GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (1-6, 0-0 PL) vs. Brown (4-4, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: December 2, 2009
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800), Providence, R.I.
Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester; Dick Lutsk, play-by-play; Click Here for Internet Broadcast
Brown Radio: WPRV 790 AM, Providence, R.I.
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 42-17
Last Meeting: Brown 62, Holy Cross 57 (November 19, 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 BROWN: This will be the 60th meeting between the Crusaders and the Bears on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 42-17. Holy Cross had won six straight games between the schools, before Brown posted a 62-57 victory at the Hart Center last season. For games played at the Pizzitola Sports Center, the Bears hold a 4-3 advantage, but the Crusaders have won their last three trips to Providence. The schools first met on February 12, 1901, with Holy Cross posting a 9-8 victory in Worcester.
SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 42-17
In Providence: Holy Cross leads, 22-12
At the Pizzitola Sports Center: Brown leads, 4-3
Sean Kearney vs. Brown: 0-0
Jesse Agel vs. Holy Cross: 1-0
Current Win Streak: Brown, one game
In Overtime: Brown leads, 1-0
CRUSADERS HIT THE ROAD ONCE AGAIN FOR CONTEST AT BROWN: Coming off a 68-56 victory over Marist at home on Monday night, Holy Cross hits the road once again for a game at Brown on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. The Crusaders then return to Worcester on Saturday, Dec. 5, to take on Massachusetts at the DCU Center at 3:30 p.m. Holy Cross will be back on the road on Wednesday, Dec. 9, when it travels to Fairfield for a 7:00 p.m. contest. Following that game, the Crusaders will have a 13-day break for final exams.
IMPRESSIVE AGAINST THE IVY LEAGUE: The Crusaders have enjoyed a great deal of success against schools from the Ivy League over the last 10 years. Holy Cross stands 22-15 against Ivy League foes since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season. The Crusaders have lost their last four games against Ivy League foes, but prior to that had posted five straight victories. Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 196-117 against the eight schools which are members of the Ivy League (42-17 vs. Brown, 4-6 against Columbia, 3-2 vs. Cornell, 66-31 against Dartmouth, 41-22 vs. Harvard, 3-3 against Pennsylvania, 2-7 vs. Princeton and 35-29 against Yale).
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 seven games played this season, Keister has averaged 11.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest, while hitting 53.1 percent (34 of 64) of his shots from the floor. During the victory over Marist, he posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. In the previous game at Western Michigan, Keister recorded 10 points, four rebounds and two steals. He also played well at Rhode Island, leading the team with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while making nine of 14 field goal attempts. Some of Keister's 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 376 points and 288 rebounds, while making 52.9 percent (153 of 289) of his field goal attempts.
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 victory over Marist, he scored a career-high 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds. In the previous contest at Western Michigan, Cavataio posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 12 boards. He also played well at Nevada-Las Vegas, scoring nine points and pulling 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 seven games played, he has averaged 12.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.6 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.
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 seven games played so far this year, Brown has averaged 10.6 points per contest, while scoring in double-figures four times and hitting 45.5 percent (15 of 33) 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). Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Brown has now totaled 259 points, 66 rebounds and 46 assists, while hitting 32.9 percent (27 of 82) of his three-point field goal attempts.
MARIST RECAP: Mike Cavataio scored a career-high 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to a 68-56 victory over Marist at the Hart Center on Nov. 30, 2009. Cavataio hit five of nine shots from the field and all eight of his attempts at the free throw line in the game. The win marked the first victory in the collegiate head coaching career of Holy Cross' Sean Kearney. The Crusaders started the game hot, hitting six of their first seven shots from the field as they jumped out to an early 14-1 lead after the first five minutes of play. Marist would close the gap to eight points on two occasions, and was down by 10 (28-18) with three minutes remaining in the opening half. Holy Cross then went on an 8-0 run, including four points by Cavataio, to take a 36-18 advantage into the locker room. Early in the second half, the Crusaders extended their lead to 20 points (40-20) with 17 minutes left to play. Holy Cross would maintain a comfortable lead for the next several minutes, and was still up 55-36 with just under seven minutes remaining on the clock. The Red Foxes then went on a 9-1 run to make things interesting, and eventually pulled to within eight points (64-56) with 1:57 left to play. But the Crusaders turned up the pressure on defense and did not allow Marist to score again, eventually posting a 12-point victory. Andrew Keister posted a double-double for Holy Cross with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Andrew Beinert added eight points, five assists and four rebounds. As a team, Holy Cross shot 57.9 percent from the field (22 of 38) and 87.0 percent at the free throw line (20 of 23). The Red Foxes were led by Candon Rusin and Daye Kaba with 12 points each.
