(Hammond, Ind.) The Holy Cross Saints men's basketball team picked up their fourth straight victory of the season on Saturday with a 76-69 victory over fellow Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Purdue Calumet. Zoe Bauer (Culver, Ind.) registered a career day for the Saints scoring 21 points off the bench.
On a day when the opposition shoots over 50% from the floor and outrebounds you, usually something has to give for you to pull out a victory. For the Saints on Saturday, it was the ability to shoot the ball from deep, get to the free-throw line, and most importantly, make your free-throws when given the chance. The Saints used 9 three-pointers and an 8 point advantage at the free-throw line to get this win.
A back and forth first half, where no team led by more than 4 points throughout the first 15 minutes, had the Saints clinging to a 2 point lead with 4:36 left to play. Over these last four plus minutes, the Saints used a 9-7 scoring run, finished off with a jumper by junior Dane Okuda (Huntington Beach, Cali.) with 4 seconds left to take a 33-29 lead into the break.
Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.) got the Saints in scoring with 12 points in the first half.
The second half began much like the first; a very back and forth game which had the game all tied up at 42 with 13:20 left to play. An 8-0 run gave the Saints a spark that they turned into a 28-11 run over the next 11 minutes to extend their lead to 17 points with 3:20 remaining.
Free-throw shooting was key down the stretch which helped the Saints keep their lead to double figures until Roddy Richardson hit a three-pointer with 2 seconds left to make it a 7 point game.
The Saints went on to defeat the Peregrines 76-69 giving them their fourth straight win.
After scoring just 6 points in the first half, Zoe Bauer exploded for 15 second half points, including three of his five made three-pointers, to give him a new career high of 21 points.
"This was a great win for our team," said head coach Bob Schermerhorn. "Purdue Calumet is a tough team, especially at their place, and I'm very proud of how the guys battled for 40 minutes.
The Saints finished with three players reaching double figures in scoring: Bauer (21), Evans (14), and Okuda (14).
Mike Vander Ploeg (Kalamazoo, Mich.) finished with 8 points and 7 assists.
Collectively, the Saints shot 51% from the floor, 56.3% from three-point range, and 84.6% from the foul line.
Bench play proved to be a major factor for the Saints as they outscored Purdue Calumet 25-15 respectively.
The Saints, 9-5 (5-4 CCAC), will close out 2012 at home on Tuesday, December 18th in CCAC play against the University of Saint Francis. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.