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Saints drop game to winless Jaguars

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. 

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Saints battle but fall 72-79 to Goshen

After getting a win against East-West University at home and then a loss on the road against Bethel, the Holy Cross men’s basketball team did something on Friday they would not do for the rest of the season: play a neutral site game.

As a part of the Crossroads/Chicagoland Challenge, the men’s team took on the Goshen Maple Leafs, with the game taking place at the Indiana University South Bend facility.

The game began with Goshen jumping to a 7-1 lead in the first three minutes before freshman forward Tommy Snyder and guard Phil Robles II cut it to 9-5.

As the first half approached the 10-minute mark, Goshen turned an 18-18 tie into a 24-18 lead off of back-to-back three-pointers from Goshen’s Clayton MacLagan. After a foul from senior guard Ryan Cartaino gave Goshen two shots at the line, Goshen led 26-18.

With five minutes left in the first half, senior forward Mick Sullivan was able to give the Saints their first lead of the half, 31-30; though Goshen would quickly take it back, and the game would head to the half 39-33.

When the second half began, the two squads continued to trade scores until senior forward Jalen Martin hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to four. Then Snyder would make it a two-point game, laying the ball in.

Snyder got on a roll, making his next two shots to keep the Saints within one until sophomore guard Nash Hostetler would tie the game at 46.

Ultimately, the game would see five lead changes and eight ties with the Saints. The Saints built a two-point lead with 10:25 left in the second half. After Holy Cross briefly gained the upper hand, Goshen took it back with 9:36 to go and despite a few Saints ties, the Maple Leafs would hold onto the lead for the rest of the game.

The 72-79 loss drops the Saints to 1-2 on the season and snaps a two-game win streak against Goshen. The Saints are now 2-5 when playing the Maple Leafs.

The win provided Goshen head coach Kyle Capps with his first win as the school’s head coach after serving as an assistant coach for the past two seasons.

Turnover troubles:

The teams played an even game, and while Goshen outshot the Saints from range (Goshen made 7 of 24, the Saints just 2 of 10), the Saints were able to outrebound Goshen 40-27.

The difference maker? The Saints had the ball stolen from them eight different times while only making two steals themselves. Factor in the blocks both teams had (4-1), and Goshen was able to win the turnover battle by a margin of 9 (12-3).

Goshen scored 17 points off turnovers. The Saints scored just 10. Those seven points were the difference maker.

The Saints will begin CCAC Conference play when they host IUSB on November 9th at 7:30 p.m. IUSB began the season ranked 19th in the NAIA Coaches preseason poll and currently remain in the top 20.

The Trojans are currently 2-2 on the year, having lost to Bethel by a score of 78-98.

Holy Cross is 11-16 against the Trojans, dating back to 2009. The Saints are currently 0-5 in their last five games, with their last win coming at home in November of 2019.

Contact Tom Zwiller at tzwiller@hcc-nd.edu