Holy Cross Heads To Lafayette For Patriot League Semifinals
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Event: Patriot League Semifinals
The Teams: Holy Cross (9-21, 5-9 PL) vs. Lafayette (18-12, 8-6 PL)
Date: March 7, 2010
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Allan P. Kirby Sports Center (3,500), Easton, Pa.
Television: Lafayette Sports Network; Gary Laubach, play-by-play; John Leone, color
Live Video Streaming: Patriot League All-Access
Unofficial Live Statistics: Gametracker
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here for Internet Broadcast
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 31-15
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 73, Lafayette 46 (February 6, 2010; 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 LAFAYETTE: This will be the 47th meeting between the Crusaders and the Leopards on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 31-15. The Crusaders have won 10 of the last 12 meetings between the schools, but both of the Leopards' victories during that time have come in the last three years. For games played in Easton, the Crusaders hold a slim 11-10 lead, having won five of their last eight visits to the Kirby Sports Center. The schools first met on Feb. 4, 1947, with Holy Cross posting a 50-40 victory at the Boston Garden.
SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 31-15
In Easton: Holy Cross leads, 11-10
At the Kirby Sports Center: Holy Cross leads, 11-10
Sean Kearney vs. Lafayette: 1-1
Fran O'Hanlon vs. Holy Cross: 14-18
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
In Overtime: Tied, 1-1
CRUSADERS ADVANCE TO PATRIOT LEAGUE SEMIFINALS: Holy Cross continues play in the 2010 Patriot League Tournament on Sunday, March 7, when it travels to Lafayette for the semifinals at 1:00 p.m. The Crusaders are the seventh seed in the tournament, while the Leopards are seeded third. The winner of the Holy Cross-Lafayette game will move on to face the American-Lehigh winner in the championship game on Friday, March 12. For the fourth straight year, all games in the Patriot League Tournament will be played on the campus of the higher seed.
HOLY CROSS LOOKS TO MAKE FINAL: The Crusaders will attempt to become the first team in conference history to win two true road games in the Patriot League Tournament. . . Holy Cross also looks to become the lowest seed to ever advance to the Patriot League championship game. . . No team seeded lower than second has ever won a Patriot League Tournament title, with the No. 1 seed capturing 14 championships and the No. 2 seed taking five titles. . . The top seed in the tournament has advanced to the championship game in each of the 19 years the Patriot League Tournament has been played. The other title game appearances all belong to the No. 2 (13 times) and No. 3 (six times) seeds. No team seeded lower than third has ever advanced to the Patriot League championship game.
THE SEEDINGS: Holy Cross is the No. 7 seed in the 2010 Patriot League Championship. This marks the first time the Crusaders have ever been the seventh seed in the tournament. . . Throughout its history in the Patriot League, Holy Cross has been the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament four times (10-1 record), No. 2 four times (10-2), No. 3 three times (5-3), No. 4 three times (1-3), No. 5 twice (0-2), No. 6 twice (0-2), No. 7 once (1-0) and No. 8 once (0-1). . . Holy Cross stands 4-11 all-time in Patriot League Tournament games when it has been seeded lower than its opponent. Prior to this season's 67-64 victory at Bucknell in the quarterfinals, the Crusaders had four straight games as the lower seed.
TOURNAMENT TIP-INS: Holy Cross became the sixth No. 7 seed in Patriot League Tournament history to defeat the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinals, with its 67-64 victory at Bucknell. . . The Crusaders, who will face Lafayette in the semifinals, stand 2-1 all-time against the Leopards in Patriot League Tournament play. This marks only the second time in the last 13 seasons the two schools have met in the conference tournament. . . Holy Cross won the last postseason meeting between the schools in the 2007 quarterfinals (83-53). The other Patriot League Tournament games between the schools came in the 1997 quarterfinals (Lafayette won 70-65) and the 1992 quarterfinals (Holy Cross won 87-71). . . For the fourth year in a row, all games in the Patriot League Tournament will be played on the campus sites of the higher seed. . . Holy Cross stands 3-5 all-time in Patriot League Tournament games which have been played on the opposing team's home court. . . The Crusaders will be playing a Patriot League Tournament game in Easton for only the second time. Holy Cross' only previous postseason game at the Kirby Sports Center was a 58-49 loss to Colgate in the 2000 quarterfinals. . . In the conference's history, teams playing on their home court have an overall record of 59-13 during the Patriot League Tournament. . . Six teams have won Patriot League championships in the past while playing at home for the entire tournament: Navy in 1994 and 1998, Lafayette in 2000, Bucknell in 2006, Holy Cross in 2007 and American in 2008 and 2009. . . Since the Patriot League moved to its current format of having the higher seed play host to each game (beginning in 2007), home teams stand 11-5 in the quarterfinals, 6-0 in the semifinals and 3-0 in the championship game.
