MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Cabrini posted a 78-58 victory against Scranton to win the NCAA Sectional at Middlebury, advancing the Cavaliers to the program’s first national semifinal. The Cavaliers (30-1) won their 21st consecutive game and will face Illinois-Wesleyan in next weekend’s semifinal in Salem, Virginia. Scranton finishes its season at 23-8.
Scranton held the lead early in the first half, before Cabrini took over with back-to-back 3-pointers from AJ Williams and Jeremy Knowles that made it 10-8 Cavaliers with under 14 to play.
The Royals tied it at 10-10 before Cabrini began to pull away, going on a 12-0 run to go up 22-10 with 7:54 to play in the half. Cory Lemons and Jon Miller each contributed four points during the run.
A 3-pointer from Scranton’s Travis Farrell at 7:31 stopped the bleeding, giving the Royals their first points in six minutes. Cabrini continued to push, going up 14 on an Aaron Walton-Moss bucket that gave the Cavaliers a 34-20 lead with 25 seconds left. Scranton added a Tommy Morgan 3-pointer at the buzzer, cutting the Cabrini advantage to 34-23 at the break.
Cabrini was paced by eight points and three assists from Lemon, while Walton-Moss added six points. Scranton’s Morgan led all players with nine points at the half, while Ross Danzig and Farrell each added five.
Scranton shot just 35.7 percent from the floor and only 15.3 percent (2-13) from beyond the arc in the first half. Cabrini made 45.5 percent of their field goals (15-33), including 4-10 from 3-point range.
Scranton connected on their first four 3-point attempts to open the second half, cutting the Cabrini advantage to three at 45-42 with 12:17 to play. The Cavaliers increased the lead back to five points at 50-45 before another three from Scranton, this time from Danzig, cut the Cavaliers advantage to 47-45 with 11:14 remaining.
Cabrini then went on a 16-8 run over the next six minutes to increase their lead back to 13 points (66-53) with 5:42 to play. Eight points from Walton-Moss paced Cabrini during the run.
Scranton was able to cut the lead back down to 11 points on two separate occasions, but would get no closer as Cabrini used a 12-5 run down the stretch to complete the 78-58 victory.
Cabrini shot nearly 50 percent from the field, going 29-59, while hitting on 16-17 (94.1 percent) free throws. Scranton improved on their first half numbers, ending the game with a 43.1 field-goal percentage, while going 9-26 from 3-point range. Cabrini held the advantage on the boards, out-rebounding the Royals, 38-25.
Aaron Walton-Moss recorded a double-double to lead Cabrini, scoring a 17 points, while adding 10 boards. Cory Lemons tallied 20 points and added four assists, while Jeremy Knowles (16) and Fran Rafferty (11) rounded out the Cavaliers in double figures.
Morgan led Scranton with 19 points and five assists, going 8-12 from the field. Ross Danzig added 11 points before fouling out, while Matt Swaback and Farrell each added nine points in the loss.