March 6, 2009

Courtesy Baruch College

The Baruch College women's basketball team advanced in the NCAA Division III basketball tournament by defeating Cabrini College 72-58 on Friday night in the Charles Wolf Gymnasium on the campus of York College of Pennsylvania. The Bearcats will face the winner of the second game tonight, which pits the host Spartans (25-2) against the Christopher Newport University Captains (22-6). That game is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, March 7, at 7:00 p.m.

Kalea Davis recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds in the game, giving her a double-double in 18 consecutive games, extending her current NCAA Division III record.

Baruch (24-5) never trailed in tonight's game. Christina Kelly scored the game's first two points with a jumper just nine second into the game. Kalea Davis added a layup shortly thereafter and Baruch was off and running. Baruch would take an 11-2 lead just 5:40 into the game. "Out plan was to come out with a lot of energy," said head coach Machli Joseph. "We wanted to jump on them and play with the lead, and that's exactly what we did."

Kelly was the offensive story for Baruch in the first half, scoring twelve points as the Bearcats took a 31-18 lead into the break. Cabrini (23-5), who shot just 15.4% from the field in the first half, scored eight of its 18 points from the free throw line.

In the second half, the lead would never fall below double digits. Several times the Cavaliers, who made the NCAA's by winning the Colonial States Athletic Conference, would cut the eleven, but would get no closer.

For the game, Monique Salmon also recorded a double-double, hitting team-highs with 17 points and ten assists. Kelly finished with 16 points, while Awa Diop collected 11 caroms.

"We play better when we're having fun," added Coach Joseph. "We played loose tonight. There is a lot less pressure for us in the NCAA's than in the Conference Tournament."

Cabrini shot 42.9% in the second half, but it was not enough. The Cavaliers were led by Kate Walck, who scored 11 of her team-high 17 points in the second half. Deana Diamico added ten points and five assists, while Brittany McLeod contributed seven points and ten rebounds.

Baruch is now 2-2 all-time in the NCAA Division III Tournament, with all three appearances coming in the last four years. Last year, Baruch lost in the first round to Mary Washington (VA) 73-58. In 2006, Baruch defeated Mt. St. Mary (NY) 66-64 before falling to Bridgewater (VA) 72-49.