CRUSADERS LOOK FOR SIXTH PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CROWN: Holy Cross is looking to win its sixth Patriot League Tournament title in 2010. 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.
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 30 games played this year, Beinert has averaged 10.5 points, 3.5 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest, while hitting 59 of 134 (44.0 percent) three-point field goal attempts. During the Patriot League quarterfinal victory at Bucknell, he totaled 19 points and three assists. Previously at Lehigh, Beinert led the team with a career-high 21 points and three steals, while hitting five of six shots from three-point range. He also played well against Colgate, scoring 15 points and tying his career-high by handing out 10 assists. Some of Beinert's other top games this year have come against Loyola (17 points, six rebounds, six assists, three steals), at Stony Brook (16 points), at Brown (15 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals), at American (15 points, three assists), at Rhode Island (14 points, three assists), at Army (13 points, four rebounds, three assists), against George Washington (13 points, three assists, two rebounds), against Central Connecticut State (12 points, six rebounds, three assists), against UMass (12 points, three steals), at North Carolina State (11 points, three assists, two rebounds), against Lafayette (10 points, five assists, two rebounds, two steals), against Army (10 points, three assists), against Bucknell (10 points, two assists), against Navy (nine points, five assists, four rebounds), at Lafayette (nine points, three assists, two rebounds), at Navy (eight points, nine assists, five rebounds, two steals), at Colgate (eight points, six assists, two rebounds, two steals), against Marist (eight points, five assists, four rebounds) and against Harvard (seven points, four rebounds, four assists). 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. During his career as a Crusader, Beinert has now totaled 700 points, 214 assists, 178 rebounds and 78 steals, while hitting 42.2 percent (127 of 301) of his three-point field goal attempts.
HOLY CROSS SETS RECORD FOR THREE-POINT PERCENTAGE IN QUARTERS: The Crusaders broke the Patriot League Tournament single-game record for the highest three-point field goal percentage during their quarterfinal victory over Bucknell on March 3. Holy Cross downed 66.7 percent (six of nine) of its attempts from behind the arc against the Bison. The Crusaders broke their own conference tournament record of 58.3 percent (seven of 12), which they had set against Bucknell on March 9, 2003, in the semifinals.
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 Patriot League quarterfinal victory at Bucknell, he totaled 20 points, four rebounds and two assists. Previously at Lehigh, Cavataio recorded 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. He also played well against Colgate, leading the team with 19 points, five assists and four rebounds, while hitting nine of 11 shots from the field. Some of Cavataio's other top performances so far this season have come at Brown (21 points, six rebounds), against Marist (19 points, eight rebounds), (17 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals), at Western Michigan (15 points, 12 rebounds), at Army (15 points, nine rebounds, four assists), at Lafayette (15 points, eight rebounds, two blocked shots), against Navy (15 points), against Loyola (14 points, four assists, three rebounds), against Central Connecticut State (13 points, six rebounds), at Colgate (12 points, nine rebounds and four assists), at North Carolina State (11 points, nine rebounds and three assists), against Harvard (11 points, five assists, three rebounds, two assists), against Army (11 points, five rebounds, three assists), at Navy (10 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals), at Nevada-Las Vegas (nine points, career-high 13 rebounds), at St. Joseph's (nine points, eight rebounds, four assists), against Lafayette (eight points, five rebounds, two assists) and at Rhode Island (eight points, two rebounds). Through 30 games played, he has averaged 11.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest. Cavataio sat out the 2008-2009 season, after transferring to Holy Cross from St. John's University, where he 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.
CRUSADERS AND LEOPARDS IN THE POSTSEASON: The semifinal game between Holy Cross and Lafayette will mark only the fourth meeting between the schools in the Patriot League Tournament. The teams last met in the postseason when the Crusaders posted an 83-53 victory in the 2007 quarterfinals. The only other times the schools have met in the Patriot League Tournament came in the 1992 quarterfinals (an 87-71 Holy Cross victory) and in the 1997 quarterfinals (a 70-65 Lafayette win).
