The last time the Cabrini women’s basketball team took on Pennsylvania Athletic Conference team Neumann College was back in November with a close 66-62 win. The time came again on Monday, Feb. 11 to play the Knights on Cabrini College’s hardwood with expectations to not simply “squeak by” their opponent. Luckily again for the Cavs on this night, the need to “squeak by” was enough to put another “W” in their win column with a 51-48 victory. This now puts the women in a great position in the PAC playoffs with an 11-1 record in the conference.
Within Cabrini’s starting five of the night, junior Kayleen Smith, junior Brittany McLeod and sophomores Kate Walck, Deana DiAmico and Alyssa Brady, three of these contributed in great amounts to give the last ounce of effort to hand the Knights their fifth loss in the conference.
Brady led her team with 19 points, a season-best, Smith registered in the books with nine points and following right behind teammate Smith and Walck dropped eight.
In the opening of the contest, the teams were mirroring each other with fast-paced play and “one-and-done” shots. After lead changes were being swapped back and forth within the first ten minutes, the final ten minutes of the half went to the Knights who pulled away by seven, 23-16, on fast-break points and Cavalier turnovers. The Cavs shot a mere 21.4 percent, 0-9 from beyond the three-point arc, compared to a 34.6 field goal percentage from Neumann College. Head coach Bobbi Morgan said, “We played poorly in the first half, no zip.”
Entering the second half, Smith brought her team within one point at the 17:35 mark. The possibility was at the tips of their fingers. That possibility then fell down a few rungs of the ladder when Neumann charged right back with adding seven more points to the scoreboard.
It took nearly four minutes of back-to-back play for the royal blue and white to take the long-awaited lead. Again, Smith netted a layup to make the score read 30-29 and seconds later, the Knights would take their final lead of the game before the inside presence of Smith answered with yet another layup to make it 32-31.
Morgan said, “I thought Alyssa Brady played a really tough game and that Kayleen Smith was solid inside.”
As time dwindled down and the Cavs maintained the game, DiAmico put the lead in the bag with a set of foul shots to inch out the three-point win.
“We didn’t rebound well and we didn’t finish like we should for this point of the season. Neumann is very physical and they pushed us around a bit. We have to get tougher,” Morgan said.