WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior guard Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.) scored a career-high 21 points, but the Holy Cross men’s basketball team was defeated by Lehigh 91-80 at Stabler Arena. Beinert hit seven out of 12 field goal attempts on the night, including five of six shots from three-point range. Holy Cross falls to 8-21 overall and 5-9 in the Patriot League with the loss, while Lehigh improves to 19-10 on the season and 10-4 in the conference.
The Mountain Hawks had an outstanding night shooting the ball, hitting 15 of 27 three-point attempts (55.6 percent), and 30 of 56 shots overall (53.6 percent). C.J. McCollum led Lehigh with 28 points, while Marquis Hall recorded 25 points and 12 assists. Sophomore guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) totaled 17 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Crusaders, with junior forward Andrew Keister (Galloway, N .J.) added 14 points and eight rebounds.
The score was close throughout a first half which featured two ties and five lead changes. Lehigh took its biggest lead of the half (21-14) at the 11:19-mark, before Holy Cross scored nine straight points to pull back in front. The Mountain Hawks eventually held a one-point lead 34-33 heading into the locker room.
Lehigh was still ahead by one point (51-50) with 14 minutes left to play in regulation, when it used a 10-3 run to extend its lead to eight points (61-53). The Crusaders refused to go away, coming back to make it a two-point game (76-74) on a pair of free throws by Cavataio with 4:46 remaining. But the Mountain Hawks responded with a layup by Zahir Carrington and a three-pointer from Hall to build their lead back to seven points (81-74). Holy Cross would get no closer than five points the rest of the way, as Lehigh made all 10 of its free throws in the final three minutes to hold on for the win.
The Crusaders return to action on Wednesday, March 3, when they travel to Bucknell for a quarterfinal round game in the Patriot League Tournament.