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Dane Okuda defends an opponent trying to drive to the basket.
Men's Basketball - Fri, Jan. 6, 2012
(Notre Dame, IN)  The Holy Cross Men's Basketball Team battled fellow conference opponent Purdue University North Central tonight, winning 84-77 in overtime.

Both teams came into the game with a 1-2 record in conference, and they were looking to get back to .500 with a win heading into the weekend.

Holy Cross proved to be too much to handle for the Panthers as they won in overtime 84-77.  The Saints improved their overall record to 6-9 and their conference record to 2-2 which are both records for wins in a season for the team. The Saints our now in a five-way tie for second place in the conference standings.  

The game would not come easy as it is very tough in the CCAC to go on the road and win.  The Panthers of Purdue North Central would put up a fight throughout and make Holy Cross earn every bit of the victory.

The first half would dictate how the game would be played as the Panthers led at the break by 2 points 33-31.  Holy Cross would get a great showing from senior Adam Dobrzykowski (South Bend, IN) who grabbed a team high 10 rebounds in the first half. Fellow senior Taylor Williams (South Bend, IN) and junior Michael VanderPloeg (Kalamazoo, MI)led the Saints in scoring netting 7 first half points. Williams also hauled down 4 rebounds.

"I thought this would be a game that would go down to the wire.  I told the guys that we just have to keep battling, and make plays down the stretch and we would be in the hunt to grab a win on the road," said Head Coach Bob Schermerhorn.

The second half would mirror the first half as it was back and forth for the entire rest of the game.  The Saints, however, were able to even the score late in the game to send it into overtime.  This is where the Saints took over, and won the game.

Holy Cross outscored Purdue North Central 16-9 in the extra period.  This would be the difference in the score as it finished 84-77 with a very important Saints victory on the road.

Williams, who is the current CCAC Player of the Week, led five scorers in double figures with 19 points and also grabbing 13 rebounds.  That is Williams' eighth double-double of the season which is ranked second in the nation for NAIA (DII).  Williams also is second in the nation in total rebounds (167), and 4th in the nation rebounds per game at 11.1.

 Dobrzykowski finished with a double-double of his own chipping in 12 points and bringing down 12 rebounds in a season high 36 minutes of action.

Junior's Yama Kader (Mission Viejo, CA) and VanderPloeg both put up 17 points respectively, and senior J.T. Breveard (South Bend, IN) netted 16 points of his own.

"This was a total team win, but sometimes you need people to step up and give a little bit more to get that victory.  I thought Dobbs (Dobrzykowski) played his best game of the season, and best game that I have seen him play since I have been coaching here. I am very proud of the boys, and it is nice to have some momentum heading into the Cardinal Stritch game," said Coach Schermerhorn

The Saints are now 6-9 overall, and 2-2 in the CCAC.  They have a chance to improve their conference record as they host Cardinal Stritch who are first in the standings at 4-0.  The game is at 5:00 p.m. at McKenna Arena in the Pfeil Center.  The game will be the second of a double header with the women as they play Cardinal Stritch at 3:00 p.m.