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Holy Cross basketball splits Wednesday games

Both the men and women of the Holy Cross basketball program were in action on Wednesday night. The 11-9 women’s team took to the road against Calumet College of St. Joseph, looking to improve on their 6-6 conference record in a pivotal game. 

The Saints immediately overpowered the Crimson Wave, controlling the game with ease and dominating the boards with a 67-22 rebounding advantage. The end of the first half saw the Saints holding a 38-25 lead despite a low scoring second quarter. 

The Holy Cross offense came out of the locker room after halftime on fire, shooting 65% from the field and a ridiculous 50% from the three-point line. The Saints dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Crimson Wave 28-7. They also dominated on defense, forcing 30 turnovers overall in the game. The Saints outscored Calumet 22-7 in the 4th quarter, prevailing in the game by a massive margin of 86-39.

Sophomore forward Grace Adams led the scoring with 22 points. Junior guard Lauren Morris and freshman forward Carly Spradling each netted 12 points of their own. 

The Holy Cross men’s basketball team played host to the Crimson Wave in Notre Dame, looking to move above .500 in conference play with a 6-6 record entering the game. The Saints shot the ball well, finishing at 56% from the field in the first half. 

The Saints would turn the ball over with regularity in the first half, however, and gave the Wave a 39-34 halftime lead. The Holy Cross offense continued its efficient run in the second half. The team shot 48% from the field and 43% from three-point range.

The Calumet offense was able to overpower the Saints’ valiant defensive effort, though, sealing the game with their free throws. The Saints ultimately fell 80-76, dropping to 10-10 overall on the season. Freshman forward Tommy Snyder led the scoring with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Storm Cook added 17 points. 

The Holy Cross women’s basketball team returns to action this Saturday at 1 p.m. against Olivet Nazarene at home. The men play the same opponent at home on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Contact Adam Akan at aakan@nd.edu.

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Sports

Holy Cross gets hot, wins six of last seven games

For Holy Cross students, final exams ended on Friday, Dec. 16. The campus closed the following day at 10:00 a.m. as the student body returned home for their much-anticipated winter break.

The Holy Cross men’s basketball team, however, returned to work. From Dec. 10 to Dec. 17, the squad had a brief reprieve from its grueling conference schedule for exams.

But on Dec. 17, the team piled into the team bus and made the journey to Fox Point, Wisconsin, where they faced Cardinal Stritch.

This game was arguably one of the most critical of the season. The Saints had just a 1-5 conference record, with a 4-8 record overall. The Stritch Red Wolves were 0-13 on the season, making this a must-win for the Saints.

Holy Cross delivered a 74-58 win, catalyzing the team to salvage what, to this point, had been a disappointing season. Holy Cross returned to South Bend to face the IUSB Trojans and lost a hard-fought game 68-87 to fall to 5-9. Since that game, however, Holy Cross has been undefeated, winning their last five games, four of which were conference matchups.

Their first win was a non-conference game against Concordia University on Dec. 30th. The Saints nabbed a 78-72 road win, with freshman guard Phil Robles II knocking down three clutch free throws to ice the game.

The Saints then pulled off a major road upset of Saint Xavier University. At the time, the Cougars were in first place in the conference, boasting a 14-3 record overall. The game was a back-and-forth affair, with the Saints matching the Cougars shot for shot down the stretch.

Ultimately, senior guard Storm Cook’s jump shot would give the Saints the lead with just six seconds remaining, and the Saints survived a last-second three-point shot attempt by Xavier. According to head coach Mike McBride, that win did a lot for the Saints’ mentality going forward.

“That was probably the first game all year that was a back-and-forth affair. That game was a heavyweight back and forth, and we showed a lot of resiliency and toughness,” McBride said.

McBride also thinks that the game gave the Saints the confidence to play with anyone in the conference.

“I think our guys have a lot more belief in themselves now, which is needed to win. But belief sometimes isn’t enough until you see the fruits of your labor; you see the results. Now we got that result, and the challenge is to keep going with it and keep improving,” he said.

The Saints then returned home, defeating Trinity Christian College 81-57 and completing a season sweep of Cardinal Stritch 64-52. The most recent win against Stritch gave the Saints a 10-9 overall record and a 6-6 record in the CCAC.

Their 6-6 record is good enough for eighth in the conference. If the season ended today, the Saints would make the postseason conference tournament, where they would face the No. 1 seed Roosevelt University Lakers.

Coach McBride says the turnaround is due to several reasons.

“We have had a number of things that have happened that have helped us. Our new guys are continuing to get better and improve and play at a higher level,” McBride said. “Our two sophomores, [guards] Nash Hostetler and Justin O’Neal have become a lot more consistent. [Senior guard] Beau Ludwick has continued to show outstanding leadership.”

The Saints will look to continue their winning ways Wednesday when they face Calumet. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Contact Tom Zwiller at tzwiller@hcc-nd.edu.