Knowles, Walton-Moss help Cabrini top Hampden-Sydney in NCAA first round
HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. -- Cabrini held on to defeat Hampden-Sydney 80-78 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
Senior Jeremy Knowles led Cabrini's charge with 24 points, including six 3-pointers and three steals. Sophomore Aaron Walton-Moss recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds to go with six assists. Junior Fran Rafferty added 12 points.
Hampden-Sydney jumped out to an early 3-point lead in the game's first minute, but the Cavaliers responded, as a Rafferty jumper gave Cabrini its first lead of the night at 6-5. The lead went back and forth until the Cavaliers broke it open with a 14-0 run, keyed by a pair of 3-pointers by Rafferty and Knowles each.
The Tigers fought back with a 9-2 run, cutting Cabrini's lead to 35-29 with 4:30 until the break. Hampden-Sydney continued to chip away, as the Cavaliers' advantage had been whittled down to just three points at 42-39 at the halftime break.
The Hampden-Sydney run continued early into the second half, as the Tigers grabbed a slim one-point lead three minutes into the half. A Walton-Moss layup and Knowles 3-pointer returned Cabrini's lead to four points. At the 12:06 mark, senior A.J. Williams capped a 9-2 spurt as the Blue and White extended its lead to 58-51.
Cabrini's lead extended to 72-61 on junior Tim McDaniels' jumper with five minutes to play. Minutes later, senior DeLeon Floyd completed a three-point play, giving the Cavaliers a 79-71 lead with 1:51 to play. The Tigers responded cutting Cabrini's lead to 79-78 with just 42 seconds to play.
The Cavaliers missed a pair of layups in the game's final seconds but secured offensive rebounds on both to maintain possession. With eight seconds to play, the Tigers fouled Williams, sending him to the line for a one-and-one. Williams hit the first and missed the second before Hampden-Sydney's game-winning 3-point attempt bounced off the rim to end the game.
Cabrini's inside duo of Floyd and junior Jon Miller recorded nine points each and combined for seven boards. Williams finished with eight points.
George Harrison led Hampden-Sydney with a game-high 25 points and five steals. Greg Lewis added 13 points and a team-high seven boards, while Leon Hargrove contributed 12 points.