Holy Cross Plays Host To Marist On Monday Night

Eric Meister

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams:
Holy Cross (0-6, 0-0 PL) vs. Marist (0-3, 0-0 MAAC)
Date: November 30, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Unofficial Live Statistics: Click Here
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here for Internet Broadcast
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Marist Radio: WKIP 1450 AM, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Series Record: Marist leads, 2-1
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 79, Marist 52 (November 28, 2004; 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 MARIST: This will be only the fourth meeting between the Crusaders and the Red Foxes on the hardwood, with Marist leading the all-time series 2-1. In the first game between the two schools, the Red Foxes posted a 66-63 victory in Poughkeepsie on Dec. 28, 2002. Marist then won 59-55 at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 3, 2004. In the last game between the teams, Holy Cross earned a 79-52 victory at the Hart Center on Nov. 28, 2004.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Marist leads, 2-1
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
Sean Kearney vs. Marist: 0-0
Chuck Martin vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
In Overtime: 0-0

CRUSADERS COME HOME TO FACE MARIST: Following a tough three-game road trip, Holy Cross will return home this Monday, Nov. 30, when it plays host to Marist at the Hart Center at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders then hit the road once again for a game at Brown on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross will return to Worcester on Saturday, Dec. 5, to take on Massachusetts at the DCU Center at 3:30 p.m.

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: Holy Cross has an all-time record of 99-76 against the 10 schools which currently compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Since the beginning of the 2004-2005 season, the Crusaders have a 5-5 mark against MAAC foes. Holy Cross stands 13-4 all-time against Canisius, 21-16 vs. Fairfield, 15-15 against Iona, 2-2 vs. Loyola (Md.), 21-9 against Manhattan, 1-2 vs. Marist, 8-7 against Niagara, 14-13 vs. St. Peter’s and 4-8 against Siena. The Crusaders played in the MAAC for seven seasons from 1983-1990, posting a 52-48 record in conference play. Holy Cross’ top season in the league came in 1989-1990, when it posted a 14-2 mark to win the MAAC North Division title.

EVANS LOOKS TO HAVE ANOTHER STELLAR YEAR: Sophomore guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) returns as the leading scorer for the Crusaders, after earning Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors last season. In six games played this year, Evans has averaged 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. During the Western Michigan game, he totaled 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Previously at Nevada-Las Vegas, Evans posted 13 points, three rebounds and three assists. Some of his other top performances this season have come against St. Joseph’s (16 points, nine rebounds, three assists), Harvard (12 points) and Loyola (11 points, five rebounds, three assists). 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.

CAVATAIO SHINES AT HOLY CROSS: Sophomore guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) has been one of the top players on the team during his first season in a Holy Cross uniform. During the Western Michigan game, Cavataio posted his first career double-double with a career-high 15 points and 12 rebounds. In the previous contest at Nevada-Las Vegas, he scored nine points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds. Some of Cavataio’s other top performances so far this season have come against Loyola (14 points, four assists, three rebounds), Harvard (11 points, five assists, three rebounds, two assists), St. Joseph’s (nine points, eight rebounds, four assists) and Rhode Island (eight points, two rebounds). Through six games played, he has averaged 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest. 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.

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 six games played this season, Keister has averaged 11.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest, while hitting 51.8 percent (29 of 56) of his shots from the floor. During the Western Michigan game, he recorded 10 points, four rebounds and two steals. Previously at Rhode Island, Keister led the team with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and made nine of 14 field goal attempts. Some of his other top games this season have come against Harvard (22 points, eight rebounds) and St. Joseph’s (10 points, 11 rebounds). Last year, he earned first team All-Patriot League honors after averaging 12.5 points and 8.8 rebounds in conference regular season play, and 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 363 points and 278 rebounds, while making 52.7 percent (148 of 281) of his field goal attempts.

WESTERN MICHIGAN RECAP: Mike Cavataio posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, but Holy Cross was defeated by Western Michigan 64-54 at University Arena on Nov. 28, 2009. Holy Cross opened game by jumping out to a 13-8 lead after the first eight minutes of play, before Western Michigan responded with a 7-2 spurt to tie the score at 15-15. The Crusaders were back in front 21-19, when the Broncos went on an 11-4 run to claim a seven-point lead. Holy Cross came back to score the final five points of the half, and trailed 30-28 heading into the locker room. The score stayed close early in the second half, and the Crusaders were down by just two points (41-39) with just under 12 minutes left to play. Western Michigan then scored seven straight points to extend its lead to 48-39. Holy Cross was able to close to within four points twice in the final three minutes of play, but the Broncos made all six of their free throw attempts down the stretch to hold on for the win. R.J. Evans finished the game with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Andrew Keister added 10 points and four rebounds. Western Michigan was led by Donald Lawson with 15 points and eight rebounds.

