(Chicago, Ill.) Saints senior guard Yama Kader (Mission Viejo, Cali.) didn't let a slow start to the season shooting the ball stop him from doing what he does best: shoot. Wednesday evening on the road against a tough conference opponent, Olivet Nazarene, Kader went on to not only set career highs in scoring and three-point shots made, but to set school records in the Saints 80-59 victory over the Tigers with 44 points and 9 made three-point shots. The win for the Saints was their third straight, and gives them their first winning record in the history of the program.
Throughout the first four games of the Saints young 2012-2013 season, shots had not been falling. Wednesday night that all changed. Entering the game, the Saints were shooting just 40% from the field and 29% from beyond the arc.
Yama Kader got going early and often for the Saints as they jumped out to an early 22-11 first half lead. After a brief Tigers run that cut the lead to seven with fewer than 10 minutes to play, Holy Cross matched with an 11-4 run that put them up 14. The Saints went into halftime with a 42-30 lead with Yama Kader scoring 26 of them.
At the half, the Saints shot 44% from the field and 56% from beyond the arc. Rebounding for the Saints was at a premium as they out rebounded Olivet 24-10, including 15 offensive rebounds.
The second half started off just as well as the first half. A three-pointer from sophomore Zoe Bauer (Culver, Ind.) gave the Saints a 20-point lead, their largest lead of the game. Olivet would not give in, however, as they were able to cut into the Saints lead bringing the score to 55-44. That would be the closest the Tigers would get as the Saints were able to continue their good shooting and build the lead up to 23 points off of two Yama Kader free-throws with 37 seconds left in the game. The Saints would go on to win their third straight game of the season with an 80-59 final score in Chicago.
Yama Kader led the game in scoring with a new career high, and school record, 44 point performance off 15-24 from the field. Kader also set a new career and school best with 9 made three-pointers (9-13 for the game).
Zoe Bauer received his second start of the year and scored 11 points off of 4-10 shooting.
Juniors Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Cali.) did a great job crashing the boards for the Saints. Evans finished the game with 9 points and 9 rebounds, while Dominguez finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds.
The Saints out rebounded the Tigers 39-28 throughout the game and dominated in the second chance points with a 17-4 advantage.
"This was such a great win for our team," said head coach Bob Schermerhorn. "I thought we did a much better job of moving the ball around which helped lead to good looks on our shots."
"Yama was absolutely incredible out there," continued coach Schermerhorn. "He hasn't hit as many as he'd like to early on, but when he gets going, you see just how lethal he can be out there. I couldn't be happier for him to break those school records. He works so hard for his successes. Overall, I'm happy with the guys have responded after two early losses on the season. It's now time to prepare for our next big game against Roosevelt on Saturday."
The Saints, 3-2 (2-1 CCAC), will return home for their next conference matchup between the Roosevelt Lakers at 3:00 p.m. (EST).