WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior forward Andrew Keister (Galloway, N.J.) totaled 22 points and eight rebounds, but it was not enough as the Holy Cross men’s basketball team was defeated by Harvard 87-77 at the Hart Center. The loss spoiled the collegiate head coaching debut of Sean Kearney, who took over the Crusaders this past summer. Holy Cross opens the year at 0-1, while Harvard begins the season at 1-0.
The teams combined to make their first nine shots from the floor, as the Crusaders jumped out to an early 10-8 lead. The Crimson responded with a 9-2 spurt to go in front, and eventually led 23-17 with 7:26 left in the first half. Holy Cross came back with a 13-2 run of its own to claim its largest lead of the night, 30-25 with 3:13 remaining before the break. But Harvard then closed out the half with a 9-0 spurt, to go in front 34-30 heading into the locker room.
The first eight minutes featured six ties and two lead changes, and the score was eventually tied at 49-49 after a pair of free throws by sophomore guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) with 12:06 left to play. But the Crimson then went on a 10-0 run to take the lead for good, on a pair of dunks by Jeremy Lin and two three-pointers by Dee Giger. The Crusaders continued to fight the rest of way, but were never able to get any closer than eight points down the stretch. Harvard made 11 of 12 free throws in the final two and a half minutes to hold on for the win.
Evans finished the night with 12 points, while sophomore guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) added 12 points and five rebounds. Sophomore guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) also played well in his Holy Cross debut, totaling 11 points, five assists and three rebounds.
The Crimson was led by Lin with 24 points and seven assists, while Giger finished with 13 points and three rebounds.
The Crusaders return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 17, when they travel to St. Joseph’s for a 7:00 p.m. game.