Notre Dame, Ind. - With a chance to be tied for first place in the CCAC South, the Holy Cross Saints came up short against RV University of Saint Francis. The visiting Fighting Saints used two big runs in the second half to take down the men's basketball team 82-68. With the loss, Holy Cross drops to 12-13 overall and 8-8 in CCAC play, while the Fighting Saints improve to 16-9 on the season and 10-6 in the conference.
Both teams battled back and forth in the first half, as neither team was able to get anything going offensively. Ryan Lutz provided a 7 point spark to start the game for Holy Cross, but after forcing turnovers and missed shots the Saints were unable to capitalize. Madison McCaffrey hit two triples in the first half to help Lutz with the outside attack. A three at the buzzer went off the backboard for the Fighting Saints who took a 32-29 lead heading into halftime.
The opening possession for the University of St. Francis was the last thing the Saints wanted as Jake Raspopovich came off a ball screen for an uncontested layup. Landus Anderson hit two straight three's for the visitors, who scored 17 points in the first 5 minutes of the second half. Senior O'Brien Hobbs took it upon himself to carry the Saints back into the game scoring 15 points. Hobbs attacked the rim causing the opposition to foul or give him the open layup. The Saints cut the lead to four and were pushing on a fast break when a turnover led to a St. Francis layup on the other end. Unfortunately for Holy Cross, the Saints lack of defense allowed the visitors to score 50 points in the second half. St. Francis went on to take the 82-68 win after timely three point baskets and 86% free throw shooting.
Ryan Lutz was the game's leading scorer with 23 points on 8-13 shooting, while also grabbing 5 rebounds. O'Brien Hobbs came alive in the second half to finish with 17 points, including a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. Nate Miller and Ja'Mare Washington both pulled down 6 rebounds a piece in the losing effort.
The Saints (12-13, 8-8) must bounce back when they travel to conference foe Governors State on Saturday for a 4:00pm matchup.