Cabrini Tops Immaculata 68-53 for 1st Three-Peat in CSAC History

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RADNOR, Pa. – After a tight first half that saw three lead changes and four ties, the No. 21 Cavaliers dominated the second half, outscoring Immaculata 42-26, en route to the team's third consecutive CSAC title and eighth overall.  

The 68-53 victory improved the Blue and White to 24-3, tied for the most wins in program history.

Cabrini will also put its 18 game win streak on the line next weekend, as it makes its ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, punching its dance card as conference champion.

The Cavaliers must wait until Monday at 2:30 p.m. to learn its tournament fate on the NCAA Selection Show, broadcasting on

The win also secures a place in conference history for Cabrini, as it is the first women's basketball team in league history to earn three consecutive conference championships.

Junior Kristina Startare earned Most Valuable Player honors after leading five Cavaliers with at least eight points.  The junior scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds.  Classmate Dana Peterson added 12 points and five boards.

Sophomore Tayler Holmes tallied 11 points, including three big second half three pointers.
Senior Megan Decker paired eight points and 13 rebounds, while fellow senior Amber Keys also scored eight points and grabbed 11 caroms to go with four blocked shots.

Both teams struggled to find their rhythm to start the game, as they combined for just 10 points five minutes into the action.  A Startare triple put the Blue and White ahead 11-4 before the Mighty Macs responded with a 9-0 spurt.  

Cabrini crept back, as back to back Peterson three pointers and a Startare lay-up put the Cavaliers up 23-20 with 5:37 left in the half.  Immaculata regained the lead late, before a Peterson free throw sent Cabrini into the half trailing 27-26.

The Blue and White found itself in unfamiliar territory, as it had trailed at the half just once in 2015.  Coincidentally, the club trailed Immaculata 29-27, a game that saw the Cavaliers rally for a 65-64 victory.

Whatever head coach Kate Pearson said at the break worked, as Cabrini scored the first 10 points of the second half, with a Holmes three putting the Blue and White ahead 35-27 at the 15:39 mark.

Immaculata responded, cutting its deficit to 37-35 before junior Meghan Martin's three stemmed the Mighty Mac run.  

Leading 43-39 at the 10:25 mark, the Cavaliers essentially put the game away.  Another Holmes three pointer sparked Cabrini on a 12-0 run, during which Holmes hit a pair of threes and Keys knocked down a pair of jumpers.  

Cabrini forced four turnovers, four missed baskets and a pair of Immaculata timeouts during the 4:20 run.  With 6:05 on the clock, the Cavaliers found themselves with all of the energy in Nerney Field House and a comfortable 55-39 lead.

Despite owning a 29-17 advantage on the glass in the opening 20 minutes, the Cavaliers struggled with its shooting touch.  Cabrini shot just 28.9% from the floor, including 3-14 from three point range.  While the offense looked for its rhythm, the Blue and White relied of a strong defensive effort, as Immaculata converted just 9-27 from the field.

The second half was a different story.  The Cavaliers shot 14-29 after the break, including 4-9 from deep against the nation's second ranked three point defense.  Conversely, the Mighty Macs shot just 5-30 after the break, with just one field goal coming within the three point line.

Cabrini also dominated the paint, outscoring Immaculata 30-10 in the lane.  The Blue and White outrebounded the Mighty Macs 56-32 on the day, including a 23-10 advantage on the offensive boards that led to a 24-3 cushion in second chance points.