Cavs overcome 18-point deficit, beat Builders in season opener

By Kevin Durso
November 16, 2012

The final game of the 2011-12 season saw the Cavs holding an 18-point second-half lead. That night, the Cavs learned that no lead is safe, when the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater rallied back and claimed the 2012 National Championship.

In their 2012-13 season opener against the Apprentice School, the Cavs were facing an 18-point second-half deficit. Much like the team that dashed their title dreams back in March, the Cavs eliminated the notion that the season would open with an upset.

They erased the deficit to win the season-opener for the fifth straight season with an 89-77 overtime victory over the Builders on Friday, Nov. 16, at Virginia Wesleyan College.

The Cavs opened the game on a quick 5-0 run but quickly surrendered the lead as the Builders put together a pair of 10-0 runs out of first-half timeouts to cruise to an 11-point halftime lead, 46-35.

At the half, Cabrini was shooting just 42 percent from the floor. Apprentice School made eight three-point shots in the half compared to Cabrini’s three. The Cavs also were holding a slim margin in the rebound game, 24-19.

In the second half, the Builders raced out to an 18-point lead in 90 seconds. A Cabrini timeout turned the tide and set the Cavaliers back on the right track.

The Cavs slowly but surely trimmed the lead to nine at the halfway point of the second half. Two quick baskets – a three by junior Corey Frizzera and a short two by senior Goran Dulac – cut the lead to three with just under eight minutes to play.

Cabrini struggled with turnovers in the opener, committing in the game, clearly having a rough time staying on the same page. Three straight possessions with a chance to tie ended in turnovers.

Finally, a three by freshman Arron Goodman with five minutes left tied the game at 65.

Two minutes later, a three by junior Fran Rafferty gave the Cavs their first lead since the early stages of the first half.

Another area the Cavaliers struggled in was free throw shooting. Just 36 percent from the charity stripe (8-for-22), the Cavs had a chance to put the game away with foul shots. But their misses kept the lead in striking distance for the Builders, who grabbed a late offensive rebound and converted the put back to knot the score at 73. Jeremy Knowles had the final shot at the buzzer but missed, forcing overtime.

The Cavs controlled the overtime with the freshman Goodman leading the way. Goodman recorded six of Cabrini’s first eight points in the overtime, including a three-pointer with 2:23 remaining.

Cabrini never looked back and sealed their first win of the season in their first game with an 89-77 win.

Goodman led the way with 21 points in his collegiate debut. He posted a double-double, adding 11 rebounds.

Rafferty also had a strong season debut, posting 18 points and seven rebounds.

Also posting a double-double off the bench was junior Jon Miller. Miller finished with 10 points and a team-high 14 rebounds.

A.J. Williams and Jeremy Knowles paced the senior talent. Williams had 15 points while Knowles contributed 11 points with seven rebounds and seven assists.

The No. 10 Cavaliers move on to face the No. 2 Virginia Wesleyan Marlins in the Marlin Tip-off Tournament Final. The action starts on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m.

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Kevin Durso

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