Sports Information Director
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Holy Cross men's basketball team kicked off the month of February with a hard-fought 79-68 victory over the Panthers of Purdue North Central. In a game that was tight down to the wire, the duo of Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Calif.) helped lift the Saints to their program-best 16th win of the season.
Four consecutive baskets from Brandon Evans to open the game gave the Saints a fast start offensively in Monday night's CCAC matchup. The lead was quickly extended to eight points following the Drew Moore (Dayton, Ohio) which capped off a 10-2 run to open the game. An ensuing 8-0 run by the Panthers, however, cut the lead to two points in less than two minutes.
Despite never trailing in the first half, the Panthers gave the Saints all they could handle. When it seemed like the Saints would gain some cushion with a lead, there the Panthers were firing back. With the score tied up at 19-19, Dane Okuda (Lakewood, Calif.) capped off an 8-0 run to give the Saints an eight-point advantage with 7:45 remaining in the half. The Saints would again use a run to extend the lead to as many as nine points with 6:32 to play but the Panthers would close out the half on a 15-9 run to make it a 39-36 Saints lead at the break.
Brandon Evans (11) and Parker Dominguez (9) accounted for all 20 of the Saints points-in-the-paint while combining to shoot 9-of-11 from the floor. Tyler Kowalkowski and Terrell John each added 10 points to lead the Panthers.
The Panthers opened up the second half with momentum and took their first lead of the game following a three-pointer from Kowalkowski less than two minutes into the half. Both teams would exchange leads over the next few possessions before the Saints defense picked up some key stops and the offense built up a 53-48 lead.
Following their recent run, the Saints offense cooled down as the Panthers rattled off a 7-0 run to gain their largest lead of the night at two points. It was then when Drew Moore knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to once again shift the momentum back in the Saints favor. Purdue North Central, though, was not finished. Nick Lafty gave the Panthers a 60-59 lead with 8:14 remaining following the three-pointer. It would take one more lead change by the Saints to steal the momentum down the stretch as the duo of Evans and Dominguez rallied off four consecutive points to seize control. While the Panthers would not go away easily, the Saints defense held strong and did not give up their lead for the final seven minutes. A 10-1 run over the final three minutes, much due to strong free-throw shooting, lifted the Saints to a 79-68 win over the Panthers.
The second half trio of Parker Dominguez (15), Brandon Evans (11) and Drew Moore (10) on the offensive end accounted for 36 of the Saints final 40 points in the victory. Dominguez finished with a game-high 24 points on 9-for-10 shooting while Evans and Moore contributed 22 and 15 points respectively.
- Parker Dominguez matched his career-high with 24 points in the win. His 9-of-10 (90%) field goal percentage is the best in a single-game in Holy Cross men's basketball history.
- Brandon Evans and Parker Dominguez each scored 20+ points in a game for the first time in their careers.
- With the trio of three-pointers made, Drew Moore now has 14 games with three or more three-pointers.
- The 56.6% shooting from the field is the second-best performance by the Saints this season (58.7%, GLCC).
- The Saints improve to 12-0 when scoring 70 or more points in a game.
- With the win, the team sits at 16-7 overall and 9-3 in the CCAC. They currently sit atop the CCAC South Division standings.
The Clash with the Titans
The Saints (16-7, 9-3 CCAC) will return to McKenna Arena on Wednesday night with their final meeting of the regular season with CCAC-rival IU South Bend. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The Saints won the previous meeting this season on Nov. 26 by a score of 68-63.