The Cabrini College men’s basketball team reclaimed first place and finished their home stand with a 94-79 win over Keystone College.
The weather did not have an effect, as the stands filled with parents, students and alumni at the Nerney Field House Saturday afternoon, Jan. 26.
The Cavaliers were out for revenge after their last meeting with Keystone, played just a week earlier, ended in a 102-87 loss.
The game was full of energy from the start. Keystone struck first with a three pointer. Cabrini struck back with a jumper and aggressive play to later tie the game at five after just two minutes of play.
“We had a better energy today,” fifth-year head coach Marcus Kahn said, “compared to when we got off the bus at Keystone.”
For the majority of the first half, Keystone controlled the pace of play and had the lead. But the Cavs had a good energy and continued to answer back with points of their own.
Cabrini stayed within five points for most of the first half. Then Keystone got out to their largest lead in the first half with a score of 34-25.
Cavs senior A.J. Williams made a three pointer which started Cabrini’s comeback as fellow senior Jeremy Knowles hit another unanswered three. Keystone got two points off of a foul. Then Knowles pulled up for another three pulling the Cavs within two. A missed jumper by Keystone led to another layup by Williams to tie the game at 36 with less than four minutes left in the first half.
The lead went back and forth until the two teams tied at 40 and with 31 seconds left a layup by freshman Brad Fagan gave the Cavs a two-point lead. A free-throw from Keystone made the score 42-41 in favor of Cabrini at the end of the first half.
“We had to make a few adjustments going into the second half,” Kahn said, “to get our guys ready mentally.”
The second half started just as the first with both teams coming out with a lot of energy and the lead changing hands on almost every possession.
But Cabrini soon took control of this game. Tied at 51, Cabrini scored 11 unanswered points giving them a 62-51 lead. The Cavaliers didn’t look back from there moving the ball around getting points in the paint with sophomore Aaron Walton-Moss and opening up three point shots for Knowles and junior Fran Rafferty.
Cabrini pulled away to their biggest lead of the game of 19 with a score of 81-62 with a little over 5 minutes left in the game.
Rafferty iced the scoring with a layup.
Rafferty finished with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Walton-Moss added his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 14 rebounds and came up just three assists short of a triple-double with seven.
Knowles had a career-high 29 points and went 11-for-1,9 a new career high in field goals made. He also tied a career high in steals with 4.
“It felt great to get in a rhythm,” Knowles said. “I tried to help my team out hitting shots when we needed them.”
The Cavaliers are hitting the road to Neumann University looking to continue their three-game win streak and stay on top of the CSAC on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m.