THE FIRST MEETING WITH LAFAYETTE: R.J. Evans scored 19 points and Devin Brown added 18 points, but Holy Cross fell to Lafayette 84-74 at the Kirby Sports Center on Jan. 9. Evans tallied the first two buckets of the game for the Crusaders as Holy Cross opened a 12-6 lead in the first 8:10 of play. Lafayette responded with an 11-4 run to take its first lead of the contest, 17-16, on a jumper by Darion Benbow. The Crusaders tied the game at 19 on a three-pointer by Brown, but the Leopards outscored Holy Cross 14-9 the rest of the half to go into the locker room with a 33-28 lead. Lafayette shot 34.4 percent (11 of 32) over the game's first 20 minutes, while the Crusaders hit on 40 percent of their attempts (12 of 30). Holy Cross had a 24-18 advantage on the boards in the first half. The Crusaders opened the second half on fire, as they turned a five-point deficit into a three-point lead over the first 4:38 and led 43-40 at the under-16 media timeout. Jeff Kari then scored eight points during Lafayette's ensuing 17-3 run to put the Leopards up, 57-46, with 10:44 remaining in the game. Mike Cavataio hit two free throws to pull the Crusaders to within 59-52 with 8:12 left, but that was as close as Holy Cross would get the rest of the way. Lafayette had four players in double figures, as Ryan Willen led all scorers with 20 points, while Jared Mintz added 16, Kari finished with 14 and Jim Mower had 13. Cavataio added 15 points for the Crusaders, while Andrew Keister grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Lafayette finished the game shooting 45.9 percent (28 of 61) from the floor, while Holy Cross shot 43.5 percent (30 of 69). The Crusaders outrebounded the Leopards for the game 42-36, but Lafayette's bench outscored Holy Cross' reserves 26-7.
THE SECOND MEETING WITH LAFAYETTE: Andrew Keister posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to a 73-46 victory over Lafayette at the Hart Center on Feb. 6, 2010. Following the contest, Keister received the Martin J. O'Malley Award as the Most Valuable Player of the Crusaders' Winter Homecoming game. R.J. Evans, who missed Holy Cross' previous game due to injury, returned to action with 15 points, eight rebounds and a career-high six assists. Andrew Beinert added 10 points and five assists for the Crusaders, while Lafayette was led by Ryan Willen with 14 points and five rebounds. Holy Cross started the day by jumping out to a 17-7 lead after the first seven minutes of action. The Leopards trimmed the lead to five points (23-18) with six minutes left in the first half, before the Crusaders went on a 7-0 run to increase their lead to 12 points (30-18). Holy Cross eventually took a 36-26 advantage into the locker room. Lafayette closed the gap to seven points (44-37) with 15:52 left in regulation, before the Crusaders used a 13-0 spurt over the next six minutes to put the game away. The Leopards would get no closer than 17 points the rest of the way, and Holy Cross pulled away down the stretch for a 27-point victory (73-46). The Crusaders shot 51.7 percent (31 of 60) from the field on the day, improving their record this season when hitting at least half of their shots to 5-0. Holy Cross also had a 45-23 advantage on rebounds, while holding Lafayette to season lows for points (46) and field goal percentage (28.1 percent, 16 of 57).
KEISTER EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT ALL-LEAGUE HONOR: Junior forward Andrew Keister (Galloway, N.J.) has been one of the top low post players in the Patriot League over the last two seasons, and has been selected second team All-Patriot League. This is the second straight all-conference honor for Keister, who was named first team All-Patriot League in 2008-2009. In 30 games played this season, he has averaged 10.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest, while hitting 52.0 percent (127 of 244) of his shots from the floor and posting 12 double-doubles. During the regular season finale at Lehigh, Keister totaled 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Previously against Colgate, he recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds, while hitting seven of nine shots from the field. Keister also played well against American, scoring 15 points and tying his career-high with 18 rebounds. Some of his other top games this season have come at Navy (22 points, 14 rebounds, four assists), against Harvard (22 points, eight rebounds), at Rhode Island (21 points, 11 rebounds), against Army (17 points, 18 rebounds), against Lafayette (14 points, 10 rebounds), at Stony Brook (13 points, 18 rebounds), against Navy (13 points, 11 rebounds), against Marist (13 points, 10 rebounds), against Lehigh (12 points, 14 rebounds, three assists) and against UMass (12 points, four rebounds). Last year, Keister averaged 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. Overall last season, he averaged 8.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, while posting seven double-doubles and 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 603 points and 509 rebounds, while making 52.5 percent (246 of 469) of his field goal attempts.
