By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Cabrini University women’s basketball team has already enjoyed an extraordinary season of success and the Cavaliers will look to continue it on Friday when they open play in the Division III NCAA Tournament.

Cabrini will take on Brooklyn College in the first round in Scranton.

“We’re very excited,” Cabrini head coach Kate Pearson tells KYW Newsradio, “Last year we came up a little bit short [of making the tournament.] So this year, going into the selection show knowing we were going to see our name on the board was very exciting.”

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The Cavaliers knew they were going to see their name because they earned an automatic bid by winning the Colonial States Athletic Conference title. Cabrini is 25-2 and riding an incredible 23-game winning streak. Pearson talks about whether she anticipated her team putting it all together like it has this season.

img 6620 Cabrini Women Bring 23 Game Win Streak Into D3 NCAA Tourney

Cabrini beat Neumann University to win the Colonial States Athletic Conference title. (credit: Cabrini University Athletics

“We had high expectations and we knew we had a lot of talent on the team,” Pearson says, “but we weren’t quite sure at what point we would get there, and definitely didn’t think it was going to click as soon as it did. We had eight freshmen come in this year, and a number of them are contributing right away, and it’s a real tribute to our upperclassmen and to our new players that they were able to gel so quickly and they put all their individual things aside to make sure it was whatever was best for the team.”

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Cabrini plays really good defense. The Cavaliers hold opponents to 55.7 points per game and 34% shooting from the field. Offensively, freshman forward Kate Lannon, who comes off the bench, leads the Cavs in scoring at 11.8 ppg. Junior forward Nomi Washington is right behind her, adding 11.7 points a night to the cause.

Champions of the City University of New York Athletic Conference, Brooklyn is 24-3 on the season.

“They are a similar type team to us,” Pearson says. “They are one of the top teams in their conference. A lot of run and go, try to create some stuff out of transition. They have a good mix of senior leadership and scrappy freshmen.”

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The winner on Friday will get the winner of Keuka College and host Scranton in the second round on Saturday.

Cabrini and Brooklyn get underway at 5:00pm on Friday.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.