Men's Basketball Hits The Road To Face Marist

R.J. Evans

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The Teams: Holy Cross (0-8, 0-0 PL) vs. Marist (2-9, 2-0 MAAC)
Date: December 19, 2010
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Place: James J. McCann Center (3,200), Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Marist Radio: WKIP 1450 AM, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Dean Darling, play-by-play; Ed Weir, color
Unofficial Live Statistics: Gametracker
Series Record: Tied, 2-2
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 68, Marist 56 (November 30, 2009; Worcester, Mass.)

Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 10, R.J. Evans, 6-3, 200, Jr.
F, 35, Eric Obeysekere, 6-8, 209, So.
C, 34, Andrew Keister, 6-9, 235, Sr.   
G, 2, Devin Brown, 6-1, 190, Jr.
G, 22, Andrew Beinert, 6-4, 185, Sr.

THE SERIES WITH MARIST: This will be only the fifth meeting between the Crusaders and the Red Foxes on the hardwood, with the all-time series tied at 2-2. In the first game between the two schools, the Red Foxes posted a 66-63 victory in Poughkeepsie on Dec. 28, 2002. Marist then won 59-55 at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 3, 2004. Holy Cross came back to win the next two games played between the schools, which both took place in Worcester (79-52 on Nov. 28, 2004; 68-56 on Nov. 30, 2009).

Overall: Tied, 2-2
In Poughkeepsie: Marist leads, 1-0
At the McCann Center: Marist leads, 1-0
Milan Brown vs. Marist: 0-0
Chuck Martin vs. Holy Cross: 0-1
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, two games
In Overtime: 0-0

HOLY CROSS TO PLAY FOUR OF NEXT FIVE GAMES ON THE ROAD: After taking a week off for final exams, the Crusaders return to action on Sunday, Dec. 19, when they travel to Marist for a 4:00 p.m. contest. Holy Cross will remain on the road for its next game, traveling to Hofstra on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders return home on Tuesday, Dec. 28, when they plays host to St. Joseph's at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross then hits the road once again, for contests at George Washington on Friday, Dec. 31, and at Sacred Heart on Sunday, Jan. 2.

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: Holy Cross has an all-time record of 100-78 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 6-7 mark against MAAC foes. Holy Cross stands 13-4 all-time against Canisius, 21-18 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.

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 four seasons. In eight games played this season, Beinert has averaged 6.6 points, 3.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds per contest, while hitting 48.4 percent (15 of 31) of his three-point field goal attempts. During last Sunday's game against Fairfield, he led the team with 19 points, three rebounds and three assists, while hitting five of seven attempts from three-point range. Previously at Wake Forest, 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 last 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 763 points, 244 assists, 199 rebounds and 84 steals, while hitting 42.5 percent (144 of 339) of his three-point field goal attempts.

HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: Even though Holy Cross is off to an 0-8 start this season, it has faced far and away the toughest non-conference schedule of any school in the Patriot League. Through games of Dec. 14, the Crusaders' schedule was ranked as the 90th-hardest in the nation by The next toughest schedule of any school in the Patriot League belongs to Colgate at 179th. Holy Cross' opponents have combined to go 48-25 so far this season, good for a .658 winning percentage.

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 eight games played so far this season, Keister has averaged 10.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest, while hitting 52.2 percent (36 of 69) of his shots from the floor. During last Sunday's game against Fairfield, he posted his 22nd career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Previously against Stony Brook, Keister scored eight points and pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds. Some of his other top performances this season have come at Massachusetts (16 points, 11 rebounds), at Wake Forest (16 points, five 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 694 points and 573 rebounds, while making 52.2 percent (285 of 546) of his field goal attempts and posting 22 double-doubles.

FAIRFIELD RECAP: Andrew Beinert totaled 19 points, three rebounds and three assists, but Holy Cross was defeated by Fairfield 71-60 at the Hart Center. Andrew Keister also had a solid game for the Crusaders, posting a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The game was close early on, and Holy Cross held a 14-13 advantage after the first 10 minutes of play. The Crusaders then went on a 12-3 run to claim their largest lead of the day, 26-16 with 5:48 remaining in the first half.  Beinert hit a pair of three-point field goals during that spurt. But Fairfield came right back with a 10-0 run of its own, tying the score at 26-26. The teams would go into the locker room deadlocked at 29-29. Holy Cross started the second half hot, with R.J. Evans recording a steal and a layup, and Beinert then hitting a three-pointer to make the score 34-29. But the Stags came back with a 15-3 spurt over the next six minutes to claim the lead for good. The Crusaders would get as close at four points (49-45) with 9:49 left in regulation, and were still down by just seven (65-58) with 1:39 remaining on the clock. Fairfield then hit six of eight free throw attempts in the final 1:09 to seal the victory. The Stags were led by Ryan Olander with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Yorel Hawkins with 15 points and five boards.