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.
EVANS HAVING ANOTHER STELLAR YEAR: Sophomore guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) is enjoying another outstanding season for the Crusaders, after earning Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors in 2008-2009. In 27 games played this year, he has averaged 13.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest. During the regular season finale at Lehigh, Evans totaled 13 points, five assists and four rebounds. Previously at Bucknell, he recorded 13 points, five rebounds and two assists. Evans also had a solid all-around game in the victory at Army with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. Some of his other top performances this season have come at Fairfield (21 points, 10 rebounds), against Sacred Heart (20 points, five rebounds), against Navy (20 points, four rebounds, four assists), at Lafayette (19 points, five rebounds, two steals), against UMass (18 points, four rebounds, three assists), at Brown (17 points, 10 rebounds), against Central Connecticut State (16 points, 10 rebounds), at St. Joseph's (16 points, nine rebounds, three assists), against George Washington (16 points, seven rebounds, four assists), against Lafayette (15 points, eight rebounds, career-high six assists), against Bucknell (15 points, four assists), at American (14 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals), at North Carolina State (13 points, seven rebounds), at Nevada-Las Vegas (13 points, three rebounds, three assists), at Western Michigan (12 points, seven rebounds, four assists), at Stony Brook (12 points, three assists), against Harvard (12 points) and against 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. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 782 points, 302 rebounds, 121 assists and 70 steals.
HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: During the 2009-2010 campaign, Holy Cross faced far and away the toughest non-conference schedule of any school in the Patriot League. Through games of March 3, the Crusaders' non-league schedule was ranked as the 186th-hardest in the nation by CBSSports.com. The next toughest non-conference schedule in the Patriot League belongs to Colgate, which played a slate listed at 281st. Holy Cross played seven non-conference games against teams ranked in the top 150 of the RPI, and only faced five schools with RPI rankings of below 195.
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. Through 30 games played, he has averaged 5.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocked shots, while making 52.2 percent (72 of 138) of his shots from the floor. In the Patriot League quarterfinal victory at Bucknell, Meister posted nine points and a team-high nine rebounds. Previously at Navy, he totaled eight points and seven rebounds. Meister also played well in the victory at Army, recording 10 points, nine rebounds and a school single-game record nine blocked shots. Some of his other top games this season have come against Sacred Heart (14 points, career-high 16 rebounds), against Loyola (nine points, eight rebounds), against UMass (nine points, seven rebounds), against Bucknell (eight points, 11 rebounds), against Lafayette (eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists), against Navy (seven points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals), at Western Michigan (eight points, seven rebounds), at St. Joseph's (six points, nine rebounds), against Lehigh (six points, seven rebounds), at Colgate (six points, five rebounds) and against Harvard (six points, four assists, three rebounds). 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). 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 554 points, 514 rebounds and 78 blocked shots, while making 51.2 percent (237 of 463) of his field goal attempts.
HOLY CROSS HAS GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders are once again a strong rebounding team this year, averaging 36.7 boards per contest and outrebounding their opponents by an average margin of 4.0 rebounds per game so far in 2009-2010. Holy Cross was even more impressive on the boards during conference regular season play, posting a +4.7 rebound margin against Patriot League foes. The Crusaders' top game overall on the boards this year came at St. Joseph's, when they pulled down a season-best 50 rebounds. Junior forward Andrew Keister leads the team with an average of 9.1 rebounds per game, while senior center Eric Meister stands second with 5.5 boards per contest. Sophomore guard Mike Cavataio has pulled down 5.4 rebounds per contest and sophomore guard R.J. Evans has chipped in with 5.0 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.
