November 15, 2009

Men's Basketball Travels To St. Joseph's On Tuesday Night

Complete Release in PDF Format

Video: Andrew Beinert Previews the St. Joseph's Game

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (0-1, 0-0 PL) vs. St. Joseph's (1-0, 0-0 A-10)
Date: November 17, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hagan Arena (4,200), Philadelphia, Pa.
Live Video Streaming: Hawks All-Access
Live Statistics: Gametracker
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester; Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play; Click Here for Internet Broadcast
St. Joseph's Radio: WNTP 990 AM, Philadelphia, Pa.
Series Record: St. Joseph's leads, 3-2
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 73, St. Joseph's 69 (OT; November 16, 2008; Worcester, Mass.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos., No., Name (Ht., Wt., Cl.) 
F, 5, Mike Cavataio (6-4, 190, So.)
F, 34, Andrew Keister (6-9, 235, Jr.) 
C, 53, Eric Meister (6-8, 225, Sr.)
G, 10, R.J. Evans (6-3, 200, So.)
G, 22, Andrew Beinert (6-4, 185, Jr.) 

THE SERIES WITH ST. JOSEPH'S: This will be only the sixth meeting between the Crusaders and the Hawks on the hardwood. Holy Cross has won the last two contests, 71-66 at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse on Dec. 2, 2007, and 73-69 in overtime at the Hart Center on Nov. 16, 2008. The Hawks previously defeated the Crusaders 82-63 in Philadelphia on Dec. 26, 1964; 62-58 in College Park, Md., on Dec. 30, 1978; and 68-60 in Philadelphia on March 25, 2005, in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: St. Joseph's leads, 3-2
In Philadelphia: St. Joseph's leads, 2-1
At Hagan Arena: First Meeting
Sean Kearney vs. St. Joseph's: 0-0
Phil Martelli vs. Holy Cross: 1-2
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, two games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0

HOLY CROSS IN ROAD OPENERS: The Crusaders have an all-time record of 45-45 in their opening road contest of the season. Holy Cross lost its first away game of the 2008-2009 campaign at Northeastern (61-49), but prior to that the Crusaders had won four straight times in their opening road contest of the season. Holy Cross posted victories at Fairfield in 2007-2008 (67-54), at Harvard in 2006-2007 (82-69), at William & Mary in 2005-2006 (67-55) and at Boston University in 2004-2005 (58-48).

AMAZING AGAINST THE ATLANTIC 10: The Crusaders have enjoyed a great deal of success against schools from the Atlantic 10 Conference over the last 10 years. Holy Cross stands 12-5 against Atlantic 10 foes since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season, including last season's 73-69 overtime victory against St. Joseph's. From 1999-2005, the Crusaders won eight straight against Atlantic 10 opponents, but that streak was snapped with a 68-60 loss at St. Joseph's in the 2005 National Invitation Tournament. The Crusaders own an all-time record of 127-109 against the 14 schools which are currently members of the Atlantic 10 (0-1 vs. Charlotte, 1-3 against Dayton, 3-5 vs. Duquesne, 39-41 against Fordham, 0-2 vs. George Washington, 6-16 against La Salle, 36-18 vs. Massachusetts, 26-12 against Rhode Island, 3-2 vs. St. Bonaventure, 2-3 against St. Joseph's, 2-3 vs. St. Louis, 6-3 against Temple and 3-0 vs. Xavier).

KEISTER BUILDS ON STRONG SOPHOMORE SEASON: Junior forward Andrew Keister (Galloway, N.J.) has been one of the top low post players in the Patriot League over the last two years. In the season opener against Harvard, Keister led the team with 22 points and eight rebounds, while making 8 of 13 shots from the field. Last year, he earned first team All-Patriot League honors after averaging 12.5 points and 8.8 rebounds in conference regular season play, while hitting 67.3 percent (72 of 107) of his field goal attempts. He led the team with seven double-doubles in 2008-2009, including a 27-point, 14-rebound performance at Navy. A few of Keister's other top games last season came against Army at home (21 points, 12 rebounds), at Bucknell (18 points, 10 rebounds) and at Central Florida (18 points, five rebounds). Overall last year, Keister averaged 8.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, while leading the Patriot League by hitting 58.8 percent (104 of 177) of his shots from the field. Over the course of his collegiate career, Keister has now totaled 315 points and 244 rebounds, while making 53.4 percent (127 of 238) of his field goal attempts.

CAVATAIO SHINES IN HOLY CROSS DEBUT: Sophomore guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) turned in a strong performance against Harvard, in his first game in a Holy Cross uniform. He totaled 11 points, five assists, three rebounds and two assists against the Crimson, while hitting five of six shots from the field. Cavataio sat out the 2008-2009 season, after transferring to Holy Cross from St. John's University, where totaled 23 points and 20 rebounds during his only year with the Red Storm. As a senior at St. Francis Prep, Cavataio averaged 25.0 points per game.

