(Notre Dame, Ind.) February has turned out to be a pleasant month so far for the Holy Cross men's basketball team as they picked up their second win in the month, and third straight, after an exciting 84-78 win over conference opponent Purdue Calumet bringing their season record to 13-14 overall and 9-12 in the CCAC.
Offense came early and often for the Saints in the beginning stages on Wednesday night as they rallied off the game's first eight points while jumping out with an 11-2 run during the first two minutes.
Purdue Calumet would find their offensive flow as the half went on and took a one point lead after capping off a 6-0 run at the 9:35 mark. It was then that Holy Cross couldn't seem to miss as they hit their next four shots and extended the lead to 30-21 with 7:24 left to play in the half.
The Saints continued to make the most of their offensive possessions as Yama Kader (Mission Viejo, Cali.) hit a shot at the end of the half to make it a 45-36 halftime lead. Holy Cross finished the half shooting 61.5% from the floor; their best shooting performance of the season.
Kader and Zoe Bauer (Culver, Ind.) combined to shoot 8-for-13 from the field and 4-for-5 from three while combining for 23 of the 45 first half points.
A 14-7 run to start the second half helped Holy Cross extend its lead to 16 points five minutes into the final period. Once again though, the Peregrines put together their own run that made it a seven point game still with plenty of time remaining.
Although the Saints saw their one sixteen point lead diminish over the course of the second half, the players stepped up in key moments that halted the momentum the Peregrines were generating. This is where senior leader Yama Kader stepped in. Kader scored nine of his 15 second half points late in the game which helped Holy Cross put the pressure back on the Peregrines.
Purdue Calumet cut the Saints lead to three points with 34 seconds remaining, but solid free-throw shooting down the stretch helped the Saints close out the game and pick up their third consecutive victory.
Yama Kader led all scorers and finished 11-for-20 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc for a game-high 29 points.
Roddy Richardson was impressive from the beginning for Purdue Calumet as he finished with 22 points leading the Peregrines.
Zoe Bauer dished out a game-high 5 assists to pair with his impressive 18 point scoring night. Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Cali.) also finished with a game-high 13 rebounds.
"Another really big win for our team," Schermerhorn said. "It certainly helped that we shot so well, however, I thought we did an excellent job of answering the bell when they got on our heels. It's tough to win in this league, even when you shoot as well as we did. I'm very proud of our team and their resiliency to finish this game off strong and pick up the win."
The Saints shot an impressive 30-for-52 (57.7%) from the field and went 10-for-13 (76.9%) from beyond the arc. Four of their five starters scored at least 10 points, and as a whole, the unit combined for 68 of the teams 84 points.
Wednesday night's win over Purdue Calumet made it the second straight year that the Saints have swept the Peregrines, winning the last four the two programs have played.
Holy Cross will play their final road game of the season on Saturday in Joliet, Illinois against the University of St. Francis before returning home for their final two games of the regular season. The next home game will take place on Wednesday, February 13th against Trinity International University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.