The goals for the Cavaliers’ 2012-13 season was set the day after the final buzzer on the 2011-12 season ended: get back to Salem and return to the Final Four.
One of the goals has been achieved.
The Cavaliers will return to Salem and advanced to the Elite 8 for the second straight season with a 70-63 win over No. 20 The College of Wooster on Saturday, March 16, at the Timken Gymnasium in Wooster, Oh.
After getting the first points of the game on a jumper by Tim McDaniel, the Cavs fell into an early hole. The Fighting Scots would go on an 18-7 run in the game’s first seven minutes, leaving Cabrini trailing by nine.
The Cavs trimmed the deficit to two with just under nine minutes left in the first half. At 24-22, McDaniel and Aaron Walton-Moss combined for 19 of the Cavs’ 22 points.
Several other Cavs started contributing to the scoring from there. A.J. Williams made a lay-up to tie the game. Jon Miller followed with a lay-up to give the Cavs their first lead since the opening score. Jeremy Knowles, already with three points, made another three-pointer to extend the Cavs’ lead to five.
The Cavs’ lead would be as high as 10 points after a three-pointer by Walton-Moss with four minutes to play. But Wooster would cut the lead back to one with an 8-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Doug Thorpe with 58 seconds remaining in the half. The Cavs would take that one-point lead into halftime.
The Fighting Scots started the second half strong as well, regaining the lead and increasing it to five in the early stages. A three-pointer by Fran Rafferty gave the Cavs the lead again with 12:30 to go.
The Cavs would never lead by more than seven points until the final stages of the game but they also never surrendered the lead from there, finally putting the game away with two lay-ups by Knowles and free throws from Walton-Moss.
Walton-Moss continued his dominance, playing 39 minutes and posting a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds. McDaniel made a major impact on the game as well, scoring 17 points and adding three rebounds. Throughout the game, the Cavaliers rotated only seven players. Knowles, one of the two Cavs to come off the bench, added 10 points and five boards.
The Cavs as a team shot 48 percent from the floor but it was their defense and rebounding that turned the game in their favor. The Fighting Scots shot just 27 percent in the second half and the Cavs out-rebounded Wooster, 45-34.
The Cavs now advance to Salem, Va. for the second straight season to play in the national quarterfinals. They will face another difficult opponent, battling No. 2 Amherst College on Friday, March 22. Time of the game will be announced in the coming days.