WORCESTER, Mass. – Aric Van Weelden hit a three-point field goal as time expired to lift Loyola (Ill.) to a 76-73 victory over the Holy Cross men’s basketball team at the Hart Center. The Crusaders led 73-65 with one minute remaining, before the Ramblers scored the final 11 points of the game to come back for the win. Holy Cross falls to 0-3 overall with the loss, while Loyola improves to 2-1 on the season.
The score was close throughout a first half which featured three ties and six lead changes. Neither team led by more than five points in the opening half, before the Crusaders took a 34-30 lead into the locker room.
Holy Cross would increase its lead to nine points early in the second half, taking a 45-36 advantage on a layup by sophomore guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) with 15:50 left to play. Loyola responded with a 10-2 spurt of its own to pull within one point (47-46) at the 12:09-mark, and was still down by just one (64-63) with three minutes remaining. Holy Cross then used a 9-2 run to go back up by eight points with one minute left in the game. But the Crusaders missed all four of their free throw attempts in the final minute, as the Ramblers hit their last four shots to rally for the victory.
Junior guard Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.) led Holy Cross with 17 points, six rebounds and six assists, while sophomore guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) added 16 points. Cavataio finished the night with 14 points and four assists, and sophomore guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) added 11 points and five rebounds.
Loyola was led by Walt Gibler with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Marcus Thomas with 16 points on five-of-seven shooting from three-point range. As a team, the Ramblers hit 12-of-22 three-point shots (54.4 percent).
The Crusaders return to action on Sunday, Nov. 22, when they travel to Rhode Island for a 1:00 p.m. game.