Sports Information Director
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The Holy Cross men's basketball team closed out their four-game road trip on Saturday afternoon against the Eagles of Robert Morris University in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action. After leading for nearly the entire first half, the Eagles would respond late to take a 41-39 advantage to the break. Turnovers became a factor in the second half as the Saints gave the ball away 10 times which Robert Morris converted into 13 points. Despite a late push, the Saints dropped their lone regular season meeting with the Eagles, 80-76.
The Saints got things going inside in the early stages of Saturday afternoon's CCAC showdown with the Eagles. The Trio of Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and Clayton Webb (Dallas, Texas) gave the Saints several reliable options throughout the first 20 minutes of action.
With the Saints big-men taking care of the offense inside, the guards gave a nice boost following back-to-back baskets from Drew Moore (Dayton, Ohio) and Dane Okuda (Lakewood, Calif.) as the Saints opened up a 21-13 lead with 9:46 to play in the half. Clayton Webb would continue his strong first half and extend the Saints lead to nine points with 7:12 remaining before Robert Morris closed the first half on a 19-10 run to take a two-point lead to the break.
Clayton Webb led the charge for the Saints with nine points while four others contributed at least five points in the first 20 minutes. The Saints shot an impressive 17-for-26 (65.4%) from the field although they found themselves behind 41-39.
Back-to-back baskets from Brandon Evans and Clayton Webb quickly helped the Saints retake the lead to open the second half. On the ensuing possession, however, Jarrell Turner responded to tie the game at 43-43.
A turnover on their next possession, resulting in two free-throws for the Eagles, jumpstarted a 5-0 run for Robert Morris and began to put the pressure on the Saints to respond. An Evans tip-in followed by a defensive stop and Dominguez basket brought the Saints back within one.
After getting within one point of the lead, ball security started to become an issue for the Saints. The team turned it over four times in a two-minute stretch which allowed Robert Morris to extend their lead eight points with 12:29 to go.
Dane Okuda capped off an 8-2 run for the Saints with a jumper to bring them within two points before Jarrell Turner quickly responded to make it a two-possession game. The Eagles continued to come up strong down the stretch as Kashaune McKinney drained a three-pointer to put them up seven with less than five minutes remaining.
The Saints found themselves behind 10 points with just under two minutes to play, but didn't quit. Clayton Webb scored the last six points for the team to bring them within four, but unfortunately they had run out of time. The Eagles held on late for the 80-76 win over the Saints.
Finishing with 18 turnovers, the Saints gave the ball away 10 times in the second half which the Eagles converted into 13 points.
Kashaune McKinney scored 22 off the bench to lead the Eagles.
- RMU held a 35-9 advantage in bench scoring, a 17-9 advantage in points off turnovers and a 17-13 advantage in second-chance points.
- Clayton Webb added his third double-double of the year after finishing with a new career-best 24 points.
- The Saints suffered their first defeat of the year when scoring 70 or more points and when shooting above 50% from the field.
The Saints (19-9, 12-5 CCAC) will return home for the final time during the regular season on Wednesday, February 19 with a 7:30 pm tip-off against the University of St. Francis on senior night. Prior to the tip, five senior members of the men's basketball program will be honored for their accomplishments as Holy Cross College student-athletes.