The Holy Cross Saints came into Wednesday night’s game at McKenna Arena looking to rebound from four straight losses following a victory to begin the season. This would be the last game the Saints played at McKenna Arena in Notre Dame until December 10, with five straight games on the road approaching. The game would also represent the Saints’ third game of conference play in CCAC, in which they were winless thus far. Their opponent would be the Governors State Jaguars, a 0-5 team.
Holy Cross came out on fire against the underwhelming Jaguars defense, shooting 57% from the field and 44% from the three point line in the first half. Senior forward Mick Sullivan, a transfer from Quincy University, set a strong pace for the Saints offense. He would ultimately finish the game as the team’s leading scorer with 22 points on 11/14 shooting.
The Saint 42-37 lead going into the second half quickly evaporated through a combination of revived Jaguar play and an inability for the sloppier Saints team to put the game out of reach. The Jaguars took a slight lead, and the game became a tussle of rebound battles and turnovers. It would be those turnovers which would produce an extra 17 points for the Jaguars, demoralizing the Saints as they tried to battle back. The Saints’ bench also failed to adequately produce compared to GSU, scoring four points to the Jaguars’ 16. It is worth noting Coach McBride chose to only play seven players in this battle while Governors State brought out eleven.
The Saints continued to shoot the ball efficiently, however, leading to a nail biter. Freshman guard Phil Robles had an opportunity to win the game with a last second three point shot, but just missed the clincher. The Jaguars secured the game 76-74, extending this streak of difficulty for the Saints. Despite out-rebounding the Jaguars 32-26, shooting better from three point range and the free throw line, scoring more points in the paint(38-28) and second chance points(16-7), the Jaguars capitalized extremely well off Saint miscues.
The Saints have now dropped to 1-5 overall and 0-3 in conference play. Their next game will be this Saturday, November 19th, at Judson University, in a conference matchup in Elgin, Illinois. The Saints hope they can rebound and get this season back on track against a 1-5 Eagles team that stands above them in the CCAC.