(Notre Dame, Ind.) The Saints got back on track with a 70-67 win Tuesday night over the Trolls of Trinity Christian College. A back and forth game from the first whistle, the Saints used 40 tough minutes to pull out the victory over the Trolls.
Tuesday night's game featured two of the conference's best scorers in Yama Kader (Mission Viejo, Cali.) and BJ Wortham.
In a game where leads were difficult to sustain for very long, the struck first after a Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Cali.) layup gave them a four point lead early in the first half.
A Yama Kader (Mission Viejo, Cali.) three-point shot gave the Saints their largest lead of the half with 3:02 left in the first half. Trinity Christian, however, would go on a 9-2 run to close out the half. The Saints would take a 33-32 lead into the break.
The Saints held the CCAC's leading scorer, BJ Wortham, to just three first half points.
As the second half began, saints forward Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.) scored six straight points for the Saints once again extending their lead to seven points. Once again Trinity Christian would rally from seven points and eventually take a 55-54 lead over Holy Cross with 7:22 remaining in the game. This was the first time the Saints had trailed since halfway through the first half.
Trailing by one with 6:11 to go in the game, Yama Kader drove the ball to the hole and converted an and-one to give the Saints a two point lead. A three-pointer by Kader would increase the lead to five points with just 1:45 to play. The Trolls once again would come back and cut the lead to just one point after two free-throws from Jeff Jefferson.
Senior guard Michael Vander Ploeg (Kalamazoo, Mich.) was fouled and put on the free-throw line with 8 seconds remaining with a chance to increase the lead to three. Vander Ploeg hit both free-throws which forced Trinity Christian to look for a last second three-point shot.
Mike Suter put up a prayer right before the buzzer that went off the iron and gave the Saints their fourth win of the season.
Michael Vander Ploeg finished with 8 points and 5 assists.
"This was a very big win for us," said Saints head coach Bob Schermerhorn. "This game was close the entire way and I'm very proud at how resilient we stayed throughout the course of it. Guys came up big down the stretch on both ends of the floor and it really helped us get this win."
The Saints, 4-3 (3-2 CCAC), will travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday, November 24th to take on the undefeated (6-0) Cardinal Stritch University Wolves. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. (EST).