(Notre Dame, Ind.) The Holy Cross men's basketball program closed out the 2012-2013 regular season on senior day, where two players honored prior to tip-off, playing host to the 7th ranked Cougars of Saint Xavier University. Turnovers were the Achilles heel of the Saints on Saturday as the Cougars were able to take advantage of what seemed like all of them, and led to a 110-75 victory over Holy Cross. Senior Yama Kader (Mission Viejo, Cali.) led the Saints with 20 points while fellow classmate Mike Vander Ploeg (Kalamazoo, Mich.) closed out his career at McKenna Arena with 12 points. The Saints finished the regular season with a 13-17 record overall and 9-15 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
Saint Xavier's offense was jumpstarted early after a 17-4 run was capped off by Anthony Grant just five minutes into the start of the game. Their offense stayed hot for the entire first half as they were able to extend their lead to 17 points at the 11:10 mark.
The Saints would rally to cut the lead to 7 points before a 14-1 run by the Cougars to make it a 20 point game with still 4:44 to play in the half. However, Holy Cross was not done just yet. The Saints closed out the first half on a 13-2 run to make it a 54-45 game.
Despite shooting over 54% from the floor, the Cougars were able to counter with turning 13 Holy Cross turnovers into 21 points.
A 7-0 run by Saint Xavier to open the second half had the Saints in an uncomfortable spot. Unfortunately, it didn't get any better the remainder of the game. The Cougars offense went an incredible 22-of-35 from the floor en route to a 56 point outburst in the second half.
Six-time Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) player of the week, Brad Karp, turned in two impressive alley-oop dunks en route to his game-high 30 points. Karp hit 9-of-13 shots from the floor and went 12-of-13 from the free-throw line.
Anthony Grant also turned in 22 points for the Cougars on 9-of-13 shooting and Dominique Harvey scored 19 points off the bench.
Yama Kader was once again impressive during his final game in McKenna Arena scoring a team-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor. Fellow senior, Mike Vander Ploeg, finished with 12. Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Cali.) scored 11 points with a team-high 9 rebounds while Clayton Webb (Dallas, Tex.) produced 10 points off the bench for the Saints.
"A tough way to close out the regular season," said coach Schermerhorn. "Turnovers hurt us in this one, but we need to move on to get ready for the playoffs on Monday and try to extend our season."
"Our seniors have been great leaders to the team this year," continued Schermerhorn. "Yama and Mike are great kids who just want to be great every time they step on the floor. I'm sorry their last home game ended this way, but now it's on to Trinity International."
The Saints finished the season in 10th place in the conference and will travel to Deerfield, Illinois on Monday, February 18th to take on the Trojans of Trinity International University in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opening round. The game is set to tip-off at 8:00 p.m. EST.