The Lady Cavs were noted underdogs. There was no question about it.
They entered the gym of No. 10 Catholic University on Friday, March 2, making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2009.
On a 19-game winning streak, the Lady Cavs had grabbed the attention of an entire campus and an entire conference. They turned even more heads in their first-round game against Catholic.
Cabrini held a six-point lead during the first half, played to a 23-23 tie at halftime and kept the score close during the second half. With under five minutes to play, the Catholic lead was only four points.
Despite eventually losing the game, 52-44, the Lady Cavs played with the same heart and drive that they brought to the court all season. They looked at the long odds and truly believed they could defy them. They nearly succeeded.
That alone should boost spirits for next season. But there are plenty of favorable signs for the Lady Cavs in the 2013-14 season.
The Lady Cavs lose just two seniors this season. With a strong core returning, they should be favored in the CSAC.
This core led the Lady Cavs. They get scoring from several sources, both on the perimeter and inside the paint. But most of all, this team will enter next season with a strong defense.
Defense led the Lady Cavs to the CSAC title. Defense nearly helped the Lady Cavs pull off a major first-round upset. With a similar performance in 2013-14, the Lady Cavs could be in a similar position as they were in the first round, minutes away from an upset victory.
The motivation from this year and the near-upset should motivate the Lady Cavs, making for a bright future for Cabrini women’s basketball.