BROWN PLAYS KEY MINUTES IN THE BACKCOURT: Sophomore guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) has once again been one of the top players in the Holy Cross backcourt this season. In 29 games played this year, he has averaged 12.9 points per contest, while scoring in double-figures 16 times and hitting 45.1 percent (64 of 142) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the victory over American, Brown recorded a team-best 16 points and four rebounds. Previously against Navy, he scored 23 points and hit five out of eight three-point field goal attempts. Brown also played well at Bucknell, leading the team with 19 points and making all 10 of his free throws. Some of his other top performances this season have come against Bucknell (career-high 29 points), at North Carolina State (21 points, five rebounds, three assists), against George Washington (20 points, five rebounds), at American (19 points, six rebounds, two assists), against Central Connecticut State (19 points, four rebounds, three assists), at Colgate (19 points), against Sacred Heart (19 points), at Lafayette (18 points, three rebounds), at St. Joseph's (17 points, three rebounds), against Loyola (16 points, two rebounds, two steals), against Army (13 points, two steals), against Harvard (12 points, five rebounds, two assists) and at Rhode Island (12 points, four assists). 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). Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Brown has now totaled 558 points, 116 rebounds and 68 assists, while hitting 39.8 percent (76 of 191) of his three-point field goal attempts and 81.9 percent of his free throws (158 of 193).
CRUSADERS KNOCK DOWN FREE THROWS: Holy Cross has been a good free throw shooting team during the 2009-2010 season, making 70.4 percent (458 of 651) of its foul shots this year. Sophomore guard Mike Cavataio leads the team by hitting 82.1 percent (78 of 95) of his free throws, while junior guard Andrew Beinert has made 79.0 percent (64 of 81) of his attempts at the charity stripe and sophomore guard Devin Brown has knocked down 77.3 percent (85 of 110) of his foul shots. Even though he has fewer attempts, freshman guard Dee Goens (Alpharetta, Ga.) has also been an excellent free throw shooter, hitting hit 37 of 47 foul shots (78.7 percent). All told, 10 of the 12 players on the Holy Cross roster who have attempted a free throw this year are hitting over 70.0 percent.
BLOCK PARTY: Senior center Eric Meister broke the Holy Cross single-game record for blocked shots during the victory at Army on Feb. 10, when he swatted away nine of the Black Knights' shot attempts. The previous record of seven blocked shots had been shared by Josh Sankes (against Colgate on Feb. 5, 2000) and Tim Clifford (against Lehigh on Feb. 2, 2008). Meister's nine blocks against Army nearly matched his total from the first 23 games of the season, as he entered the contest with 10 blocked shots. As a team, Holy Cross totaled a season-best 11 blocks against the Black Knights. That marked the Crusaders' most blocked shots in a single game since they totaled 11 blocks at Navy on Feb. 22, 2004. Overall this season, Holy Cross has totaled 88 blocked shots, and ranks second in the Patriot League with an average of 2.9 blocks per game.
SENIOR SALUTE: Two members of the Holy Cross basketball team will be wrapping up their careers at the conclusion of the 2009-2010 season. Senior center Eric Meister and senior forward Adam May (Mentor, Ohio) were both honored before the Colgate game on Feb. 24 for their contributions to the program. Over the last four years, the senior class has helped Holy Cross to an overall record of 67-58, the 2007 Patriot League regular season and tournament titles, a trip to the NCAA Tournament and two appearances in the Patriot League championship game.
PATRIOT LEAGUE QUARTERFINALS VS. BUCKNELL: Mike Cavataio scored 20 points and Andrew Beinert added 19 points, as Holy Cross posted a 67-64 victory over Bucknell at Sojka Pavilion in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament on March 3, 2010. The score was tied at 51-51 with less than four minutes to play, before Beinert hit one-of-two free throws and knocked down a three-pointer to put Holy Cross up 55-51. Then at the 1:19-mark, Cavataio tipped in a missed a shot while being fouled, and converted the three-point play to make the score 58-51. After Bucknell had trimmed the lead to five points (58-53), Eric Meister drained both shots of a one-and-one to move Holy Cross' lead back to seven points (60-53). Those two free throws began a stretch where the Crusaders hit nine of 10 free throws in the final minute of action to secure the victory. In the first half, the game was close most of the way, with Holy Cross leading 22-21 at the 6:54 mark. The Crusaders then scored five straight points, and eventually extended their lead to eight points (34-26) heading into the locker room. Bucknell started the second half on fire, scoring nine consecutive points to claim the lead. Neither team would lead by more than three points again until the closing minutes, when Holy Cross pulled away to claim the win. As a team, the Crusaders hit 46.8 percent of their field goals, 66.7 percent of their three-pointers and 85.0 percent of their free throws. On the defensive end, Holy Cross held Bucknell to just 37.3 percent shooting from the floor. Meister finished the night with nine points and nine rebounds, and R.J. Evans added nine points and four rebounds. The Bison were led by Darryl Shazier with 19 points, five rebounds and three assists.
