Sports Information Director
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Despite a slow start in Saturday night's non-conference matchup between Great Lakes Christian College, the 2013-2014 Holy Cross men's basketball team accomplished what no prior team had accomplished. The Saints rallied from a four-point deficit to take a nine-point halftime lead on their way to a 97-61 victory over the Crusaders while extending their winning-streak to a program-best five games.
The Crusaders got off to a great start on Saturday night with much help from the three-point shot. David Parks and Michael Vickers combined for three three-point baskets to open up the scoring for Great Lakes in their first four scoring possessions. Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.) finished off an alley-oop pass, from fellow senior Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Calif.), as the Saints capped off an 8-2 run to take a 19-16 lead midway through the first half. The Crusaders answered with a 7-0 run of their own over the next few minutes to take a four-point lead, their largest of the game. Following the run by Great Lakes, Holy Cross closed out the first half with a 24-11 run and took a 43-34 lead to the break.
The Saints forced nine Crusader turnovers in the first half which they converted into 17 points. They also controlled the paint on both ends of the floor, scoring 26 points in the paint and turning seven offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points. Drew Moore (Dayton, Ohio) and David Parks from Great Lakes each scored 12 points in the first half. The Saint shot 53.3% from the floor and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. The concerning factor at the time was the six three-point field goals made by the Crusaders in the half.
As the second half got underway, the Saints were equally aggressive on both ends of the floor; they began to score the ball more efficiently while making shots difficult for the Crusaders. Through the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Saints went on a 34-9 run as they increased their lead to 31 points. Brandon Evans and Zoe Bauer (Culver, Ind.) began to take control inside-and-out as they combined for 10-of-11 shooting from the floor and 25 points. Evans went a perfect 5-for-5 on his way to a 17-point and seven rebound performance.
The Saints were able to play all 14 healthy players in the game, each recording at least five minutes of action. The team shot an astounding 21-of-33 (63.6%) from the field, 5-of-9 from three-point range and 7-of-8 from the foul line as the scored 54 second half points. In addition to the potent second half scoring the ball, the Saints held the Crusaders to 38.5% from the field and 1-of-6 from distance for 27 points.
For the game, the Saints turned 22 Crusader turnovers into 38 points, scored 56 points in the paint and turned 10 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points. The 46 bench points is also the most by the team this season.
The most impressive feat accomplished by this team on Monday night, however, was that they continued their strong play, despite some difficult moments, to win a program-best five consecutive games. They currently sit at 8-4 overall and are off to their best 12-game start in the history of the program.
Holy Cross (8-4, 2-0 CCAC) will return home on Saturday, December 7 for their CCAC home opener against Olivet Nazarene (2-7, 1-0 CCAC). The game is scheduled to tip-off at 3:00 p.m. EST following the conclusion of the women's game at 1:00 p.m. EST.