EVANS LOOKS TO HAVE ANOTHER STELLAR YEAR: Sophomore guard R.J. Evans returns as the leading scorer for the Crusaders, after earning Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors last season. During the season-opener against Harvard, he totaled 12 points, two rebounds and two assist. A year ago, Evans averaged a team-best 13.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals per contest, while scoring in double-figures in 21 of his last 26 games. He also earned All-Patriot League Tournament honors after averaging 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in three postseason games, including  a career-high 31 points, six rebounds and three steals in the quarterfinal victory over Bucknell. A few of Evans' other top games in 2008-2009 came against San Francisco (26 points, 10 rebounds) and Siena (21 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals). Evans' 429 points scored last season were the second-most ever by a Holy Cross freshman, behind only Ronnie Perry with 574 points in 1976-1977. He also became the first freshman to lead the Crusaders in scoring since Ryan Serravalle, who averaged 11.6 points per game in 1998-1999.

CRUSADERS PICKED FIRST IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2009-2010 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in first place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 95 total points in the poll, including 13 first place votes. Lehigh placed second in the poll with 78 points and three first place votes, while Bucknell was third with 63 points. Rounding out the poll were Army (fourth, 59 points), Colgate (fifth, 51 points), American (sixth, 45 points), Navy (seventh, 43 points) and Lafayette (eighth, 14 points).

EVANS & KEISTER NAMED PRESEASON ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE: Sophomore guard R.J. Evans and junior forward Andrew Keister were selected to the preseason All-Patriot League team, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Evans and Keister were joined on the preseason all-conference team by Lehigh senior forward Zahir Carrington, Lehigh senior guard Marquis Hall and Army senior guard Cleveland Richard. In addition, Hall was selected as the preseason Patriot League Player of the Year. Keister and Hall both earned first team All-Patriot League honors at the conclusion of the 2008-2009 season, while Carrington and Richards were second team all-conference selections, and Evans was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. 

HARVARD RECAP: Andrew Keister totaled 22 points and eight rebounds, but it was not enough as Holy Cross was defeated by Harvard 87-77 at the Hart Center on Nov. 13, 2009. 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 then used 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 of the second half featured six ties and two lead changes, and the score was eventually tied at 49-49 after a pair of free throws by R.J. Evans 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 Devin Brown added 12 points and five rebounds. Mike Cavataio 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.

BROWN PLAYS KEY MINUTES OFF THE BENCH: Sophomore guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) looks to once again be the first player off the bench in the Holy Cross backcourt this season. During the season-opener against Harvard, Brown totaled 12 points, five rebounds and two assists. Last year, he averaged 5.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game, while leading the Patriot League by making 88.0 percent of his free throws (73 of 83). A few of Brown's top games in 2008-2009 came against Fairfield (22 points, five of nine shooting from the field, 10 of 10 shooting at the foul line) and San Francisco (22 points, five assists, 11 of 12 shooting on free throws).

KEARNEY ENTERS FIRST SEASON WITH THE CRUSADERS: Sean Kearney is in his first season as the head men's basketball coach at Holy Cross in 2009-2010. This is the first collegiate head coaching position in the career of Kearney, who is the 15th head coach in the history of the program. Kearney came to Holy Cross from the University of Notre Dame, where he served as associate head coach for nine years under Mike Brey, helping the Irish to an overall record of 188-101 and five trips to the NCAA Tournament. Prior to his time at Notre Dame, Kearney was an assistant coach at Delaware, Northwestern, Philadelphia University and Providence. A 1981 graduate of the University of Scranton, Kearney's teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament 10 times and the National Invitation Tournament five times during his 23 seasons as a collegiate assistant coach.

HOLY CROSS NAMES CAPTAINS: Junior guard Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.), junior forward Andrew Keister and senior center Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2009-2010 season. These three players have taken over the leadership role from Colin Cunningham, Pat Doherty and Alex Vander Baan, who served as the Crusaders' senior captains during the 2008-2009 season.

CRUSADERS REMAIN DOMINANT AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 311-114 at the Hart Center, after posting its 300th win in the building against Sacred Heart on Nov. 14, 2008. The Crusaders had a 23-game winning streak at the Hart Center from Feb. 15, 2006-Jan. 2, 2008, which was the longest streak in the history of the building and the sixth-longest home court winning streak in the nation at the time. In 2006-2007 Holy Cross posted a perfect 14-0 mark at the Hart Center, setting a school record for the most home victories since it moved into the building. During the Hart Center's history, Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 30 out of 34 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 16 times. The Crusaders stand 98-22 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 62-11 record against Patriot League foes and an 12-4 mark in 2008-2009.

