Cavs win, advance to 4th straight CSAC final

By Nick LaRosa
February 22, 2012

The Cavaliers will play Keystone College for the CSAC title on Friday, Feb. 24, at the Nerney Field House. -- Jenay Smith / Photo Editor

The Cabrini Cavaliers men’s basketball team advanced to their fourth straight CSAC championship game with an 87-68 victory over the Immaculata University Might Macs on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The 19-point win also gave the Cavs their 44th consecutive home victory over a CSAC opponent.

The Cavaliers and Mighty Macs went back and forth in the game’s first half. The Cavs took a 21-8 lead with 11:28 to go in the first half before Immaculata stormed back and made it a 23-20 game.

“Everybody wanted to make the big play in the first half as opposed to really working inside,” head coach Marcus Kahn said.

The Cavs took a 39-34 lead into halftime behind big performances from sophomore forward Fran Rafferty and senior guard Cory Lemons. Lemons led all scorers in the contest with 23 points and 11 assists while Rafferty finished just behind him with 15 points.

“My teammates really set me up well and I was able to get some easy baskets,” Rafferty said. “We’re much bigger than them and knowing that, I just tried to outrun people, went down the floor and got easy baskets.”

With just a five point margin at the half, Cabrini knew that they had to jump out to a strong start in the second half.

“In the beginning of the game, we were getting inside and scoring and then we got away from it and that’s when they had their run,” John Boyd, senior guard, said. “[Coach Kahn] said keep going with what’s working, keep playing our game and get it inside to our offense and make plays off that.”

As the second half got underway, Immaculata stuck with the Cavaliers and even held a slim 47-46 lead early in the half thanks to a layup by junior guard Nelson Torres. However, the Cavs immediately took the lead away from the Mighty Macs and jumped out to a 63-51 lead near the half’s midway point following a Rafferty three-pointer.

With Cabrini leading by double digits, junior guard Jeremy Knowles and freshman guard Aaron Walton-Moss were called upon to help the team maintain their lead. Knowles finished with 15 points in the game while Walton-Moss led the team with 13 rebounds.

“Coach told us [at halftime] we were doing things right,” Rafferty said. “We just needed to turn the intensity up a little bit on defense. We came out and put the pedal to the metal.”

The Cavs shot 47 percent from the floor and knocked down seven three-pointers over the course of the game. The Cavs also outrebounded the Might Macs by a 56-31 margin.

With CSAC rival Keystone College’s 98-75 victory over Neumann, Cabrini and Keystone will meet in the CSAC final game at the Nerney Field House on Friday, Feb. 24. The Cavs ended their regular season with a 96-85 win over the Giants on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

“The intensity will be a little higher going into a championship game and we’ll be more focused more than any other game because the stakes are higher,” Boyd said.

With this Keystone team fresh in Cabrini’s memory, the Cavs will only need to make a couple of minor adjustments prior to tipoff, according to Kahn.

“We have to get ready to go and get more sharp in a couple of areas, fine tune some things and take care of business the right way on Friday night,” Kahn said.


For more photos from the men’s game, please look here.

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Nick LaRosa

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