BROWN PLAYS KEY MINUTES OFF THE BENCH: Sophomore guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) has once again been the first player off the bench in the Holy Cross backcourt this season. In six games played so far this year, Brown has averaged 11.2 points per contest, while scoring in double-figures four times and hitting 43.3 percent (13 of 30) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the Rhode Island game, he totaled 12 points and four assists. Previously against Loyola (Ill.), Brown recorded 16 points, two rebounds and two steals. He also had a team-high 17 points and three rebounds at St. Joseph’s, while totaling 12 points, five rebounds and two assists against Harvard. Last year, Brown 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 his 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).

BEINERT LEADS HOLY CROSS FROM THE POINT: Junior guard Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.) has been one of the Crusaders’ top players in the backcourt over the last three seasons. In six games played so far this year, he has averaged 8.8 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest, while hitting nine of 27 (33.3 percent) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the Rhode Island game, Beinert totaled 14 points and three assists, while hitting six of 10 shots from the floor. In the previous contest with Loyola (Ill.), he led the team with 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Beinert also recorded seven points and four assists at St. Joseph’s, while posting seven points, four rebounds and four assists against Harvard. 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 438 points, 129 rebounds, 130 assists and 52 steals, while hitting 39.7 percent (77 of 194) of his three-point field goal attempts.

THE LAST MEETING WITH MARIST: Kevin Hyland scored a career-high 13 points to lead the Crusaders to a 79-52 victory over Marist at the Hart Center on Nov. 28, 2004. Holy Cross controlled the game from the opening tip, jumping out to a 9-0 lead in the first four minutes of play. The Crusaders were up 16-1 before the Red Foxes hit their first field goal of the game, and led by as many as 25 points before the intermission (35-10 at the 4:38 mark). After holding a 39-17 advantage at the break. Holy Cross led by at least 20 points throughout the second half, extending its lead to as much as 32 points (78-46 with 2:29 remaining). The Crusaders had seven different players score at least eight points, as Kevin Hamilton, John Hurley and Greg Kinsey had 10 each, Tim Clifford and Keith Simmons both added nine, and Torey Thomas scored eight. Hamilton led Holy Cross with nine rebounds, Thomas posted eight assists, and Clifford had six blocked shots, tying for the second-highest single game total in school history. Jared Jordan scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Red Foxes, while Carl Hood chipped in with 14 points.

MEISTER CLEANS THE GLASS FOR THE CRUSADERS: Senior center Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) is once again a key player for Holy Cross in the low post this season. In the Western Michigan game, he recorded eight points and seven rebounds, while hitting four of six shots from the floor. Previously against Loyola, Meister totaled nine points and a team-best eight rebounds. He also posted six points and nine rebounds at St. Joseph’s, while recording six points, four assists and three rebounds against Harvard. 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 430 points, 381 rebounds and 60 blocked shots.

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).

HOLY CROSS HAS GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders are once again a strong rebounding team this year, after averaging 38.8 boards per contest and outrebounding their opponents by an average margin of 3.5 rebounds per game so far in 2009-2010. Holy Cross top game on the boards this year came at St. Joseph’s, when it pulled down a season-best 50 rebounds. Junior forward Andrew Keister leads the team with an average of 8.0 rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Mike Cavataio stands second with 5.8 boards per contest. Senior center Eric Meister has pulled down 5.5 boards per contest and sophomore guard R.J. Evans has chipped in with 5.0 rebounds per game. Last season, the Crusaders averaged 36.0 rebounds per game and outrebounded the opposition by 6.7 rebounds per contest. 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.

CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 311-115 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 98-23 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.

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.

HOLY CROSS NAMES CAPTAINS: Junior guard Andrew Beinert, junior forward Andrew Keister and senior center Eric Meister 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.

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.

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).

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.

CRUSADERS HAVE FIVE PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CROWNS: Three years ago, the Crusaders captured their fifth Patriot League Tournament championship 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.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 91st season of Holy Cross men’s basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1282-833 (.606), 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.

SCOUTING THE RED FOXES: Marist enters the game with an overall record of 0-3 on the year. The Red Foxes have been defeated by Rutgers (74-67), Hartford (75-38) and New Hampshire (72-58) in their first three games of the season. Freshman guard Candon Rusin leads the team with an average of 10.7 points per game, while hitting 50.0 percent (13 of 26) of his field goal attempts. Freshman forward Rob Johnson is also off to a solid start this year, averaging 10.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Marist is led by head coach Chuck Martin, who owns an overall record of 10-26 in two seasons with the Red Foxes. Prior to his time at Marist, Martin served as an assistant coach at Memphis, St. John’s, Drexel, Massachusetts and Manhattan.

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.

DRIBBLES: Holy Cross is off to an 0-6 start for the first time since the 1940-1941 season, when it began the year 0-7 ... The Crusaders stand 0-2 so far this season when wearing their white uniforms, while going 0-3 in their purple uniforms and 0-1 in their black uniforms ... Holy Cross has a 12-3 record in overtime contests since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season.