(South Bend, IN) For the second time this season the Holy Cross Men's Basketball Team beat crosstown rival IUSB Saturday afternoon.
The Saints were down as many as fifteen points in the second half, but a three pointer by junior Yama Kader (Mission Viejo, CA) with 5 seconds remaining in the game capped off an amazing comeback on the road as Holy Cross beat the Titans of IUSB 71-69.
The Saints, playing without star forward Taylor Williams (South Bend, IN), did not show any signs of slowing down as they opened up an early 14-9 lead on the Titans five minutes into the contest. After a lay-up by freshman Zoe Bauer (Culver, IN) the Saints pushed the lead to seven points midway through the first half.
The Titans, however, settled down and started to find a rhythm offensively. They went on a 16-6 run over the next five minutes to take a 3 points leading the Saints 25-22 with six minutes remaining. The Titans pushed the lead to eight points heading into the halftime with the score 38-30.
Kader led the Saints with 9 points going 3 for 6 from behind the three point line. Senior Andrew Tullis (Orland, IN) took advantage of his insertion into the starting lineup for Williams by going 3 for 3 in the half and scoring 6 points. Senior Adam Dobrzykowski provided great energy in the half scoring 6 points and grabbing 6 rebounds as well.
"I told the boys that we were going to have to fight. That it was time to take a stand. Games like this don't come easy, and IUSB was looking to get back at us for the loss we gave them earlier in the year. I told them that we have to believe we can win this game, and if we believe that then everything will take care of itself," said Head Coach Bob Schermerhorn.
Throughout the second half it looked as if the motivation from the Titans for wanting to avenge the loss in November to Holy Cross was too much for the Saints to overcome. IUSB led by as many as 15 points in midway through the second half.
This is when the Saints decided to push back. Coach Schermerhorn decided to switch to a 1-3-1 zone, and it proved to be the difference in the game. The Saints went on 15-2 run over the next five minutes cutting the lead to two points as the Titans led 61-59 with 4:51 left in the game.
The next five minutes was back and forth, and it seemed as if the last team to make a basket was going to win the game. Luckily, it was the Saints who scored the last basket. Kader, who scored only 2 points in the first contest against IUSB hit a three pointer with 5 seconds remaining in the game. After a couple of timeouts, the Saints defense held strong, and Holy Cross beat the host Titans of IUSB 71-69.
"It was just a gutsy performance by our guys. We played that zone for over 12 minutes which is so hard to do, but our guys just grinded and battled all game. You could tell our kids really wanted this game by how excited they were in the locker room aftewards. Beating IUSB once this season was great, but sweeping them was even better. This was an amazing day for Holy Cross Basketball, and our athletics in general," said Coach Schermerhorn.
Even though Holy Cross was on the road the crowd of the Saints was absolutely amazing. The chants of defense down the stretch made it seem like a home game more than a road game. It all culminated with the charging of the court as the buzzer sounded by the loyal student section that came over from Holy Cross for the afternoon game.
Kader finished with a game high 21 points and grabbed 6 rebounds as well. Senior J.T. Breveard (South Bend, IN) had his second solid game in a row by scoring 12 points. Junior Michael VanderPloeg (Kalamazoo, MI) netted 9 points, and freshman Darrell McIntyre (Indianapolis, IN) showed his great energy off the bench as of late netting 9 points as well.
The Saints are now 9-12 overall. With that win they completed the sweep of IUSB, and they have won their second game in a row. Holy Cross is back in action at home January 25th against fellow CCAC opponent Trinity Christian. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.