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 seven games played this year, Evans has averaged 11.3 points and 4.3 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. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 508 points, 197 rebounds, 71 assists and 57 steals.
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 seven games played so far this year, he has averaged 8.7 points, 3.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals per contest, while hitting 10 of 30 (33.3 percent) 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 eight points, five assists and four rebounds against Marist, 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 446 points, 133 rebounds, 135 assists and 52 steals, while hitting 39.6 percent (78 of 197) of his three-point field goal attempts.
THE LAST MEETING WITH BROWN: Brown forward Matt Mullery totaled 18 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots, to lead the Bears to a 62-57 victory over Holy Cross at the Hart Center on Nov. 19, 2008. Holy Cross led 14-12 after the first 10 minutes of play, before going on a 6-0 run to take a 20-12 advantage. But the Bears responded with a 6-0 run of their own, and would eventually claim a 27-24 lead with just under two minutes left before the break. The Crusaders came back to close out the half with a 7-0 spurt, including five points from Lawrence Dixon, and took a 31-27 advantage into the locker room. Early in the second half, Holy Cross expanded its lead to eight points (37-29), but Brown refused to go away, using an 8-0 run to tie up the score. Neither team led by more than two points for the next several minutes, until the Crusaders took a 49-45 advantage with six minutes left to play. Brown then went on a 12-0 run over the next three minutes to take the lead for good. Holy Cross would get no closer than four points down the stretch, as the Bears held on for the victory. Colin Cunningham led the Crusaders with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Andrew Beinert added nine points and three assists. Brown made 12 of 22 free throw attempts on the night, while Holy Cross was just two of four from the foul line.
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 434 points, 389 rebounds and 60 blocked shots, while making 51.7 percent (184 of 356) of his field goal attempts.
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 37.9 boards per contest and outrebounding their opponents by an average margin of 4.6 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 8.3 rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Mike Cavataio stands second with 7.0 boards per contest. Senior center Eric Meister has pulled down 5.9 rebounds per contest and sophomore guard R.J. Evans has chipped in with 4.3 boards 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 312-115 at the Hart Center, including a 1-2 mark so far in 2009-2010. The Crusaders posted their 300th win in the building against Sacred Heart on Nov. 14, 2008. Holy Cross 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 the Crusaders posted a perfect 14-0 mark at the Hart Center, setting a school record for the most home victories since they 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 99-23 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.
KEARNEY LEADS CRUSADERS FROM THE BENCH: Sean Kearney is in his first season as the head men's basketball coach at Holy Cross in 2009-2010, with an overall record of 1-6. 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.
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.
TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 91st season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1283-833 (.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 BEARS: Brown enters the game with an overall record of 4-4 on the year. The Bears had won three straight games, before suffering a 99-79 loss to Siena on Saturday. Senior forward Matt Mullery leads the team with averages of 16.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while hitting 64.2 percent (52 of 81) of his field goal attempts. Junior forward Peter Sullivan is also off to a strong start this year, averaging 12.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Brown is led by head coach Jesse Agel, who owns an overall record of 13-23 in two seasons with the Bears. Agel was previously an assistant coach at Brown for two years, and also spent 17 seasons as an assistant coach at Vermont.
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 /
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 two non-conference home games during the 2009-2010 season will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The contests against Loyola (Ill.) 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: Freshman guard Dee Goens (Alpharetta, Ga.) has averaged 4.3 points and 12.0 minutes played over the last three games, while hitting all eight of his free throw attempts ... The Crusaders set season-highs by hitting 57.9 percent of their field goal attempts and 87.0 percent of their free throws in the victory over Marist on Nov. 30 ... Holy Cross' 0-6 start this season was its worst since the 1940-1941 season, when it began the year 0-7 ... The Crusaders stand 1-2 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.