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Holy Cross women’s basketball coasts past Roosevelt, men fall in overtime

| Thursday, January 26, 2023

On a snowy South Bend night, Holy Cross men’s and women’s basketball took on Roosevelt University in a double header at McKenna Arena. The women glided past Lakers, while the men fell just short in overtime.

Sophomore forward Grace Adams won the 5:30 p.m. tip, and the Saints didn’t look back from there. Holy Cross jumped out to a 11-0 lead, dominating the opening five minutes of play. At the close of the first quarter, the Saints’ defensive resolve kept the Lakers down 22-8.

Roosevelt junior forward Jayla Turchin built some momentum to start out the second period, leading her team on a 6-0 run before Holy Cross could again crack the scoreboard. The three-point shot of Michiana native and Roosevelt graduate student guard Meghan Urbanski also did not help the Saint’s cause. A timeout, however, helped the Saints kick their offense back on, and Holy Cross trotted off the court at the midpoint buzzer, up 45-28.

In a third quarter that brought many players in Saint gray and Laker black to the foul line, freshman forward Carly Spradling and freshman guard Audrey Tallent were relentless in backing their team up with buckets. Three-fourths way through the matchup, Holy Cross stood assuredly at the helm, up 71-47.

A fourth quarter Laker full-court press proved to be ineffective. A layup from sophomore guard Anna Tallent closed out the affair — Holy Cross the victors, 93-58.

Earlier this season, the Saints came up three points short against the Lakers on the road in Chicago. Head coach Tom Robbins knew that his team had to find a way to stop Urbanski if they wanted a different result this time around.

“We felt like we really needed to get to Urbanski,” Robbins said. “She’s a local girl, played at Mishawaka Marian and she really hurt us the first time around. We just smothered her from three. She ended up with 11, but she had 10 in the first half. To hold her to one point in the whole second half I thought was key for us.”

Anticipating how Turchin might also be a problem, Robbins set the dynamic Adams to the task.

“Turchin is pretty big for them,” Robbins said. “So we had Grace Adams guard her, and she really did a nice job locking her down — held her to 10 points, which is about half of her average.”

The Saints, now 13-10, will carry their momentum into Gary, Indiana Saturday in a 2 p.m. matchup against Indiana University Northwest.

Men fall to top-seeded Lakers in overtime

The Holy Cross men’s team, coming off an upset victory against Olivet Nazarene, took on another top-ranked Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference team in Roosevelt. The battle between the Saints in white and the Lakers in Black was fought through diplomatic timeouts.

Too many missed long balls from the Saints permitted the Lakers to jump out to a 15-9 lead 10 minutes into the game. By the end of half, Holy Cross, though only managing 21 points, clawed back to within 10 points.

The Saints had their work cut out for them in the second half of play. Thankfully, the freshman duo of guard Phil Robles II and forward Tommy Snyder finally started to turn on the heat.

With 10 minutes to go in the ball game, it started to get interesting. Holy Cross cut down Roosevelt’s lead to four points and then down to two with six minutes left on the clock. Robles II nailed a three in the thirty-fifth minute to tie the game back up at 50 — electrifying the McKenna Arena crowd.

Following several bucket exchanges in Roosevelt’s favor, senior guard Storm Cook drained a three to give Holy Cross a 55-54 lead. In a stressful turn of events, which included several Holy Cross missed foul shots and a double technical to head coach Mike McBride and a Roosevelt assistant coach, the Saints held on 61-59 with 37 seconds left on the clock.

The dagger came at 8.5 seconds — Roosevelt notched a fadeaway jumper — tying the score at 61. Holy Cross was unable to respond, sending the game to overtime.

In the five-minute affair, the Saints jumped out first with a layup. Three and a half minutes of even exchanges later, Holy Cross began to slip away. With 30 seconds to go, an errant Saint three-pointer could have tied it again.

At 15 seconds left on the clock, Holy Cross was forced to foul, and Roosevelt knocked their free buckets from the line. The late-game thrill having not fully dissipated, the final score stood at 75-68.

Even with the game’s ultimate outcome, McBride was proud of how his team competed down the stretch.

“We showed some fight, showed some resolve, got back in it, put ourselves in a position to win it and then just weren’t able to pull it off,” McBride said. “They made a few more plays than we did.”

Although it’s frustrating to think how easily things could have gone the other way, McBride said that the team should not get too held up on end game dramtics.

“It’s not those last two minutes,” McBride said. “It’s the 38 that proceeded it. Not the five of overtime … also the 40 that you played with. If we handle things throughout the game, maybe we’re in a better spot at the end.”

The men’s team, now 11-11, will also be traveling to Gary, Indiana Saturday to take on Indiana University Northwest at 4 p.m.

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About Peter Breen

Peter is an Associate News Editor for the 2023-2024 term. Feel welcome to contact him at [email protected] with feedback or story ideas.

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