Sports Information Director
WHITING, Ind. -- The Holy Cross men's basketball team closed out the regular season in dramatic fashion on Saturday evening with a 69-66 win over the Calumet St. Joseph Crimson Wave. After leading by as many as many as 19 points in the game, the Crimson Wave fought all the way back to take a six-point lead with five minutes remaining. A late steal by senior Parker Dominguez, however, sealed the deal as the Saints held on for their program-best 20th win of the season.
The Saints got things started quickly in the first half of Saturday's series finale holding a seven-point lead with 9:07 remaining in the first half.
The success for the Saints in the first half was just getting started, however, as they extended their lead to 14 points with less than four minutes remaining. A Dane Okuda three-pointer followed by a tip-slam from Darrell McIntyre gave the Saints their largest lead of the game at 19 points. The Crimson Wave would close the first half on a 5-0 run, including a deep three-point shot at the buzzer, to make it a 43-29 Saints lead at the break.
Offensive production was going extremely well for the Saint throughout the first 20 minutes as they went 18-for-31 (58.1%) from the field, 5-for-10 (50.0%) from distance and had 10 second-chance points on seven offensive rebounds.
As we would soon realize, however, this game was far from over.
The Crimson Wave quickly opened up the second half with three three-pointers as they cut the Saints lead down to six points at the 16:34 mark.
A pair of technical fouls called on the Crimson Wave gave the Saint four shots at the foul line, which junior Drew Moore knocked down three to extend their lead to 11 points.
Following the trio of free-throws made by Moore, the Saints offense went completely cold as the Crimson Wave began chipping away at their lead. A three-pointer from Robert Jackson capped off a 13-0 run by the Crimson Wave to tie the game at 49-49. Drew Moore finally found an answer for the Saints to get them back on the board and retake a three-point advantage.
With their lead back up to five, the offense once again began to slow down. Marcus Moody finished off a fast break basket for the Crimson Wave to give them their first lead since the 16:21 mark of the first half. Franqlin Gatson made things even tougher for the Saints as his jumper gave the Crimson Wave their largest lead of the game at six points with just five minutes left to play.
The pressure was now on more than ever for someone to make a play.
With time continuing to run off, Drew Moore came up with a big steal resulting in free-throws for Darrell McIntyre. McIntyre went 1-for-2 from the foul line to give the Saints the late one-point advantage.
The Saints defense held strong in the final seconds making shots difficult for the Crimson Wave. With four seconds left and the Crimson Wave holding possession, however, one more defensive stand was going to be needed.
Senior Parker Dominguez came up with the defensive play of the game after stealing the inbound pass. Dominguez went 1-for-2 from the stripe after being fouled but grabbed another key offensive rebound on his miss. He would then make 1-of-2 from the line again, forcing a full-court heave by the Crimson Wave that came up short, as the Saints held on to win 69-66.
It was a tale of two halves in this game as the Saints struggled shooting the ball in the second half finishing 8-for-25 (32.0%) from the field, 1-for-6 (16.7%) from distance and 9-for-17 (52.9%) from the foul line.
Robert Jackson scored a game-high 30 points for the Crimson Wave while Franklin Gatson added 18. Both players hit four shots from beyond the arc.
- With the win, the Saints have now set a program-record with 20 wins in a single-season.
- Drew Moore added to his single-season record with his 81st made three-pointer this season.
- The Saints will officially end the season never having lost three consecutive games; the first-time in program history.
The Saints finished the regular season 20-10 overall and 13-6 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). The team will host Robert Morris University on Wednesday, February 26 for the CCAC Quarterfinals. Tip-off time will be posted when made official.