The women’s basketball players spent their New Year in St. Thomas. They traveled on Dec. 28th to play in the Sunsational Hoops Classic against St. Mary’s and Kean University.
Kayleen Smith, a junior English and communication major, said, “Going down there, we’ve never played these teams before because they aren’t in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference. The atmosphere was so relaxed, which made us play with no pressure or tension during the games.”
Cabrini defeated St. Mary’s 72-68 in their opening game. Sophomores Alyssa Brady and Deana DiAmico led the offense with 14 points each. Junior Nikki Duggan also added 12 points. The Cavaliers had about a 10-player advantage on St. Mary’s.
In the beginning of the game, Cabrini struggled against St. Mary’s defense. Brady and DiAmicos’ plays helped the Cavs stand strong until St. Mary’s scored to put themselves in the lead at the half by 33-28.
In the second half, Duggan stepped in with 13 minutes remaining with back-to-back threes, which allowed Cabrini to pull in front by the end of the game. St. Mary’s players Steph Saint-Aubin and Tiara Hurte helped lead their team throughout the game.
Cabrini had a phenomenal win, which brought them to 5-3 and helped them advance to play Kean University, which was ranked 12th in Division III. Cabrini had a 81-55 loss to this teahm. Sophomores Kate Frinfrock and DiAmico added 13 and 11 points to the game. Junior Kayleen Smith and sophomore Kate Walck scored 10 and seven points.
The Cavaliers played a tough game and stayed strong, but were behind 11 points at the half mark. The Cavaliers had a poor start during the second half, which then put the game out of reach. The Cavaliers placed second in the tournament out of four teams.
DiAmico, a sophomore undeclared major, said, “We lost our second game to the 12th team of the nation. I think it was good for us that we went up against such good competition because it prepared us for the rest of our season.”
After the weekend, the women had three days to relax. They were able to visit another beach on the island called Koki. They went snorkeling and then got dressed up to celebrate New Years Eve at a Yacht Club for dinner. They listened to two different bands, had their choice of restaurants and watched their own ball drop on one of the yachts.
Smith said, “We were there for basketball. We fundraised for two years to go on this trip. This trip was unforgettable and helped the team mature.”