Holy Cross Plays Host To Fairfield On Sunday Afternoon

Eric Obeysekere

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (0-7, 0-0 PL) vs. Fairfield (5-3, 1-0 MAAC **)
Date: December 12, 2010
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Fairfield Radio: WICC 600 AM, Bridgeport, Conn.; Bob Heussler, play-by-play; Joe DeSantis, color
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 21-17
Last Meeting: Fairfield 73, Holy Cross 54 (December 9, 2009; Fairfield, Conn.)

** Record does not include Dec. 10 game at Siena

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 5, Mike Cavataio, 6-4, 190, Jr. 
F, 44, Phil Beans, 6-9, 233, So.  
C, 34, Andrew Keister, 6-9, 235, Sr.   
G, 10, R.J. Evans, 6-3, 200, Jr.   
G, 22, Andrew Beinert, 6-4, 185, Sr.
                                                               
THE SERIES WITH FAIRFIELD: This will be the 39th meeting between the Crusaders and the Stags on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 21-17. Fairfield has won the last two games played between the schools, but prior to that the Crusaders had posted seven straight victories in the series. For games played in Worcester, Holy Cross holds a 13-7 advantage, with a 7-5 mark at the Hart Center. The schools first met on March 18, 1950, with Holy Cross posting an 89-41 victory at the Worcester Auditorium.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 21-17
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 13-7
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross leads, 7-5
Milan Brown vs. Fairfield: 0-0
Ed Cooley vs. Holy Cross: 2-2
Current Win Streak: Fairfield, two games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0

HOLY CROSS SET FOR LAST GAME BEFORE FINALS: The Crusaders will conclude a short two-game homestand, when they play host to Fairfield on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 4:00 p.m. Holy Cross will then take a week off for finals, before returning to action the following Sunday, Dec. 19, with a 4:00 p.m. contest at Marist. The Crusaders will remain on the road for their next game, travelling to Hofstra on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross will not play at home again until Tuesday, Dec. 28, when it plays host to St. Joseph's at 7:00 p.m.

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: Holy Cross has an all-time record of 100-77 against the 10 schools which currently compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Since the beginning of the 2004-2005 season, the Crusaders have a 6-6 mark against MAAC foes. Holy Cross stands 13-4 all-time against Canisius, 21-17 vs. Fairfield, 15-15 against Iona, 2-2 vs. Loyola (Md.), 21-9 against Manhattan, 2-2 vs. Marist, 8-7 against Niagara, 14-13 vs. St. Peter's and 4-8 against Siena. The Crusaders played in the MAAC for seven seasons from 1983-1990, posting a 52-48 record in conference play. Holy Cross' top season in the league came in 1989-1990, when it posted a 14-2 mark to win the MAAC North Division title.

BROWN PLAYS KEY MINUTES OFF THE BENCH: Junior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) has returned to his role as one of the Patriot League's top sixth men during the 2010-2011 campaign. In seven games played so far this year, Brown has averaged a team-best 14.9 points per contest while hitting 84.2 percent (32 of 38) of his free throws. During Tuesday's game against Stony Brook, he scored a team-high 21 points on seven of 11 shooting from the field. Previously at Wake Forest, Brown tied for the team lead in scoring with 16 points. He also played well at Massachusetts (18 points, four assists), at New Hampshire (16 points, two steals) and against the College of Charleston (14 points, two assists). In 30 games played last year, Brown averaged 12.5 points per contest, while scoring in double-figures 16 times. He also hit 44.8 percent (64 of 143) of his three-point field goal attempts and 77.3 percent (85 of 110) of his free throws last season. Brown finished the 2009-2010 campaign ranked third in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage, eighth in free throw percentage and 11th in scoring. Some of Brown's top games last season came against Bucknell (career-high 29 points), at Navy (23 points, five of eight shooting from three-point range), at North Carolina State (21 points, five rebounds and three assists) and against George Washington (20 points and five rebounds). Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Brown has now totaled 664 points, 123 rebounds and 76 assists, while hitting 38.6 percent (88 of 228) of his three-point field goal attempts and 82.3 percent of his free throws (190 of 231).

HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: Even though Holy Cross is off to an 0-7 start so far this season, it has faced far and away the toughest non-conference schedule of any school in the Patriot League. Through games of Dec. 7, the Crusaders' schedule was ranked as the 69th-hardest in the nation by CBSSports.com. The next toughest schedule of any school in the Patriot League belongs to Lehigh at 174th. Holy Cross' opponents have combined to go 38-17 so far this season, with the Crusaders only facing one team ranked 200th or below in the ratings percentage index.

