Starting the year 0-9, and coming off their worst performance of the year to Marian College, NAIA Division I Illinois Tech (3-5) were waiting for the Saints Saturday afternoon at the Marian College tournament.
17 lead changes kept the score close throughout the game. The Saints jumped up by 6 points early in the first half for their largest lead of the game. Tech bounced back to a 4 point lead with 4:02 remaining. The Saints led 28-27 for their first halftime lead of the year. Elliott Jones Jr. led all halftime scores with 12, shooting 4 for 9 from the field.
The second half was much of the same as the two teams continued to trade baskets with one another. Tech took their final lead of the game 57-58 with 4:02 remaining in the second half. The Saints went on a 10-4 run to end the game, shutting down the Tech offense and holding them without a field goal. "The biggest difference between Friday and Saturday was that we let Marian control what we did, and on Saturday we were able to control the game over Tech," said Head Coach Steve Baumgartner. Jeff Applemen posted a double-double with 10 points, and 11 rebounds in 18 minutes of play. Jones finished the game leading all scorers with 21.
This was a historic game for Holy Cross College as it marked the first varsity win for the program, and also the first collegiate win for Coach Baumgartner. "It meant a lot for me, our team, and the entire program to get our first varsity win," said Coach Baumgartner. "I was pleased with our effort, the team showed mental toughness being able to bounce back after our game against Marian."
The Saints look to continue their success against Moody Bible Institute Tuesday evening. Please note that the game has been moved to Moody Bible Institute at 6 pm.
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