Palos Heights, Ill. - The Holy Cross men's basketball team used a big run in the second half and a near perfect game from big man Ja'Mare Washington to take down the Trinity Christian Trolls Wednesday evening. The Saints came away with an 82-75 victory over the Trolls. With the win, the Saints improve to 13-14 overall and 9-9 in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The Trolls drop to 11-15 and 6-12.
The Saints and Trolls battled evenly for the first half of play with neither team being able to break away from the other. Holy Cross build a 15-9 lead five minutes in after a Ryan Lutz triple, but the lead quickly evaporated as the Trolls tied the game at 17-17 with 12:16 remaining. Again the Saints attacked the Trolls zone defense with Ja'Mare Washington controlling the paint and Lutz and Madison McCaffrey knocking in jumpers. After building a seven point lead, the Trolls finished the half on a 12-3 run before McCaffrey rattled in a triple to give the Saints a 41-40 halftime lead.
Washington was a perfect 7-7 from the field scoring 14 points, while grabbing 7 rebounds. Lutz scored 14 in the opening stanza including 4/7 from three point land, while McCaffrey added 9 points on three triples.
The Holy Cross defense came out flat in the second half giving way to the Trolls offense. At the 13:52 mark the home team had scored 17 points building a 57-49 lead. Back to back to back three point field goals by Lutz, O'Brien Hobbs, and Hobbs again gave the Saints a 58-57 lead. The Saints defense began to lock in and shut down anything the Trolls threw their way. For four straight minutes the Holy Cross defense kept Trinity Christian at 62 points, while building their lead with crisp passing and open looks. When the Trolls finally scored the Saints held a 74-64 advantage with 4:03 remaining. A Caleb Jonkman three cut the lead to 5 with 1:30 remaining but the Saints defense held strong only allowing a desperation bank three point field goal at the end of the game to take the 82-75 victory back home to Indiana.
Big man Ja'Mare Washington led the charge for the Saints with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Washington shot a perfect 10/10 from the field in the victory. Ryan Lutz finished with 17 points while Travon Brackett had a great all-around game with 12 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. O'Brien Hobbs and Madison McCaffrey both scored 12 points a piece. Brandon Lawler and Nate Miller were two defensive catalysts off the bench for the Saints in the second half.
The Holy Cross men's basketball team returns to action Saturday at 3:00pm as they host Purdue Northwest in a pivotal CCAC matchup for conference tournament seeding.