(Notre Dame, Ind.) An early deficit had the Holy Cross Saints men's basketball team playing from behind the entire game despite Yama Kader's (Mission Viejo, Cali.) impressive game-high 31 points Wednesday night. The hot shooting Trojans of Trinity International University knocked down 34-of-59 (57.6%) shots from the field en route to a 94-83 victory over Holy Cross. The loss drops the Saints to 13-16 overall and 9-14 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
"I thought we played ok throughout the first five or six minutes of the first half," said Schermerhorn. "After that moment, however, we struggled to score the ball and they definitely made us pay."
Five straight points from the Trojans to open the game had the Saints searching for answers on both ends of the floor.
Despite getting behind early, the Saints were able to respond to keep it a one possession game after a jumper from Dane Okuda (Huntington Beach, Cali.) made it a one point game. It was a 12-0 run over the next four minutes that made things difficult for Holy Cross. Trinity International was hitting shots and finding the open man for the easy points; just like that the complexion of the game was changed. With 3:35 left in the first half, the Saints found themselves trailing 42-23.
A three-point play by Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.) cut the Trojans lead to 13 at the break.
Yama Kader, through the first twenty minutes, scored 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor. Brandon Evans had a respectable 7 points on 3-for-7 shooting to go with 11 rebounds. As a team however, the Saints shot just 14-for-37 (37.8%) from the floor. Conversely, the Trojans hit 18-of-32 (56.3%) shots from the field including knocking down 6-of-12 three-point shots.
The Saints offense was much better in the second half as they were able to outscore the Trojans 49-47 and at one point cut the deficit to five points with 13:17 left to play. Mike Vander Ploeg (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and Yama Kader combined scored 34 of the Saints 49 second half points.
In the end, the runs the Saints were able to produce were countered by the continued success of the Trojans from the field. They shot an impressive 16-for-27 (59.3%) over the game's final twenty minutes and knocked down 14-of-17 shots from the foul line.
Demontay Robinson (24), Dillon Wadsack (23) and Daniel Metzelfeld (22) each recorded at least twenty points for the Trojans. Big man Nathan Ball chipped in with 8 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
Yama Kader paved the way for the Saints with 20 of his game-high 31 points coming in the second half. Mike Vander Ploeg (19) and Zoe Bauer (Culver, Ind.) (12) also reached double figures for Holy Cross.
Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Cali.) (12) and Brandon Evans (13) combined for 25 of the Saints 43 rebounds.
For the game, the Saint shot 39.7% from the floor while their opponents shot 57.6%.
"We got behind early and just weren't able to come back," said Schermerhorn. "We have one home game left against a great opponent. We need to play a lot better than we did tonight if we want to send out seniors out with a win. Hats off to Trinity International, they played a heck of a game. We need to sharpen up now and turn our focus to Saturday."
The Saints will close out the 2012-2013 regular season on Saturday, February 16th at 3:00 p.m. EST as they host Saint Xavier University on senior night. Prior to tip-off seniors Yama Kader and Mike Vander Ploeg will be honored for their accomplishments as student athletes at Holy Cross College.