THE HOLY CROSS CAPTAINS: Junior guard Andrew Beinert, junior forward Andrew Keister and senior center Eric Meister are the Crusaders' captains for the 2009-2010 season. These three players took 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.
CRUSADERS HEAT UP ON OFFENSE: Holy Cross has turned in some outstanding shooting performances so far this season. The Crusaders have hit at least 50 percent of their field goal attempts seven times this year, including the games against Lafayette on Feb. 6 (31 of 60, 51.7 percent), at Army on Feb. 10 (26 of 47, 55.3 percent) and against Colgate on Feb. 24 (30 of 51, 58.8 percent). Earlier in the season against Navy on Jan. 20, Holy Cross hit 61.7 percent (29 of 47) of its shots from the field. That marked the first time the Crusaders hit at least 60 percent of their shots in a game since Jan. 23, 2004, when they shot 60.8 percent (31 of 51) against Navy. On the year, Holy Cross has a 6-1 record when shooting at least 50 percent from the floor. The Crusaders have now won 58 of their last 60 games when they hit at least half their shots from the field.
TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 91st season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1291-848 (.604), 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.
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 9-21. He earned his first career victory with the 68-56 win over Marist on Nov. 30. 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.
HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Most of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2009-2010 season have been carried by The Pike, WWFX 100.1 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is 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 have handled either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. The Pike is currently scheduled to air 25 of the Crusaders' 31 games. All games aired on The Pike can also be heard live over the internet through the Worcester Pike website. The six 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 nine 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:
Dec. 28 vs. George Washington: WCTR-TV3
Jan. 9 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network / MASN
Jan. 13 vs. Army: WCTR-TV3
Jan. 23 at American: RCN Cable
Jan. 31 vs. Lehigh: CBS College Sports
Feb. 14 at Bucknell: CBS College Sports
Feb. 27 at Lehigh: Service Electric Cable
Mar. 3 at Bucknell: CBS College Sports
Mar. 7 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
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 most Patriot League regular season and tournament 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.
SCOUTING THE LEOPARDS: Lafayette enters the game with an overall record of 18-12 on the year, including a 8-6 mark in the Patriot League. The Leopards have won three of their last four games, and are coming off a 73-55 victory over Colgate in the Patriot League quarterfinals. Junior forward Jared Mintz leads the team with averages of 14.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while hitting 54.4 percent (143 of 263) of his shots from the field. Sophomore guard Jim Mower has averaged 13.8 points per game and hit 47.3 percent (86 of 182) of his three-point field goal attempts, while sophomore forward Ryan Willen has added 12.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest. Lafayette is led by head coach Fran O'Hanlon, who owns an overall record of 215-222 in 15 seasons with the Leopards.
DRIBBLES: The Crusaders' 27-point margin of victory over Lafayette on Feb. 6 was its largest since defeating Lafayette 83-53 in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament on Feb. 28, 2007 ... Holy Cross' 82 points against Bucknell on Jan. 16 were its most in a non-overtime game since a 97-88 victory over San Francisco on Dec. 27, 2008 ... Freshman guard Dee Goens scored 10 points in the win over American, after netting a career-high 13 points in the first Lehigh game. He is now averaging 4.0 points per contest while making 37 of 47 free throw attempts this season ... The Crusaders set season-highs by hitting 61.7 percent of their field goal attempts in the victory over Navy on Jan. 20, 66.7 percent of their three-pointers at Bucknell on March 3, and 88.9 percent of their free throws in the Dec. 9 game at Fairfield ... 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 5-8 so far this season when wearing their white uniforms, while going 3-10 in their purple uniforms and 1-3 in their black uniforms ... Holy Cross has broken the school single-season record for losses, which was previously shared the 1997-1998 (7-20) and 1998-1999 (7-20) teams ... The Crusaders have a 13-4 record in overtime contests since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season, including a 1-1 mark this year.