Holy Cross edges Rummel in 3 overtimes _lowres

Advocate Photo by KYLE ENCAR --Greg White-Pittman of Holy Cross prepares to make a move on Rummel's Steven Dunbar on Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Greg White-Pittman’s big night helped Holy Cross withstand a furious second half Rummel comeback as the Tigers defeated the Raiders 73-72 in a pivotal battle for playoff spots Tuesday night at the Holy Cross Student Center.

White-Pittman finished with 35 points, including 16 of in 17 from the free-throw line. The Tigers and Raiders were tied at 67 to start the third overtime.

But just seconds into the third overtime, White-Pittman became one of the nine players between the two teams to foul out. Holy Cross rallied around its defense, holding the Raiders without a field goal throughout the period, and Xavian McKay turned on his defender and drove to the basket for a layup and the game-winning points. Rummel could not get a last-second shot.

“Every week, every game, (White-Pittman) is going to get his,” Holy Cross coach Mister Kirkwood said. “It’s when my other kids step up like they did, we’re going to win games. And they did. They all stepped up to win the game.”

McKay scored 15 points, while Matt DiSalvo was one point shy of a double-double, with nine points and 11 rebounds.

After a slow first quarter on senior night, White-Pittman, a senior, spurred Holy Cross’s offense by scoring 14 of the Tigers’ 19 second quarter points. By halftime White-Pittman had 19 points, while Rummel as a team had only 16 and faced a 12-point deficit.

Holy Cross took its largest lead, 16 points, after a Xavian McKay basket made it 32-18, but the Raiders were not done. Their move started when some lights went out causing a slight delay. Rummel finished the third quarter scoring 17 of the period’s final 23 points to trail by only three points after the third quarter.

And that deficit disappeared on the opening possession of the fourth quarter when Steven Dunbar made a 3-pointer to tie the score. Then a slight scuffle broke out that led to double technical fouls being called.

With Holy Cross down three and six seconds left, McKay was put on the free-throw line by the Raiders. He made the first but missed the second, and on the rebound, White-Pittman got position on Dwayne Eugene and was fouled. He hit both free throws to force overtime.

As the first overtime came to a close, DiSalvo went to the free-throw line with Holy Cross up two, but he missed the second of two free throws. Dwight Harris took advantage for Rummel, draining a left wing 3-pointer from about 25 feet out to tie it at 59-59 to force a second overtime.

In the second OT, Rummel’s Kristian Fulton tied it with a basket and just less than a minute to play, but neither team could break a 67-all tie, forcing the game into a third overtime.

Steven Dunbar led the Raiders with 22 points and nine rebounds. Dwight Harris scored 16, while Dwayne Eugene and Keith Fulton each scored 10 for Rummel.