Senior night for Ursuline went about as well as it possibly could have gone for three quarters.
But The Lions had to fend off a rally before defeating Cabrini 66-57 on Wednesday night to improve to 24-5 on the season. Cabrini dropped to 19-10.
“I try to tell my girls that no matter what, you always play hard to the end,” Ursuline coach Andrea Williams said. “I think we made a few careless turnovers at the end that were letting them back in the game. ... You just have to understand: You play a full 32 minutes.”
Ursuline dominated early, scoring 18 points in the first quarter, with most of the points coming in the transition game. Its halfcourt offense was effective as well, earning many trips to the free throw line. The Lions locked down Cabrini defensively as it took the Crescents over six minutes to score their first field goal. Ursuline immediately countered with a three-point play.
“I think we played really good defense, which caused turnovers,” Williams said. “That gave us easy buckets. And that’s what you want. You’re defense will turn into your offense.”
A second quarter riddled with fouls gave Cabrini more scoring opportunities. While they capitalized on most them, the Lions extended their lead to 33-15 at halftime. Brooklyn Mitchell and Kourtney Weber combined for 25 of Ursuline’s first-half points.
Also hurting Cabrini was the loss of Rakell Spencer midway through the second quarter. Spencer was fouled on a drive to the basket and landed awkwardly on her right leg.
Cabrini’s offense improved in the second half, largely due to its ability to draw fouls, but the Lions still held a 47-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Crescents switched to a full court press defense, and it gave Cabrini a spark in the last quarter. They chipped away and eventually cut the Ursuline lead down to nine points. But it was too much to overcome in the end, and the Lions held on for the victory.
Mitchell led the Lions with 26 points.
“It feels good (to be locked in like that),” Mitchell said. “It feels like I’m focused and makes me feel like a leader.”
Weber finished with 17 points, taking her over 1000 points for her career. “I’ve been working really hard in the gym,” Weber said. “It’s all paying off.”