RADNOR, Pa. - The Cabrini men's basketball team raised its fifth consecutive Colonial States Athletic Conference championship tonight at Nerney Field House with a 96-79 win over the Neumann University Knights. With the win, the Blue and White punches its ticket to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the program's 12th appearance in the Big Dance.
The Cavaliers improved their overall record to 25-1, marking the fourth time in program history the club has recorded at least 25 wins, all four coming in the last five years. The victory also improved the Blue and White to 69-1 on its home floor over the past five seasons.
Junior Aaron Walton-Moss earned the game's Most Valuable Player honors after posting 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. The junior hit 11-17 from the floor to go with a pair of steals and no turnovers in his 36 minutes of play.
Fellow junior Vinny Walls tallied 31 points in the win, recording his sixth consecutive game with at least 25 points. Walls knocked down 4-8 from three points range. Senior Fran Rafferty added 13 points on 6-7 shooting and six rebounds in winning his fourth straight title.
Both teams exchanged buckets in the early minutes as Neumann held a slim lead. With 16:18 left in the opening half, the Cavaliers trailed 12-8. A lay-up by senior Jon Miller spurred the Blue and White on a 9-0 run and Cabrini never looked back.
Cabrini shot 58.1% from the floor in the first half, including 5-12 from three point range, as the Blue and White extended its lead to as many as 13 points after Walls' three pointer with 5:49 left in the period. After 20 minutes, the Cavaliers held a 46-36 advantage.
The Knights clipped a few points off Cabrini's lead in the opening minute of the first half. Over the next 6:21, the Cavaliers put the game away with a 17-2 run. Six different players scored during the run that put the Blue and White up 67-45, including three pointers by Rafferty and freshmen Matt Forrest and Brent Mahoney. A Walton-Moss lay-up with 9:50 extended the lead to a game high 26 points at 75-49.
On the night, the Cavaliers connected on 56.7% from the floor, among the team's best shooting performances of the season. The club's 10 made three pointers mark the 13th time this season the team has made double digit treys.
Senior Reggie Coleman led the Knights (19-9) with 22 points, while fellow senior Mark Blount recorded a double-double, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman DeShawn Lowman added 17 points.
The Cavaliers must now wait for Monday's NCAA Men's Basketball Selection Show to learn its tournament fate. The show will be broadcast on NCAA.com on Monday, March 3 at 12:30 p.m.