WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Holy Cross men's basketball team could not complete a late come back in the last minute of the second half, falling to American 71-64 at Bender Arena. With the loss the Crusaders fall to a 5-15 overall record (2-3 Patriot League) while the Eagles go to 5-15 (2-3 Patriot League). Sophomore Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) scored a team-high 19 points, hitting six of his nine field goal attempts.
Junior Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.) knocked down both of his three-point attempts to spark the Crusaders early on in the first half, giving the team an early 6-4 advantage. A 9-0 American run followed, as the Eagles took a 13-6 lead at 13:56. Two consecutive three-point shots by Brown gave the Crusaders back a 21-20 lead at 7:08 after outscoring American 14-6 over six minutes of play. American went back ahead by four points, 25-21, but Brown continued to use his hot hand, scoring seven consecutive points to give Holy Cross a three-point lead, 28-25 at 3:31. American broke its three minute scoring drought to go on a short 5-0 run, taking back a 30-28 lead at 2:26. Sophomore R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) then hit his first field goal of the game with 1:04 left on the clock to knot the halftime score at 30-30. Brown led all Holy Cross scorers with 14 halftime points while the Crusaders went 11-of-26 from the field (.423). American hit 12 of its 26 shots (.462).
A three-point shot made by Eagles sophomore Joe Hill gave American back a 37-34 edge at 15:50 of the second half after both teams traded two baskets to start out. The Eagles then took an eight-point lead, 46-38, at 10:37 after collecting seven unanswered points. Holy Cross found itself down by its largest deficit of 11 points, 58-47, with a little under five minutes left to play in the game. Brown gave the Crusaders a fighting chance, knocking down a three-point shot at 1:17, pulling the team within four points, 65-61. Evans then collected a three-point play to make it a one-possession game, 67-64, with less than a minute to go on the game clock. American was able to make its last group of free throw attempts, however, dropping Holy Cross by the final score of 71-64. The Crusaders were outscored 41-34 in the second half as they shot 36 percent from the field, finishing the game with a .386 field goal percentage.
Three players scored in double-figures for Holy Cross, led by Brown's 19 total points. Beinert followed with 15 points while Evans tallied 14 points to round out the top performances. American junior Vlad Moldoveanu led the Eagles with 20 points.
Holy Cross continues its two-game road trip with a visit to Hamilton, N.Y. to take on Colgate on Wednesday, Jan. 27. The game will be held at Cotterell Court beginning at 7:00 p.m. and serves as the 67th meeting between the teams all-time.