KEISTER LOOKS TO CONTINUE DOMINATING IN THE LOW POST: Senior center 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 twice been selected All-Patriot League. He earned first team All-Patriot League in 2008-2009, then was named second team all-conference in 2009-2010. In seven games played so far this season, Keister has averaged 10.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest, while hitting 55.0 percent (33 of 60) of his shots from the floor. During Tuesday's game against Stony Brook, he scored eight points and pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds. Previously at Wake Forest, Keister led the team with 16 points and five rebounds. Some of his other top performances this season have come at Massachusetts (16 points, 11 rebounds), against the College of Charleston (15 points, 10 rebounds), at Boston College (10 points, seven rebounds) and at New Hampshire (10 points, seven rebounds). In 31 games played last season, Keister averaged 10.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest, while hitting 51.6 percent (130 of 252) of his shots from the floor and posting 12 double-doubles. He led the Patriot League in rebounding a year ago, while ranking third in field goal percentage and 19th in scoring. Some of Keister's top games in 2009-2010 came at Navy (22 points, 14 rebounds and four assists), against Harvard (22 points and eight rebounds), at Rhode Island (21 points and 11 rebounds) and against Army (17 points and 18 rebounds). Over the course of his collegiate career, Keister has now totaled 684 points and 563 rebounds, while making 52.5 percent (282 of 537) of his field goal attempts and posting 21 double-double.

STONY BROOK RECAP: Stony Brook's Dave Coley drove the lane and hit a layup with 1.2 seconds remaining, to lift the Seawolves to a 54-53 victory over the Holy Cross men's basketball team at the Hart Center. The Crusaders were led by Devin Brown with 21 points and three rebounds. The Seawolves opened the game with a 6-3 lead, before Holy Cross came back to score the next seven points and pull in front 10-6. Stony Brook responded with an 8-0 run, before the Crusaders went on an 8-0 spurt of their own to take an 18-14 advantage. Holy Cross went on to extend it lead to eight points (28-20) heading into the locker room. The Crusaders held onto a slim lead for most of the second half, with the margin ranging from two to eight points. The Seawolves were finally able to tie up the game at 45-45 with eight minutes left to play on a jumper by Coley. Holy Cross scored the next five points to pull back in front, and was still up 53-48 with just over three minutes left to play. But a pair of free throws by Stony Brook's Bryan Dougher and a jumper by Coley made the score 53-52 with just under two minutes remaining. Neither team would score again until the final seconds, when Coley hit the game-winning shot. R.J. Evans finished the night with 11 points and five rebounds, while Andrew Keister added eight points and 10 rebounds. The Seawolves were led by junior forward Danny Carter with 10 points and three rebounds.

EVANS KEEPS ON SCORING: Junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) is once again among the top players in the Patriot League during the 2010-2011 season. In seven games played so far this season, he is averaging 10.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest, while hitting 50.9 percent (29 of 57) of his field goal attempts. During Tuesday's game against Stony Brook, Evans totaled 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. Previously at Massachusetts, he finished with 11 points and three rebounds. Some of Evans' other top performances this year have been against the College of Charleston (16 points, five assists, three steals, two rebounds) and at Harvard (13 points), at Boston College (12 points, seven rebounds). In 28 games played last year, he averaged a team-best 13.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest. Evans finished last season ranked eighth in the Patriot League in scoring, 11th in assists and 14th in rebounding. A few of Evans' top performances in 2009-2010 came at Lafayette in the Patriot League semifinals (21 points, seven rebounds and three assists), at Fairfield (21 points and 10 rebounds), against Sacred Heart (20 points and five rebounds) and against Navy (20 points, four rebounds and four assists). The 2008-2009 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, Evans has now totaled 874 points, 335 rebounds, 135 assists and 80 steals over the course of his Holy Cross career.

