The Holy Cross Crusaders toppled the Loyola (MD) Greyhounds 63-57 to earn their first Patriot League win and end a five-game losing streak.
The Greyhounds went on a late run in the second half, bringing their deficit to only one point with just under three minutes left to play. The Crusaders overcame the comeback thanks to great free throw shooting in the final seconds of the game.
The Crusaders knocked down six of their eight free throws in the final 35 seconds to secure the crucial win. Junior guard Patrick Benzan 100 percent from the line in the final minute of the game, sinking all four of his shots. Benzan also led the team in rebounds with nine.
Freshman guard Austin Butler had another standout performance, scoring all 12 of his points during a crucial second half run for the Crusaders. Butler shot 4-5 from the field and sunk both of his three-point attempts in the victory.
Butler puts the Crusaders ahead! #WeWill pic.twitter.com/wLtyCixt5m
— Holy Cross MBB (@HCrossMBB) January 9, 2018
Forwards Karl Charles and Jacob Grandison both scored 11 points, and Grandison earned the Man of the Match award for his scoring effort and seven rebounds off the bench.
Sophomore guard Chuck Champion led the Greyhounds in scoring with 16 points, shooting 7-15 from the field. Senior forward Cam Gregory earned his 5th double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and adding 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Isaiah Hart shot 50 percent from the field and scored 12 points.
Like in most of their victories this season, Holy Cross overcame being outrebounded by their opponents, as Loyola grabbed eight more rebounds than the Crusaders. The difference maker for the Crusaders was ultimately the only the thing that truly matters in the game of basketball: shooting.
The Crusaders shot a clean 50 percent from the field as a team, while Loyola only managed 39 percent. Holy Cross also attempted and made more free throws than the Greyhounds, shooting 18-27 from the charity stripes as opposed to Loyola’s 12-18.
The Crusaders (4-11) are no longer in last in the Patriot League with their 1-3 conference record. Their next action is against the Navy Midshipman (11-6, 2-2) on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. in Annapolis.