Cavs take home bragging rights in fourth-straight win against Eastern

By Kevin Durso
January 31, 2012

With an 82-76 victory, the men’s basketball team emerged victorious in the Battle of Eagle Road for the fourth-straight season. The Cavs now hold a 19-1 record this season. -- Kevin Durso / Asst. Sports Editor

Any Cabrini coach, athlete and even student will tell you that there is one game on the sports calendar that is instantly marked as a must-win. The Battle of Eagle Road is the war between two neighboring schools and their respective sports programs.

This season’s men’s basketball version of the Battle of Eagle Road had a familiar outcome. For three straight seasons, the Cabrini men had been victorious. On Monday, Jan. 30, they made it four straight with an 82-76 win over the Eastern Eagles in front of an electric, capacity crowd at Eastern University.

For the Cavaliers, this non-conference game against the Eagles broke a string of eight straight games against CSAC opponents, but the intensity of this game made it feel like a conference match.

“We’ve played a couple of games like this,” Marcus Kahn, head coach, said. “For a non-conference game this was very physical.”

Three of Cabrini’s starters finished with four personal fouls in a contest full of them but none fouled out of the game.

Leading the way on this night was senior guard Cory Lemons. After netting 18 points in a weekend win against Centenary College, Lemons posted a game-high 27 points in the win.

Recently, Lemons has received some attention from esteemed local media, but having the spotlight on him hasn’t overshadowed the team’s success.

“I’ve got good teammates,” Lemons said. “It’s not all about me. It’s a five-man game. We’ve got 15 players pushing every day.”

Lemons was clutch down the stretch, hitting four straight shots with under five minutes to play. He finished with three rebounds and two assists, and went 12-for-21 from the floor.

“He’s an unbelievable player,” John Boyd, senior guard, said. “He’s our leader. He sets the tempo every game, gets everyone involved and scores all at the same time. Playing with him makes a lot of things easier.”

At 19-1, the Cavaliers are on pace to break their win total from last year’s regular season, where they recorded 20 victories. Many of their wins this season have come with a balanced offense, which was on display against the Eagles.

Four Cavaliers posted double-figures in points. Aside from Lemons’ 27, Boyd added 12 points. Junior guard A.J. Williams had 13 points, and freshman guard Aaron Walton-Moss netted 10 points.

“We have a ton of scorers,” Boyd said. “Everybody can score on any given night. I think that’s going to take us far this year.”

“We’re more experienced,” Kahn said. “We’ve got a good group of guys and they come out and make things happen.”

With the Battle of Eagle Road over, the Cavaliers look ahead to their final five games on the regular season, all against CSAC opponents. Their next game is Wednesday, Feb. 1, against Rosemont College at the Nerney Field House. The Cavaliers are 13-0 against conference opponents and have won 41 straight games on their home court.

But for one night, a game didn’t involve conference standing, an undefeated record or a home winning streak. This win was simply about school pride.

“It’s not as much for us as it is for Cabrini,” Kahn said. “It’s a great win. We want to beat them, any sport, anytime, anywhere; it doesn’t matter. Cabrini wants to beat Eastern. It’s a great win anytime we can come out and do it.”

“The whole school comes out for this game,” Boyd said. “It’s just a huge rivalry and the winner takes home the Eagle Road sign. We’ve had it and we’re going to keep it here.”

That sign is the prize that the team wants, and even with their sights set on their third straight CSAC title, the players and coaches enjoy being crowned victors in this annual affair.

“Coach likes the sign in his office so we’re going to keep it there,” Lemons said.

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Kevin Durso

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