Cabrini’s men’s basketball team knocked off cross-road rival Eastern University 89-71 on Monday, Jan. 31 at the Nerney Field House. The win boosted the Cavaliers’ record to 14-4 for the season and stretched their current winning streak to eight games.
The 18-point win was Cabrini’s third-straight victory against the Eastern Eagles.
Senior Dom Farrello contributed 20 points in the win while sophomore Cory Lemons added 16 points and tallied nine assists. Lemons contributed the team’s success to the strong post defense they played.
“We pressed and it got us a lot of turnovers,” Lemons, sophomore business administration major, said.
The Cavaliers took a 42-36 lead into halftime before beginning the second half on a 16-4 run. By the midway point of the half, the Cavs had gone on a 27-8 run to put the game out of reach.
Having gotten into foul trouble at the end of the first half, getting the starters back on the court was key to beginning the second half off so strongly, according to Farrello.
At one point, the Cavaliers stretched their lead to 29 points over the Eagles. Sophomore Goran Dulac recorded nine of his 16 points in the second half while also collecting three rebounds in the game’s second frame.
“We had a good start to both halves and in the second half we put it away,” head coach Marcus Kahn, in his third year with the Cavaliers, said. “We focused more on what was working in the first half and stuck with it [in the second half].”
“The team did a really good job tonight and worked both ends of the floor,” assistant coach Saleem Brown said.
Overall, the Cavs shot nearly 48 percent from the floor and made nine of their 11 free throws. Farrello and freshman Fran Rafferty combined for five of the team’s eight three-pointers in the win.
With a capacity crowd of 1,500 in attendance, coaches and players alike recognized how much the win meant for the college and its students.
“It was huge,” Brown said of the win. “It’s the Battle of Eagle Road and you never want to lose that game.”
Farrello, senior exercise science and health promotion major, echoed Brown’s response but stressed the importance of winning, no matter the opponent.
“It always feels good to win any game,” Farrello said. “But especially when the stakes are higher and all of the students are at the game.”
Just this past weekend, Farrello became the 15th men’s basketball player to reach the 1,000-point plateau in a win against Philadelphia Biblical University.
Even though the game was not a Colonial States Athletic Conference matchup, so much was on the line for both programs. The win kept the Cavaliers atop the CSAC standings with Gwynedd Mercy College and Keystone College.
Chanting, screaming and holding up signs, the Cabrini faithful reacted to the energy of the players and let the Eastern fans in attendance know that they still had the edge in the Battle of Eagle Road.
“For the whole school it is big,” Kahn said. “It is about the pride of Cabrini.”