THE LAST MEETING WITH ST. JOSEPH'S: Adam May totaled 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists, to lead Holy Cross to a 73-69 overtime victory over St. Joseph's at the Hart Center on Nov. 16, 2008. Alex Vander Baan also had an outstanding game for the Crusaders, posting his third career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The game went to overtime tied at 63-63, before Holy Cross went on a 7-0 run to take a 70-63 lead, with Devin Brown scoring three points during that stretch. The Hawks would close to within one point (70-69) with less than a minute to play, before Eric Meister hit one of two free throws, and Vander Baan added a pair of foul shots to secure the win. The Crusaders had started the game hot, jumping out to a 20-10 lead with 8:43 remaining in the first half. Holy Cross was still up by six (24-18) with six minutes left before the break, when St. Joseph's went on a 17-4 run to take a 35-28 advantage into the locker room. The Hawks were able to expand their lead to 12 points (51-39) with 10 minutes remaining in regulation. The Crusaders then went on a 14-1 run over the next four minutes, with May hitting a three-pointer to put Holy Cross in front. Neither team led by more than two points for the remainder of the second half, and May hit another three-pointer with just 36.2 seconds remaining to put the Crusaders up 62-61. But after a free throw by May gave Holy Cross a two-point lead, the Hawks' Tasheed Carr drove the lane in the closing seconds to tie the score at 63-63 and force overtime. Brown finished the game with 12 points, two rebounds and two steals, while R.J. Evans added 12 points and three rebounds. St. Joseph's was led by Ahmad Nivins with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

HOLY CROSS HAS GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders look to once again be a strong rebounding team this year, after averaging 36.0 boards per contest and outrebounding their opponents by an average margin of 6.7 rebounds per game in 2008-2009. In the season opener, Holy Cross pulled down 34 rebounds against Harvard. Last year, Holy Cross outrebounded its opponent in 26 out of 32 games played. The Crusaders were even more impressive in Patriot League regular season play, outrebounding their opponents by 7.4 boards per game. Forward Andrew Keister led the team with an average of 6.3 rebounds per game, while guard R.J. Evans stood second with 5.2 boards per contest. Forward Colin Cunningham averaged 4.8 rebounds per game, while center Eric Meister pulled down 4.9 boards per contest and forward Alex Vander Baan chipped in with 3.3 rebounds per game. Entering 2009-2010, the Crusaders had posted a positive rebounding margin in 10 straight seasons, including eight years in which they outrebounded the opposition by at least four boards per game.

BEINERT LEADS HOLY CROSS FROM THE POINT: Junior guard Andrew Beinert has been one of the Crusaders' top players in the backcourt over the last three seasons. In the 2009-2010 opener against Harvard, Beinert totaled seven points, four rebounds and four assists. Last year, he averaged 8.5 points, 2.1 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game, while leading the Patriot League by hitting 45.4 percent (49 of 108) of his three-point field goal attempts. Three of Beinert's top games in 2008-2009 came at American, against Bucknell and at Boston University, as he totaled 18 points and three assists in each of those contests. He also dished out a career-high 10 assists in the victory over San Francisco. Overall last season, Beinert scored in double-figures 12 times, while leading the team in scoring four times. During his career as a Crusader, Beinert has now totaled 392 points, 118 rebounds, 113 assists and 47 steals, while hitting 39.9 percent (69 of 173) of his three-point field goal attempts.

MEISTER CLEANS THE GLASS FOR THE CRUSADERS: Senior center Eric Meister will once again be a key player for Holy Cross in the low post this season. In the 2009-2010 opener against Harvard, he totaled six points, four assists and three rebounds. Last year, Meister earned All-Patriot League Tournament honors, after averaging 12.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in three postseason games, while hitting 15 of 26 field goal attempts (57.7 percent). During the Patriot League semifinal victory over Colgate, he scored a career-high 19 points on nine of 10 shooting from the field, in addition to grabbing nine rebounds. A few of Meister's other top performances during the 2008-2009 season came at Lehigh (15 points, four rebounds), at American in the Patriot League championship game (12 points, 12 rebounds) and against American in the regular season (12 points, eight rebounds). Overall last year, he averaged 6.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots per game. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Meister has now totaled 399 points, 351 rebounds and 58 blocked shots.

