Bill Dooley and Bob Wilhelm sank free throws in the final 34 seconds to provide the winning margin as Catolic broke a five-game losing streak with an 82-80 victory over Canisius last night at Brookland Gymnasium.
Center Nike Neville scored 25 points and guard Joe Colletts added 19 as the Cardnials shot 56 percent en route to their fourth victory against 15 losses.
Catholic ran its recently installed four-corner offense to perfection behind the ballhandling and playmaking of Donnie Farrell (eight assists).
Farrell thwarted a last-ditch bid by the Golden Griffins by picking off and inbounds pass with one second remaining.
Canisius (10-12) was paced by the game-high 28 points of Ron Peaks.
The Cardinals could not stand prosperity in the first 30 minutes, several times building leads of seven to nine points before relinquishing them to the inside scoring punch of the Griffins. Colletta's deep jumper with three munutes left gave the hosts the lead for good, 73-72, and was the sixth lead change in the final 5:30.
On consecutive possessions, Farrell passed to Bill Dankos for a layup and Dooley sank a pair of free throws to give Catholic an 81-76 lead with 34 seconds left. Then Herb Billups of Caisius scored his 13th and 14th points on an offensive bucket seconds later.
With 17 seconds remaining, Wilhelm -- who inserted after Neville fouled out -- went to the foul line. The 6-foot-8 cdnter, onlu a 30 percent free-throw shooter, hit the first of his two shots for an 82-78 lead.
Dooley rebounded Wilhelm's missed second attempt, and was fouled. He missed the first of a one-and-one. Canisius guard Duke Richardson drove for an unmolested layup with four seconds left.
The Cardinals then lost the ball at the other end of the court to set up Farrell's game-saving steal.
"We played togegher offensively for a change," said Cardinal Coach Jack Kvancz. "Everybody looked for each other on offense. I thought the key to the game would be to slow down the tempo -- since Canisius is a run-and-gun team -- but lo and behold, we scored 82 points anyway. Come nights we can't score 82 and we try."
Canisius, which scored 110 points in an early season loss to Maryland, also shot well (51.6 percent). The difference was at the free-throw line, where Catholic made 22 of 28 compared with 14 of 21 by the visitors.