Eagles edge Lady Cavs in close contest

By Robert Riches
January 31, 2012

Cavaliers sophomore guard/forward Annie Rivituso attempts a shot during the Cabrini-Eastern women’s basketball game on Monday, Jan. 30. -- Kevin Durso / Asst. Sports Editor

The Lady Cavaliers basketball team dropped a hard-fought contest to the Eastern University Eagles by a score of 61-51 at the gymnasium on Eastern’s campus.

The loss puts the Lady Cavs at 7-13 overall, with no impact on their Colonial States Athletic Conference standings, which is at 5-6. The Eagles improved to 15-4 overall.

“I think we played hard the whole game, just think we had a couple shots not drop late in the game,” Kate Pearson, head coach, said.

This game was another installment in the heated Battle of Eagle Road, and was the first game of a doubleheader, with the men’s teams facing off at 8 p.m. The bleachers of the gymnasium were flooded with blue on one side and maroon on the other, almost reminiscent of a combination between oil and vinegar.

“We came together and used the energy of the gym,” Colleen Stewart, sophomore forward, said.

After winning the opening tip-off, the Cavs got the ball rolling off to a quick start and took a 5-0 lead. However, the Eagles went on a 15-0 run which evaporated the Cavs’ lead and put them up 15-5.

The teams traded leads throughout the first half, with Cabrini even holding on to a 20-19 lead for several minutes. Ultimately, they were unable to finish with a win. Both teams entered their respective locker rooms at halftime with the Eagles holding on to a narrow 23-22 lead. A dominant second half led to a victory for the Eagles.

“[Eastern’s] a tough team, they’re one of the better teams in their division,” Jenn Casper, senior guard/forward said. “We did pretty good.”

Sophomore guard Brittany Sandone was the Cavs’ leading scorer, with 13 points in 36 minutes played, and was the only Cavalier to reach double figures in points. Freshman forward Megan Decker led the team in rebounds with 13. The leader in assists for the Cavs was sophomore guard MaryKate McCann with a total of six.

The leading scorer for the Eagles was freshman forward Meghan Nowak, who finished with 28 points and was one rebound short of a double-double. Senior forward Bekah Roland actually did finish with a double-double, with 20 points and 13 rebounds, good enough to lead the team. Sophomore guard Katie Lincoln led the Eagles in assists, with five.

“I went in knowing I had the full support of my teammates, and just trying to play hard,” Amber Keys, freshman forward, said.

For the Cavaliers, this is their second consecutive loss against Eastern, with the last one coming from a 64-45 loss at the Nerney Field House on Jan. 31, 2011.

This loss to the Eagles extends the Lady Cavs’ losing streak to six games, their longest losing streak of the season. They also have lost nine out of their last 10 games. However, the team is optimistic about a strong finish to the 2011-12 season.

“We’re just talking about trying to get better every single game,” Pearson said. “And tonight, I do think we got better.”

The Lady Cavs are also convinced that working together as a cohesive team will be the way to go in order to get back on the winning track.

“We’ve been struggling lately, but we built off of each other,” Stewart said. “We really played as a team today.”

While the Battle of Eagle Road may not have ended in ideal fashion for the Lady Cavs, they still went down with a good fight in a memorable game.

“I really liked our team’s effort,” Pearson said. “It was a great atmosphere, which is always something we want to play in.”

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Robert Riches

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