BEINERT LEADS HOLY CROSS FROM THE POINT: Senior 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 this season, he has averaged 4.9 points, 3.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds per contest, while hitting 41.7 percent (10 of 24) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the Wake Forest game, Beinert totaled eight points and a season-high seven assists. He also played well at Boston College, recording 11 points, three rebounds and two assists. In 31 games played last year, Beinert averaged 10.5 points, 3.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest, while hitting 61 of 141 (43.3 percent) three-point field goal attempts. He finished the season ranked fourth in the Patriot League in assists and three-point field goal percentage, while standing 17th in scoring. Some of Beinert's top games in 2009-2010 came at Lehigh (career-high 21 points and three steals, while hitting five of six shots from three-point range), at Bucknell in the Patriot League quarterfinals (19 points and three assists) and against Loyola (17 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals). During his career as a Crusader, Beinert has now totaled 744 points, 241 assists, 196 rebounds and 83 steals, while hitting 41.9 percent (139 of 332) of his three-point field goal attempts.

THE LAST MEETING WITH FAIRFIELD: R.J. Evans posted a double-double with a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds, but Holy Cross was defeated by Fairfield 73-54 at Alumni Hall on Dec. 9, 2009. Fairfield opened the game by jumping out to an 8-3 lead after the first seven minutes of play. The Stags were still up by four (10-6), when the Crusaders went on a 10-0 run to claim the lead, including a pair of three-point field goals by Adam May. Fairfield scored the next 12 points to go back in front, before Holy Cross regained the lead with a 7-0 spurt. The Stags eventually took a 27-25 lead into the locker room. Fairfield started the second half hot, and increased its advantage to 42-32 with just under 15 minutes left to play. The Crusaders were able to close the gap to six points (44-38), before the Stags used a 14-2 run to put the game away. Holy Cross was able to get no closer than 10 points down the stretch, as Fairfield eventually posted a 19-point victory. The Stags were led by Yorel Hawkins with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Anthony Johnson added 16 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. The Crusaders made a season-best 88.9 percent (16 of 18) of their free throws on the night, led by a nine-for-10 performance from Evans. But Holy Cross also committed 21 turnovers in the game and was outrebounded 41-35.

CAVATAIO SHINES ON THE WING: Junior guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) is once again among Holy Cross' top players during the 2010-2011 campaign. In seven games played, Cavataio has averaged 7.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest. During the Massachusetts game, he filled up the stat line with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Cavataio previously had 16 points and seven rebounds against the College of Charleston, while recording 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals at New Hampshire. In 31 games played last season, he averaged 11.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest. Cavataio also shot 47.1 percent (131 of 278) from the field and 82.1 percent (78 of 95) on the free throw line in 2009-2010. He finished last year ranked fourth in the Patriot League in free throw percentage, eighth in field goal percentage, ninth in rebounding and 14th in scoring. A few of Cavataio's top performances in 2009-2010 came at Brown (21 points and six rebounds), at Bucknell in the Patriot League quarterfinals (20 points, four rebounds, two assists), against Colgate (19 points, five assists, four rebounds) and against Marist (19 points, eight rebounds). Cavataio previously 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.

BROWN ENTERS FIRST SEASON WITH THE CRUSADERS: Milan Brown is in his first season as the head men's basketball coach at Holy Cross in 2010-2011, with a record of 0-7. The 16th head coach in the history of the program, he joined the Crusaders after spending the previous seven seasons as head coach at Mount St. Mary's. During the last three years at Mount St. Mary's, Brown led the Mountaineers to three straight winning seasons and a pair of postseason appearances. His teams posted a 54-44 record (.551) during those three years, including a 35-19 mark (.648) in Northeast Conference play. During the 2007-2008 campaign, Brown led Mount St. Mary's to the first NCAA Division I Tournament victory in school history, with a 69-60 win over Coppin State in the opening round. Brown's career collegiate head coaching record stands at 95-127 (.428).

CRUSADERS REMAIN SOLID AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 316-122 at the Hart Center, including an 0-2 mark so far this year. 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 35 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 16 times. The Crusaders stand 103-30 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 66-14 record against Patriot League foes.

THE JESUIT BASKETBALL SPOTLIGHT: The matchup between Holy Cross and Fairfield is part of the nationwide Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project, using Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. Both Holy Cross and Fairfield are Jesuit schools. The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project highlights more than 90 games this season between men's and women's teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Each of the 28 is dedicated to strong academics and teaching women and men to serve others and live a faith that does justice. The spotlight project includes awareness announcements during these designated games and during gamecasts on radio and television. Jesuit, Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. The Jesuit educational mission began in Europe approximately 500 years ago. For more information on Jesuit higher education in the United States, visit 'www.ajcunet.edu'.