CRUSADERS OWN FIVE PATRIOT LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON TITLES: Throughout its first 19 years of play in the conference, Holy Cross has won five Patriot League regular season titles. The last championship for the Crusaders came in 2006-2007, when they tied for first place in the conference with Bucknell, as both teams posted 13-1 records in league play. Prior to that, Holy Cross won outright Patriot League regular season titles in 2001, 2003 and 2005, while sharing the regular season championship in 1994. The Crusaders are the only team in league history to win more than two outright titles, while their five total championships are tied for the most in conference history with Navy (one outright, four shared) and Bucknell (two outright, three shared).

CRUSADERS HAVE FIVE PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CROWNS: Three years ago, the Crusaders captured their fifth Patriot League Tournament with their 74-66 victory over Bucknell on March 9, 2007. Holy Cross' previous tournament titles came in 2003 (72-64 over American), 2002 (58-54 at American), 2001 (68-64 over Navy in overtime) and 1993 (98-73 at Bucknell). The Crusaders' five conference tournament championships are the most in Patriot League history, with Navy having the second most (three in 1994, 1997 and 1998). Holy Cross has also appeared in the championship game seven times in the last nine years. Overall, the Crusaders have made a conference-record 10 appearances in the Patriot League championship game.

HOLY CROSS A FIXTURE IN CONFERENCE TITLE GAME: When the Crusaders faced American in the Patriot League championship game last season, it marked the seventh time Holy Cross appeared in the conference title game in the last nine years. The Crusaders have gone 4-3 in their seven championship game appearances during that time, winning the title in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2007. Only five other teams in the nation have played in their conference championship game as many times as Holy Cross has over the last nine years.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 91st season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1282-828 (.608), while making 24 postseason tournament appearances - 12 trips to the NCAA Tournament and 12 to the National Invitation Tournament. In the history of collegiate basketball, Holy Cross is one of only 16 schools to have won the NCAA Tournament (1946-1947) as well as the National Invitational Tournament (1953-1954). Throughout its history, Holy Cross has had six first team All-America selections, sent 10 players to the National Basketball Association, had four players inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had 23 players drafted by professional teams, had three players go on to coach professionally, and had 15 players who have coached in college.

THE JESUIT BASKETBALL SPOTLIGHT: The matchup between Holy Cross and St. Joseph's is part of the nationwide Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project, using Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. Both Holy Cross and St. Joseph's are Jesuit schools. The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project highlights more than 90 games this season between men's and women's teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Each of the 28 is dedicated to strong academics and teaching women and men to serve others and live a faith that does justice. The spotlight project includes awareness announcements during these designated games and during gamecasts on radio and television. Jesuit, Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. The Jesuit educational mission began in Europe approximately 500 years ago. For more information on Jesuit higher education in the United States, visit ‘http://www.ajcunet.edu/'.

SCOUTING THE HAWKS: St. Joseph's enters the game with an overall record of 1-0 on the year, after opening the season with a 77-67 overtime victory over Drexel. Senior guard Darren Govens led the Hawks with 23 points, while junior forward Idris Hilliard totaled 16 points and seven rebounds. The Hawks are coming off a 2008-2009 season in which they posted an overall record of 17-15 with a 9-7 mark in the Atlantic 10. St. Joseph's is led by head coach Phil Martelli, who owns an overall record of 279-167 in 15 seasons with the Hawks. Martelli has been named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year four times, while leading St. Joseph's to five NCAA Tournament appearances.

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Most of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2009-2010 season will be carried by The Pike, WWFX 100.1 FM in Worcester.  Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre will be in his 23rd season calling the play-by-play for Crusader basketball on the radio. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their sixth year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. The Pike is currently scheduled to air 24 of the Crusaders' 29 regular season games. All games aired on The Pike can also be heard live over the internet through the Worcester Pike website. The five games not carried on The Pike will be broadcast exclusively over the internet through SportsJuice. In addition, the Holy Cross student station, WCHC 88.1 FM, will carry a number of games this year.

CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross will have at least four games shown on live television during the 2009-2010 season. The Crusaders had 10 television appearances last year, while appearing on television eight times in 2007-2008, 13 times in 2006-2007, 10 times in 2005-2006 and 10 times in 2004-2005. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2009-2010 season:

Jan. 9 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network / MASN
Jan. 31 vs. Lehigh: CBS College Sports
Feb. 14 at Bucknell: CBS College Sports
Feb. 27 at Lehigh: Service Electric Cable

CRUSADER VISION: Live video streaming of three home non-conference games during the 2009-2010 season will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The contests against Loyola (Ill.), Marist and George Washington will be shown. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available through individual game pay-per-view, or through an annual subscription. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.

PATRIOT LEAGUE ALL-ACCESS: Live video streaming of all Patriot League regular season games during the 2009-2010 season will be available over the internet through Patriot League All-Access. The package, done in association with CBS College Sports Online, is available for a monthly subscription. For details on how to sign up for Patriot League All-Access, visit www.patriotleague.org.