BROWN PLAYS KEY MINUTES FOR THE CRUSADERS: Junior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) continues to be one of Holy Cross top players during the 2010-2011 campaign. In eight games played so far this year, Brown has averaged a team-best 14.0 points per contest while hitting 85.0 percent (34 of 40) of his free throws. During the Stony Brook game, 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 672 points, 124 rebounds and 77 assists, while hitting 38.5 percent (90 of 234) of his three-point field goal attempts and 82.4 percent of his free throws (192 of 233).

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 eight games played so far this season, he is averaging 9.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest, while hitting 46.3 percent (31 of 67) of his field goal attempts. During the Stony Brook game, 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), at Harvard (13 points) and 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 879 points, 342 rebounds, 137 assists and 81 steals over the course of his Holy Cross career.

THE LAST MEETING WITH MARIST: Mike Cavataio scored a career-high 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to a 68-56 victory over Marist at the Hart Center on Nov. 30, 2009. Cavataio hit five of nine shots from the field and all eight of his attempts at the free throw line in the game. The Crusaders started the game hot, hitting six of their first seven shots from the field as they jumped out to an early 14-1 lead after the first five minutes of play. Marist would close the gap to eight points on two occasions, and was down by 10 (28-18) with three minutes remaining in the opening half. Holy Cross then went on an 8-0 run, including four points by Cavataio, to take a 36-18 advantage into the locker room. Early in the second half, the Crusaders extended their lead to 20 points (40-20) with 17 minutes left to play. Holy Cross would maintain a comfortable lead for the next several minutes, and was still up 55-36 with just under seven minutes remaining on the clock. The Red Foxes then went on a 9-1 run to make things interesting, and eventually pulled to within eight points (64-56) with 1:57 left to play. But the Crusaders turned up the pressure on defense and did not allow Marist to score again, eventually posting a 12-point victory. Andrew Keister posted a double-double for Holy Cross with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Andrew Beinert added eight points, five assists and four rebounds. As a team, Holy Cross shot 57.9 percent from the field (22 of 38) and 87.0 percent at the free throw line (20 of 23). The Red Foxes were led by Candon Rusin and Daye Kaba with 12 points each.

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 eight games played, Cavataio has averaged 6.9 points and 5.0 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 0-8. 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 95-128 (.426).

CRUSADERS REMAIN SOLID AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 316-123 at the Hart Center, including an 0-3 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 103-31 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 66-14 record against Patriot League foes.

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 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 now moves on to face Rick Stansbury of Mississippi State in the second round, while Engelstad will take on Rusty LaRue of Wake Forest.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 92nd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1291-856 (.601), 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. 12. In addition, junior guard Devin Brown ranks 93rd in free throw percentage, senior center Andrew Keister is 125th in rebounding and senior guard Andrew Beinert ranks 172nd in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio. The rankings:

Category Rank Player / Team Avg.
Free Throw Percentage 93 Devin Brown 85.0
Fewest Personal Fouls 101 Holy Cross 18.0
Rebounding 125 Andrew Keister 7.8
Assist-Turnover Ratio 172 Andrew Beinert 1.7
Rebounding Margin 192 Holy Cross +0.4

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 RED FOXES: Marist enters the game with an overall record of 2-9, and a 2-0 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Red Foxes have lost their last three games, since posting home victories over Niagara (80-72) and Canisius (74-64) in early December. Sophomore guard Candon Rusin leads the team with an average of 9.9 points per game, while hitting 40.7 percent (22 of 54) of his three-point field goal attempts. Sophomore guard Sam Prescott is also off to a solid start this year, averaging 9.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Marist is led by head coach Chuck Martin, who owns an overall record of 13-61 in three seasons with the Red Foxes. Prior to his time at Marist, Martin served as an assistant coach at Memphis, St. John's, Drexel, Massachusetts and Manhattan.

DRIBBLES: Holy Cross is off to an 0-8 start for the first time in school history. Previously, the Crusaders's worst start was 0-7 during the 1940-1941 season ... Freshman forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) had a strong game off the bench against Fairfield, totaling a career-high nine points and four rebounds in 20 minutes of action. He had eight points and a career-high five boards earlier in the year at Harvard, and is now averaging 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game ...  Senior forward Josh Jones (Ocala, Fla.) earned his first career start in the season opener against the College of Charleston. He responded with a solid performance, totaling nine points and four rebounds while hitting three of four shots from the field ... Holy Cross stands 0-3 so far this season when wearing its white uniforms, while going 0-5 in its purple uniforms ... The Crusaders have a 13-4 record in overtime contests since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season, including a 1-1 mark last year.