Bill Dankos and Joe Colletta each scored 24 points for Catholic University last night. The problem, however, was that the rest of the Cardinals managed just 14 as CU fell to Fairleigh Dickinson, 75-62, before 400 at Brookland Gym.

It was the second straight defeat for the Cardinals (3-11) since initiating their patient, spread offense in the triple-overtime win over Golgate last week. As in their loss to William and Mary Monday, the Cards demonstrated how tenuous a strategy it is.

"We hold the ball and miss two or three shots and before we know it, we get 10 or 12 points down it's over," CU Coach Jack Kvancz said.

Indeed, the Caardinals were tied, 20-20, with 3:25 left in the first half, and were down by just five, 27-22, at intermission. Colletta, with eight points and six assists, had a hand in 20 of the Cards' points.

The Knights (6-9) still led by only seven early in the second half. Three times the Cards could have cut the lead back to five. Three times they missed. FDU, off the hook, took a 37-28 lead on a basket by Michael Payne with 12:53 to go and gradually built its margin.

Kvancz said he had no complaints with the offense. But defensively the Cards were another story. Led by alltime FDU scorer Ken Webb, with 17 points and Payne with 16, the New Jersey tem shot 63 percent from the field.

Kvancz said holding the ball "is one of the big advantages of our offense because we couldn't guard our grandmother inside.

"When they hurt us is when they shot the five-footer. They were dropping the ball off at will and laying it in."

The Cards were forced to play catch-up after they started trailing by double figures. It is not their game. In the first half, CU took 19 shots and made 11. In the second, the Cards were 16 of 44.