Sports Information Director
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Holy Cross men's basketball team hit the hardwood for the first time in 2014 on Wednesday evening in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action against the Crimson Wave of Calumet St. Joseph. An exciting first half where 79 combined points were scored was toned down in the second half as both teams shot under 40% from the field. It was the Saints, however, who were able to take control in the second half, led by senior Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Calif.), and walk away with a 74-60 CCAC win. With the win, the Saints improve to 12-5 overall and 5-1 in the CCAC.
Both teams came out in Wednesday evening's CCAC matchup shooting the ball exceptionally well in the early stages. The Crimson Wave were particularly effective from three-point distance. Brian Brilmyer hit three three-pointers as the team combined to make six three-pointers to open up the game with an 18-11 advantage over the Saints just five minutes into the game. After the early surge from the Crimson Wave, the Saints responded with eight unanswered to retake a one-point lead at 19-18 following the jumper from Zoe Bauer (Culver, Ind.).
The excitement of the pace of this first half was just getting started. In the first 20 minutes, there were eight lead changes between the two teams. Holy Cross continued to find success inside as senior big men Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Parker Dominguez combined for 16 points off 8-of-11 shooting with seven rebounds. For the half the Saints scored 22 of their 40 points in the paint and clung to a 40-39 lead over the Crimson Wave following the late basket from Franqlin Gatson. Both teams shot over 50% from the field in the half with the Saints at 68% and the Crimson Wave at 56%. The majority of the damage by the Crimson Wave was done beyond the three-point line as they hit 8-of-15 shots. Both teams were rather careful with the ball as there were just 11 combined turnovers.
In the second half, both teams cooled down shooting the ball. The Saints opened it up with four straight points to extend their lead to five points following two free-throws from Dominguez. With ten minutes gone by in the half the Saints had extended their lead to 10 points following a 6-0 run that was capped off by a Dane Okuda (Lakewood, Calif.). An ensuing 9-0 run by the Crimson Wave, however, brought the lead down to just one point with 6:30 remaining in the game.
The Saints would extend their lead to as many as six points before the Crimson Wave once again brought it back to a one-point game with under five minutes to play. Drew Moore (Dayton, Ohio) knocked down two key free-throws to spark a 15-2 run over the last four minutes as the Saints were able to comfortably pull away and secure their first win in 2014 by a final score of 74-60.
Parker Dominguez matched his productive first half with an incredible second half as he scored 16 points off 5-of-7 from the field, 6-of-7 from the foul line while grabbing five rebounds. Dominguez finished the game with a new career-high 24 points with nine rebounds. Drew Moore (13) and Brandon Evans (11) also contributed double figured scoring numbers.
The Saints finished the game with just seven turnovers; their lowest amount of the season. They also shot over 50% from the field for the seventh time this season.
After hitting 8-of-15 shots from distance in the first half, the Saints held the Crimson Wave to just 2-of-15 in the second half. Franqlin Gatson (23) and Brian Brilmyer (17) combined for 40 of the teams 60 total points.
Holy Cross (12-5, 5-1 CCAC) will resume conference play at home on Saturday, January 11 with a 3:00 start against Trinity International (3-13, 1-4 CCAC). Following the game with the Trojans, the Saints will play three of their next four conference games on the road.