South Bend, Ind. - Junior transfer Travon Brackett took over the second half Wednesday evening. Layups, three's, steals, he did it all. Brackett's career-high 30 points propelled the Saints to a much needed Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference win over crosstown rival Indiana University - South Bend. The Saints turned around a six point halftime deficit to take the 87-82 victory over the Titans. With the win, the Saints are back to .500 at 12-12 overall, and are now 8-7 in the CCAC. The Titans drop to 11-12 on the season, and 5-9 in conference action.
The Titans took a convincing victory out of McKenna Arena to begin conference play earlier this season in November. IUSB looked poised to do that again in the first half against the Saints continuing their hot shooting, firing in 8 three point field goals in the first 20 minutes. The Saints defense was unable to keep up with the high powered ball screen offense of the Titans in the first period. After drawing in help defenders the Titans would kick out to open shooter who continually made Holy Cross pay. Poor three point shooting and inside finishing by the Saints, gave the Titans a 39-33 lead at the half. Ja'Mare Washington went 5 of 8 from the floor in the first half scoring 11 points while grabbing 6 rebounds. Travon Brackett added 7 points in the half.
At halftime, something clicked for the junior from Anchorage, Alaska. Brackett came out like a man possessed - scoring at will. The Alaska product took over the game both offensively and defensively to take a 6 point deficit and turn it into an 11 point lead just 4:30 seconds into the half. Brackett and sophomore Ryan Lutz combined for 17 points in that short scoring burst. An O'Brien Hobbs layup with 13:54 to go gave the Saints their largest lead of the game at 14 points. The Titans showed no signs of quit as senior guard Avery Harmon looked to attack every time down the floor. After two Harmon free throws the Holy Cross lead was cut to six points, with 9:31 remaining. Brackett lined up a three next possession down the floor to extend the lead back to 9 points in favor of the Saints.
Not to be outdone, big man Ja'Mare Washington began to dominate in the post. The Titans defenders had no answer for Washington's strength underneath the basket, as he scored 10 points in the second half on 5/6 shooting. Washington and Brackett traded baskets in the final minutes to help keep the Saint lead at 9 points. Senior Madison McCaffrey finished off the game with an assist to Brandon Lawler, followed by four straight free throws to seal the 87-82 victory.
Travon Brackett scored a career-high 30 points in the victory, shooting a perfect 9-9 in the second half. Brackett finished the game shooting 12/15 overall, while also grabbing 8 rebounds, and dishing out 4 assists. The transfer's big second half on both ends of the floor proved to be the difference maker in the Holy Cross victory. Washington scored 21 points and secured another double-double with 11 rebounds. Washington was also efficient from the floor, connecting on 10/14 shot attempts. Brandon Lawler made his second consecutive start and scored 10 big points, while adding 2 steals. Lawler played exceptional defense on one of the CCAC's top shooting teams. Ryan Lutz rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points on the evening. O'Brien Hobbs returned from injury to score 7 points and hand out a team-high 4 assists.
The Saints (12-12, 8-7) are back in action next Wednesday evening when they take on CCAC South division leader St. Francis (Ill.) at 7:30pm.