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Markee Williams (above) posted 18 points & 11 rebounds, both career highs, in the win!
Men's Basketball-CH - Sat, Jan. 7, 2017

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The Robert Morris Illinois Men's Basketball team knocked off Holy Cross College (Ind.) by the score of 89-87 in overtime on Saturday, January 7th at the RMU Athletic & Convocation Center to run its winning streak to ten games.  The Eagles, who are receiving votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, are a perfect 9-0 in the CCAC Conference and 12-4 overall on the year.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE CURRENT CCAC CONFERENCE MEN'S BASKETBALL STANDINGS!

The Eagles started the game out red hot, jumping all over the Saints to build a 22-2 lead just under five minutes into the contest.  Darius Paul (SR/Gurnee, Ill.) continued his outstanding play with nine points during the run.  RMU maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the half, but Holy Cross began to chip away at the lead and cut the deficit to 45-37 at the half.

Omarr Gilbert (SO/Chicago, Ill.) put the Eagles back up by double-digits at 48-37 with a three-pointer to begin the second half and RMU led by as many 13 points early in the period.  However, once again the Saints clawed its way back into the game with an 11-2 run to trail RMU 55-51 with 12:06 to go.  The Eagles answered back with six straight points to lead 61-51 and held a 75-66 margin with just under five minutes to play. 

Holy Cross would not go away though and closed to within 79-76 with 1:31 to go in regulation.  Antonio Levy (SR/Harvey, Ill.) scored on a layup to put the Eagles up 81-76 with just 33 seconds to play, but the Saints scored on their next possession and came up with a steal to set up a game tying three-pointer by Bryce Crosen to send the game to overtime.  This was the fourth time in the last five games that the Eagles would need extra time to grab the win.

The two teams traded the lead in the first three minutes of overtime and RMU found itself behind 86-85 with 1:19 left on the clock.  Markee Williams (SR/Chicago, Ill.) scored on a layup and Omarr Gilbert knocked down two free throws to give the Eagles an 89-86 advantage with 20 seconds remaining.  Madison McCaffrey attempted a three-pointer to tie the game for Holy Cross, missing the shot but was fouled to go to the free throw line.  McCaffrey could only make one-of-three of his shots and RMU led 89-87 with 12 ticks left on the clock.  Holy Cross fouled Dallas Flowers on RMU's next possession and Flowers missed the front end of the one-and-one, giving the Saints one last chance to tie or win the game.  Fortunately to the delight of the RMU crowd, Crosen's three-point shot didn't fall and the Eagles earned their eighth straight CCAC victory.

Darius Paul scored a game-high 25 points and also had eight rebounds, and Omarr Gilbert added 19 points and five assists.  Markee Williams turned in a double-double performance with a career-high 18 points and 11 rebounds to go with six assists, while Antonio Levy chipped in with 10 points in the win.

The Eagles continue CCAC Conference play on Wednesday, January 11th when they host Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) at the RMU Athletic & Convocation Center.  Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm and fans can follow the game via live audio and stats on the Eagle Sports Network.

 
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