FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Freshman forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) and sophomore guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.) both set career highs by scoring 15 points, but the Holy Cross men's basketball team was defeated by Sacred Heart 77-75 at the William H. Pitt Center. Dudzinski made all six of his field goal attempts and both of his shots from three-point range, while Stevens was five-of-eight from the field and three-of-five from behind the arc. Holy Cross falls to 1-12 on the season with the loss, while the Pioneers improve to 5-8 overall.
The score was close early on, and the Pioneers held an 11-10 lead with 12:41 left in the first half. Holy Cross then went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to claim an eight-point lead (19-11), with Dave Dudzinski scoring six of those points. Sacred Heart used an 8-0 spurt a few minutes later to close the gap, and the Crusaders eventually led 30-27 with four minutes left before the break. The Pioneers then closed out the half on a 13-1 run, to claim a 40-31 advantage heading into the locker room.
After Jerrell Thompson hit a jumper on the opening possession of the second half to give Sacred Heart an 11-point lead (42-31), Holy Cross scored the next five points to work its way back into the game. The Crusaders eventually regained the lead (59-58) with 10:18 left to play on a layup by sophomore guard Dee Goens (Alpharetta, Ga.). Neither team led by more than two points for the next five minutes, before a three-pointer by Louis Montes put the Pioneers up 66-61.
Holy Cross was able to close the gap to three points (76-73) with 22.8 seconds to go on a pair of free throws by senior guard Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.), before junior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) had a steal and a layup to make it a one-point game. Montes then made one-of-two free throws with 15.8 seconds to go to make the score 77-75. The Crusaders had one last possession in the closing seconds, and Dudzinski was tripped while going to the basket, but no call was made and time expired.
Beinert finished the game with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Brown added 10 points, three rebounds and two assists. Sophomore forward Eric Obeysekere (Orinda, Calif.) also had a solid game with six points, nine rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots.
Sacred Heart was led by Shane Gibson with a game-high 21 points.
The Crusaders return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 5, when they play host to Yale at 7:00 p.m.