Chicago, Ill. - The Holy Cross men's basketball team notched one of their biggest wins of the season Saturday afternoon. After a back and forth affair for the final six minutes of play, the Saints Madison McCaffrey sealed the game with a three point basket. McCaffrey's three came with 4.2 seconds remaining to give the Saints a 72-70 edge over the Roosevelt Lakers. The Saints improve to 11-9 overall, and 5-6 in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
The Saints built an eight point lead, just five minutes into the game as Bryce Crosen fired in a three pointer, but the home team came roaring back scoring the next 7 points. Ryan Lutz came out on fire as he dropped 10 points in the first 8 minutes of the half. The Saints were able to build another eight point lead off a Karl Columbus jumper with 8 minutes remaining in the half. Unfortunately, the Saints went cold giving up 9 unanswered points over the next five minutes. A Kevin Priebe three ball from behind the arc as time expired, gave the Lakers a 39-32 heading into halftime.
Things looked bad early in the second half for the Saints, as the home team doubled their lead to 14 just two minutes into the second half. The Saints defense locked in and the offense began to find easy shots over the next six minutes as Holy Cross cut the lead to six with 13 minutes remaining in the game. An and-one by Bryce Crosen followed by an Adam Vizard offbalance jumpshot as the shot clock expired gave the Saints their first lead of the half with 8:30 on the clock.
The remaining 8 minutes of the game went back and forth as each team hit big basket after big basket. With 38 seconds remaining the Lakers led by 3 points. After a timeout, Columbus drove the lane where he missed a layup, but exploded back up to tip in his own miss with just 14 seconds left in the game. After a 30 second time out, the Saints trapped the Laker's Korey Ryan in the corner where he was called for a traveling violation. With no timeouts remaining, the Saints inbounded the ball to Karl Columbus who attacked the paint to find a wide open Madison McCaffrey. McCaffrey calmly sunk the three point shot with 4.2 seconds remaining on the clock. A Jake Ludwig shot from the paint missed short as time expired and the Saints escaped the Windy City with a win.
Senior Karl Columbus played his most efficient and best game of the year for the Saints. Columbus finished with 22 points, on 9-15 shooting, while also grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists. The freshman trio of Ryan Lutz, Bryce Crosen, and Nate Miller combined for 34 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. Lutz finished with 15 points on 6-12 shooting, including three triples. Crosen finished with another double-double, 15 points and 10 rebounds. Nate Miller and Columbus both had a team-high 6 assists.
Junior transfer Madison McCaffrey finished with 10 points after hitting the biggest shot of the season for the Saints. McCaffrey has now connected on 52 triples for the year, and shooting 47% overall from behind the arc.
The Saints (11-9) travel to Olivet Nazarene on Wednesday to take on the #14 Tigers at 8:30pmEST.