(Notre Dame, Ind.) The Saints opened a 14-0 lead and held the visiting Judson University Eagles without a point until the 15:04 mark Saturday afternoon in the Pfeil Center.
The Eagles climbed back into the game and cut the Holy Cross lead to 5 midway through the first half. However, the Saints closed the half on a 11-0 run over the final 3:43 to take a 21 point halftime lead.
The Saints kept the pressure on in the second half and kept a double digit point lead until the final horn sounded with an 83-64 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) victory.
Holy Cross outrebounded Judson 49-39 and forced the Eagles to turnover the ball 21 times. The Saints converted those turnovers into 22 points.
Four Holy Cross players finished in double figures including Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) recording a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Mary Fitzgerald (Livonia, Mich.) added 15 points and 7 rebounds, Jillian DeLucia (Fishers, Ind.) netted 11 points and dished out 6 assists. Senior Jalisa Edwards (Chicago, Ill.) finished the night with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
The Saints held all five Judson starters under 10 points. Ricquel Butler led the Eagles with 13 points. Kim Peek added 11 for the visitors.
"Everyone stepped up for us today and I thought we gave a total team effort on defense today," said Head Coach Matt Hunsberger. "I was very disappointed that we scored 74 points against Trinity Christian, but gave up 86 in the loss. We have gone back to basics defensively and our girls responded well today."
As a team the Saints shot 47.8% from the field including 7-of-20 shooting from behind the arc Judson was held to 36.6% shooting.
"The bottom line is defense is hard work and if we are going to be a great team it has to start on the defensive end of the court," said Hunsberger. "I'm really proud of the focus and determination of our girls displayed. We came out aggressive from the start and set the tone early."
The Saints improve their record to 5-20 overall and 2-6 in the CCAC. The five wins match last seasons total. Four of the five wins this year have come at home this year.
Holy Cross continues their CCAC schedule on February 2nd, against Purdue Calumet. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30pm. The Saints dropped a 65-63 decision to the Peregrines on December 11th, at the Pfeil Center.
The bottom line is defense is hard work and if we are going to be a great team it has to start on the defensive end of the court. I'm really proud of the focus and determination of our girls displayed. We came out aggressive from the start and set the tone early."