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Monday, May 20, 2024
The Observer

20221206, HCC Women's Basketball, Holy Cross, Grace Adams, Ryan Vigilante, SMC Basketball-10.jpg

Saints struggle to score against IUSB

Holy Cross men’s and women’s basketball made the short drive to Indiana University South Bend on Wednesday, and both teams suffered from double digit losses. The results came after difficult defeats to Roosevelt for both squads last weekend, including a heartbreaking 1-point loss for the men’s team.

The men’s team trailed for much of the first half, but put together a late rally to head into the locker room even at 25. Holy Cross then quickly opened up a 7-point lead on three baskets from three different players. In fact, the Titans didn’t take their first lead of the second half until there was 9:41 remaining in regulation, and Holy Cross immediately snatched it back. A four-minute field goal drought let the Titans back into the game. After a dunk by freshman forward Desmond Davie gave the Saints a 46-45 lead, IUSB rattled off a 14-4 run to take control of the contest. The hosts eventually prevailed by a final score of 65-55.

Four of the five starters for Holy Cross played at least 33 minutes. Junior guard Justin O'Neal, Davie and sophomore guard Phil Robles II all finished with at least 10 points. Both teams shot poorly from three, going a combined 6-37. IUSB won the game around the basket, out-rebounding the Saints 39-25 and scoring 32 points in the paint to Holy Cross’ 20.

The women’s team had a more uneven opening few minutes but came out of the first quarter in fairly good shape. Trailing 11-3 early, a quick 7-2 run got the Saints back into the game. Freshman guard Lilly Toppen hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 3 points just before the first quarter ended.

Despite the positive signs, the Saints struggled to keep up as the game progressed. IUSB opened the second quarter with a 14-3 stretch. Offensively, Holy Cross just couldn’t match their opponents’ pace. The team only made two baskets in the first five minutes of the second quarter, then scored just 7 points in the entire third quarter. By the end of 30 minutes, IUSB had built up a 26-point lead. The fourth quarter was largely academic, with the Titans winning by a final score of 80-45.

Toppen was one of the few bright spots for the Saints, playing the third-most minutes despite not starting. Her 11 points led the way, with only junior guard Jordyn Smith reaching double figures. IUSB’s Katie Gard and Maddie Gard outscored the Saints by themselves, combining for 49 points. The Titans shot the ball nearly 20% better than Holy Cross (47.1% to 27.4%) while holding significant edges in rebounding and points in the paint. Both teams turned the ball over a lot, but Holy Cross couldn’t capitalize at the same rate as their competitors.

The Holy Cross men’s team sits 10th in the CCAC standings, 2.5 games back of a playoff spot. The women’s team is in better shape, occupying the No. 7 seed with a 5-6 conference record. St. Francis and St. Ambrose are right on their heels, though, both sitting one game back.

Both teams return to action against St. Ambrose on Saturday. The women’s team is on the road, tipping off at 2 p.m. The men are at home and will begin play at 3 p.m.

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