Sports Information Director
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The Holy Cross Saints men's basketball team kicked off the Mike McBride era on Tuesday evening at McKenna arena for the ninth all-time meeting with local cross town rival and No. 9 ranked Bethel College. The Pilots led from start to finish in the game, defeating the Saints 80-56 to open up the 2013-2014 season.
An exciting atmosphere at McKenna Arena had both fan bases excited for the much anticipated rivalry game.
Holy Cross junior Drew Moore (Dayton, Ohio) scored the first points of the season for the Saints after knocking down a 3-point shot to tie the game at 3-3 in the first two minutes.
The Pilots built a nine point lead five minutes into the half before a layup from Clayton Webb (Dallas, Texas) cut the lead to three points with 12:05 to play. Following the bucket from Webb, the Saints would not get any closer than six points as the Pilots created separation on the scoreboard with a 21 point halftime lead.
Turnovers were an issue for the Saints in the first half as Bethel forced eight turnovers which they converted into 15 points.
Much like the first half, the Pilots were in control in the second half as they extended their lead to as many as 34 points.
The Saints scored the ball more effectively in the second half despite the drop in field goal percentage. After getting to the free-throw line just four times in the first half, the Saints hit 10-of-17 shots from the charity stripe over the final 20 minutes.
Still, it was the aggressive play from the Pilots, paired with the game-high scoring performance from Ryan Benner, which guided the Pilots to the 80-56 victory. Benner finished the game shooting 8-of-13 from the floor and 4-of-4 from distance.
The Bethel bench also proved to be incredibly effective scoring 27 points led by Michael Mislan.
For the game, the Pilots scored 21 points off of 15 Holy Cross turnovers.
Parker Dominguez led the Saints with 11 points off 5-of-6 shooting. Drew Moore also contributed with 10 points on 3-of-8 shooting from distance, while Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.) finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
Now with nine games played in the cross town rivalry series, Bethel has improved their record to 9-0 all-time against the Saints.
The Saints (0-1) will now hit the road for the next three games with their first stop coming on Monday, November 4 as they take on Great Lakes Christian College. The game is set to tip off at 7:00 p.m. EST.