catholic ended their season 26-3.

Watch the game's press conference with Coach Matt Donohue and his players.

View a slideshow of the men's game from University photographer Patrick G. Ryan below.