WORCESTER, Mass. – Sacred Heart guard Ryan Litke scored 19 points on seven of 10 shooting from the field, to lead the Pioneers to an 82-79 victory over the Holy Cross men’s basketball team at the Hart Center. Sophomore guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) led the Crusaders with 20 points and five rebounds. Holy Cross falls to 2-9 on the season with the loss, while Sacred Heart improves to 7-4 overall.
The first half of the game went back-and-forth, with six ties and 10 lead changes. Sacred Heart took its largest lead of the night (24-17) with 11 minutes left in the first half, before the Crusaders used a 27-13 run to take a seven-point lead of their own (44-37). Holy Cross was up 44-39 at the break.
The Crusaders held onto the lead early in the second half, eventually going up by as many as 11 points (58-47) with 12 minutes left to play. But Sacred Heart then scored nine straight points to get back into the game, and the score stayed close the rest of the way. Holy Cross was up 67-66 at the 4:46-mark, before a short jumper by Liam Potter gave the Pioneers the lead for good. The Crusaders were able to close to within one point twice in the final three minutes, but Sacred Heart made seven of eight free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
Sophomore guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) totaled 19 points and two steals for Holy Cross, while senior center Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) added 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. The Crusaders shot 50.0 percent (six of 12) from three-point range and 78.9 percent (15 of 19) at the free throw line while holding a 47-34 advantage on the glass, but also committed 23 turnovers.
Holy Cross returns to action on Monday, Dec. 28, when it plays host to George Washington in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Hart Center.