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Saints lose two close games on the road

The Holy Cross men’s and women’s basketball teams went on the road to face Roosevelt University as they resumed conference play on Wednesday.

The women’s team tipped off at 6:30 pm, and though Roosevelt won the opening, it was the Saints who earned the first points of the game, courtesy of a layup by sophomore forward Grace Adams. The Saints dominated the first five minutes of action, building up a 14-4 lead thanks in part to Adams and a three-point bucket by junior guard Lauren Morris.

The last five minutes of the first quarter belonged to the Lakers, as the Saints went 3:51 without hitting a shot. The cold stretch allowed the Lakers to score 16 unanswered points. Luckily for the Saints, senior guard Jayda Miller hit a three with seven seconds left to make it a one-point game going into the second.

The second quarter saw an inverse of the first, with the Lakers building an eight-point lead with 4:49 left in the quarter. However, sophomore guard Jordyn Smith contributed five points in a 10-2 Saints run that took the Saints into the half down one.

The third quarter continued the incredibly close contest with the lead changing five times in the third alone. Whereas previous quarters saw drastic swings, the third quarter spread peaked at a five-point Roosevelt lead, which the Saints were quickly able to erase.

As the quarter wound down to the final minute, with the Saints down one, freshman forward Carly Spalding stepped to the line and hit both her shots. Roosevelt responded with a layup in the final 20 seconds. But Miller was able to knock down a three that gave the Saints a two-point lead heading into the final quarter.

The Lakers quickly took back the lead from the Saints at 8:48, and they held onto it until 3:26 when Smith hit one of her two free throws, tying the game at 74-74.

Roosevelt quickly drove for a layup to re-establish a four-point lead. However, Smith answered the bell once again, and she would go on to score 11 of the Saints’ last 13 points, keeping them in the game.

Ultimately, it would not be enough, as an intentional foul by Miller would send Roosevelt to the free throw line trailing by one. Roosevelt made both shots, enough to finish off a 90-87 win.

The road loss sends the Saints back below .500 to 5-6 overall with a 2-3 conference record. It also snaps a three-game win streak and a five-game win streak against the Lakers.

Holy Cross will look to get back to .500 against Saint Mary’s on Dec. 6 at 6:00 pm. Historically, the Saints have performed well against Saint Mary’s, winning both contests by an average margin of 13 points.

Just like the women’s team, the men’s team earned the first two points despite Roosevelt winning the opening tip. The opening minutes saw an incredibly completive, back-and-forth game, with four different ties. Holy Cross slowly began to build out a lead, as the two teams continued to trade buckets well into the first 12 minutes of the game.

With the Saints leading 21-17, senior forward Mick Sullivan made a layup, assisted sophomore guard Nash Hostetler’s jump shot and got a second layup, giving the Saints a 27-19 lead.

The Lakers were able to cut the Saints’ lead to three. But Sullivan continued his stellar play and helped the Saints maintain their eight-point lead going into the half.

The second half opened with Roosevelt beginning to chip away at the Saints’ eight-point lead until freshman Tommy Snyder hit two free throw attempts. Hostetler added to the lead with a three-point lead, building the Saints’ lead to a game-high of 11 points.

It was here where the Lakers went on a 14-0 run fueled by two Saints turnovers, a foul and a missed three-point attempt, giving the Lakers a three-point lead with 15:42 left in the game.

The Saints battled to reclaim the lead and were able to do so, thanks to senior guard Beau Ludwick’s three and Snyder’s layup. But that would be the last time they had a lead in the game.

The Saints once again allowed the Lakers to go on a game-changing run thanks to two missed threes, two missed field goals and a turnover. Thanks to the Lakers 11-2 run, the Saints now trailed the Lakers by eight with 6:50 left in the game.

The Saints went on a 10-2 run themselves, with Sullivan scoring six of the team’s points. Now tied for the sixth time at 64-64 with 2:20 remaining. But the Saints only scored three points the rest of the way, with Ludwick hitting a free throw and freshman Drew Adzia hitting two of his own.

The Lakers were able to score five points and put the game away when the Lakers’ Ayo Ajiboye stole the ball from Hostetler. Roosevelt won by a 69-67 final.

The Saints now fall to 3-7 on the season and 1-4 in conference play. They will look to turn things around on Dec. 7, when they face out-of-conference foe Siena Heights University on the road.

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Sports

Holy Cross men’s basketball wins first game of season

The Holy Cross men’s basketball team took the court Monday night against East-West University for their first game of the season. Even though the matchup was not a conference game, the team was aggressive in securing the win with a final score of 78-58.

McKenna Arena was filled with Holy Cross students and parents. Fans cheered for the players while dressed as construction workers, minions and hotdogs in celebration of Halloween.

The team ended last season with a 8-14 conference record. With nine freshmen players joining the team, head coach Mike McBride said that “the new guys have really given us a spark.” 

The Saints gained the first possession and converted on a jump shot, but after East-West scored during their first possession as well, both teams struggled for the upper hand. The contest featured four early lead changes. But five minutes into the first half, Holy Cross gained the lead and refused to lose it the rest of the game.

In the first half, the Saints scored 45 points, putting them ahead by 12. The second half only increased the Saints lead, finishing with a 20-point margin of victory.

The Saints leading scorer and freshman forward Tommy Snyder brought in 31 points and 13 rebounds, setting a high expectation for his performance this season. Freshman guard Phil Robles II brought in 19 points behind Snyder. Robles also scored three of the Saints four 3-pointers tonight. Sophomore guard Justin O’Neal  led the team with five assists, and senior guard Beau Ludwick led the way defensively with two steals.

East-West had three main scorers tonight: De’Quaniis Jackson, Thomas Teklegergis and Elgin Bowen, who scored 14, 13, and 12 points, respectively. The team scored 11 three-pointers throughout the game and had nine assists.

In the second half, a quick steal left William Perry open for a shot. Perry attempted to dunk the ball, but failed. The missed shot brought the Holy Cross fans to their feet in cheers.

The Saints ended the game with a 49.1% field goal percentage compared to East-West with 37.3%. Holy Cross also outperformed in free throw percentages, 69% to 30%.

East-West is, “on the perimeter, very similar to a lot [of] the teams in our league,” McBride said. With a “pretty high level [of] intensity and intent” coming from the Saints tonight, McBride expressed optimism that the team can perform well this upcoming season.

Next up, Holy Cross plays Bethel University on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

Contact Sarah Ryan at sryan28@nd.edu.