SHOTS FROM THE HEART: Holy Cross head coach Milan Brown and assistant coach Dan Engelstad are taking part in Shots from the Heart, a project created by CollegeInsider.com to help raise awareness for the growing problem of heart disease. Brown and Engelstad will compete against other college basketball coaches from around the nation in a free throw shooting tournament, which will benefit the American Heart Association. In the first round of the tournament, Brown defeated Ron Hunter of IUPUI 30-29, while Engelstad downed Notre Dame's Martin Inglesby 30-28. Brown will now move on to face Rick Stansbury of Mississippi State in December, while Engelstad will take on Rusty LaRue of Wake Forest in the second round.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 92nd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1291-855 (.602), 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.

CRUSADERS LOOKING FOR SIXTH PATRIOT LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: During the 2010-2011 campaign, Holy Cross will attempt to win the Patriot League regular season title for the sixth time in school history. The last championship for the Crusaders came in 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 IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in two statistical categories, through games of Dec. 5. In addition, senior guard Andrew Beinert ranks 60th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, junior guard Devin Brown ranks 73rd in free throw percentage and senior center Andrew Keister is 190th in rebounding. The rankings:

Category Rank Player / Team Avg.
Fewest Personal Fouls 58 Holy Cross 17.2
Assist-Turnover Ratio 60 Andrew Beinert 2.4
Free Throw Percentage 73 Devin Brown 86.7
Field Goal Percentage 158 Holy Cross 44.2
Rebounding 190 Andrew Keister 7.0

 

CRUSADERS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2010-2011 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in fourth place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 70 total points in the conference preseason poll, along with two first-place votes. American placed first in the poll with 79 total points and seven first-place votes, followed by Bucknell in second (76 points, three first-place votes) and Lafayette in third (73 points, two first-place votes). The preseason rankings were rounded out by Lehigh (fifth, 69 points, two first-place votes), Navy (sixth, 35 points), Colgate (seventh, 31 points) and Army (eighth, 15 points).

KEISTER NAMED PRESEASON ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE: Senior center Andrew Keister was selected to the preseason All-Patriot League team, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Keister was joined on the preseason all-conference team by Lehigh sophomore guard C.J. McCollum, Lafayette senior forward Jared Mintz, American senior forward Vlad Moldoveanu, Bucknell sophomore forward Mike Muscala and Navy junior guard Jordan Sugars. In addition, McCollum was selected as the preseason Player of the Year.

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: All of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2010-2011 season will be carried live over the internet. The games will be streamed by Stretch Internet free of charge, and can be heard by clicking here. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre will be in his 24th season calling the play-by-play for Crusader basketball on the radio. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their seventh year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. 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 seven games shown on live television during the 2010-2011 season. The Crusaders had nine television appearances last year, while appearing on television 10 times in 2008-2009, 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 2010-2011 season:

Dec. 22 at Hofstra: Verizon FiOS1
Dec. 28 vs. St. Joseph's: WCTR-TV3
Jan. 16 at Bucknell: CBS College Sports
Jan. 27 vs. Colgate: CBS College Sports
Jan. 29 at Lehigh: Service Electric Cable
Feb. 5 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
Feb. 9 vs. Army: WCTR-TV3

CRUSADER VISION: Live video streaming of three home non-conference games during the 2010-2011 season will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The contests against the College of Charleston, Stony Brook and St. Joseph's will be shown. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available through individual game pay-per-view. 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 2010-2011 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, click here.

SCOUTING THE STAGS: Fairfield has an overall record of 5-3 and a 1-0 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, prior to a contest at Siena on Dec. 10. The Stags have won their last four games, defeating Norfolk State (91-56), Savannah State (41-39), Loyola of Maryland (65-55) and Howard (72-52). Sophomore guard Derek Needham leads the team with averages of 12.1 points and 5.5 assists per game. Senior forward Warren Edney has added 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest, while senior forward Yorel Hawkins is averaging 7.3 points and 3.9 boards per game. Fairfield is led by Ed Cooley, who is in his fifth season as a collegiate head coach with a 72-64 record. Prior to his time with the Stags, Cooley spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Boston College.

DRIBBLES: Holy Cross is off to an 0-7 start for the first time since the 1940-1941 season, when it began the year 0-7. The Crusaders have never opened a season 0-8 ... Freshman forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) had a strong night off the bench at Harvard, scoring eight points and pulling down a team-high five rebounds in 24 minutes of action. He then added seven points and four boards at New Hampshire, and is now averaging 3.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game ...  Holy Cross stands 0-2 so far this season when wearing its white uniforms, while going 0-5 in its purple uniforms.