Holy Cross Faces Yale In Final Non-Conference Game

Devin Brown

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The Teams: Holy Cross (1-12, 0-0 PL) vs. Yale (5-7, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: January 5, 2011
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: Dick Lutsk, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 35-29
Last Meeting: Yale 76, Holy Cross 66 (December 3, 2008; New Haven, Conn.)

Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 5, Mike Cavataio, 6-4, 190, Jr.
F, 35, Eric Obeysekere, 6-8, 209, So.
C, 42, Josh Jones, 6-7, 235, Sr.   
G, 2, Devin Brown, 6-1, 190, Jr.
G, 22, Andrew Beinert, 6-4, 185, Sr.

THE SERIES WITH YALE: This will be the 65th meeting between the Crusaders and the Bulldogs on the hardwood. Holy Cross holds a 35-29 advantage in the all-time series, including victories in eight of the last 12 games. Yale did win the last meeting between the schools, posting a 76-66 victory in New Haven on Dec. 3, 2008. For games played in Worcester, Holy Cross holds a 14-6 advantage in the series, including an 8-2 mark at the Hart Center. Holy Cross and Yale first met on Feb. 10, 1903, with the Bulldogs posting a 26-10 victory in Worcester.

Overall: Holy Cross leads, 35-29
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 14-6
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross leads, 8-2
Milan Brown vs. Yale: 0-0
James Jones vs. Holy Cross: 2-4
Current Win Streak: Yale, one game
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 4-2

HOLY CROSS CLOSES OUT NON-CONFERENCE SLATE AGAINST YALE: The Crusaders will play their final non-conference game of the 2010-2011 campaign when they face Yale at the Hart Center on Wednesday, Jan. 5, at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross then opens its 21st season of competition in the Patriot League on Saturday, Jan. 8, when it plays host to Lafayette at 3:30 p.m. The next road game for the Crusaders will come on Wednesday, Jan. 12, when they travel to Army for a 7:00 p.m. contest.

IMPRESSIVE AGAINST THE IVY LEAGUE: The Crusaders have enjoyed a great deal of success against schools from the Ivy League over the last 11 years. Holy Cross stands 23-16 against Ivy League foes since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season. The Crusaders are 0-1 against the Ivy League so far this season, falling at Harvard 72-49 on Nov. 17. Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 197-118 against the eight schools which are members of the Ivy League (43-17 vs. Brown, 4-6 against Columbia, 3-2 vs. Cornell, 66-31 against Dartmouth, 41-23 vs. Harvard, 3-3 against Pennsylvania, 2-7 vs. Princeton and 35-29 against Yale).

STEVENS STEPS UP OFF THE BENCH: Sophomore guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.) has turned into one of the Crusaders' top players in the last few weeks. Over Holy Cross' last five games, Stevens has averaged 10.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.8 steals per contest, while hitting 45.8 percent (11 of 24) of his three-point field goal attempts. During Sunday's game at Sacred Heart, he scored a career-high 15 points and handed out three assists. In the previous contest at George Washington, Stevens totaled 13 points, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He also recorded 11 points and two assists at Hofstra, while finishing with nine points, three assists and two rebounds during the victory at Marist. Overall this season, Stevens is now averaging 6.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

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 13 games played, he has averaged 7.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. During the St. Joseph's game, Cavataio led the team with 12 points and eight rebounds, while hitting six of 11 shots from the field. Previously at Massachusetts, he filled up the stat line with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Earlier in the season, Cavataio 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. Cavataio sat out the 2008-2009 season after transferring to Holy Cross from St. John's, where he totaled 23 points and 20 rebounds during his only year with the Red Storm. During his two year career at Holy Cross, he has totaled 445 points, 234 rebounds and 93 assists.

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 13 games played this season, Beinert has averaged 7.2 points, 3.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds per contest, while hitting 40.0 percent (22 of 55) of his three-point field goal attempts. During Sunday's game at Sacred Heart, he recorded 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Previously against St. Joseph's, Beinert totaled seven points and eight assists with no turnovers. A few of his other top performances this season have been against Fairfield (19 points, three rebounds, three assists), at Marist (10 points, three rebounds), at Boston College (11 points, three rebounds, two assists) and at Wake Forest (eight points, seven 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. During his career as a Crusader, Beinert has now totaled 804 points, 263 assists, 217 rebounds and 89 steals, while hitting 41.6 percent (151 of 363) of his three-point field goal attempts.

BROWN TAKES OVER ON THE CRUSADER BENCH: Milan Brown is in his first season as the head men's basketball coach at Holy Cross in 2010-2011, with a record of 1-12. Brown earned his first victory with the Crusaders on Dec. 19, 2010, at Marist. The 16th head coach in the history of the program, he came to Holy Cross after spending the previous seven seasons as head coach at Mount St. Mary's. During his final 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 96-132 (.421).

SACRED HEART RECAP: Dave Dudzinski and Jordan Stevens both set career highs by scoring 15 points, but Holy Cross was defeated by Sacred Heart 77-75 at the William H. Pitt Center on Jan. 2, 2011. 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. 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 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 Dee Goens. 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 Andrew Beinert, before Devin Brown 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.

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).

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 13 games played so far this year, he has averaged a team-best 12.2 points per contest while hitting 83.3 percent (50 of 60) of his free throws. During the victory at Marist, Brown totaled 13 points and four assists, while hitting all eight of his free throw attempts. Previously against Stony Brook, he scored a team-high 21 points on seven of 11 shooting from the field. Brown also played well at Wake Forest, when he tied for the team lead in scoring with 16 points. Some of his other top performances this season have come at Massachusetts (18 points, four assists), at New Hampshire (16 points, two steals), against the College of Charleston (14 points, two assists), at Sacred Heart (10 points, three rebounds, two assists) and at Hofstra (10 points). 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. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Brown has now totaled 719 points, 133 rebounds and 85 assists, while hitting 37.6 percent (97 of 258) of his three-point field goal attempts and 82.2 percent of his free throws (208 of 253).

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).

THE LAST MEETING WITH YALE: Yale's Alex Zampier totaled 28 points, four rebounds and four steals, as the Bulldogs posted a 76-66 victory over the Crusaders at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Dec. 3, 2008. After Holy Cross scored the first basket of the game, Yale hit four straight three-point shots to take a 12-2 lead. The Crusaders scored the next four points, before the Bulldogs used a 10-2 spurt to build their lead back to double figures. Yale eventually led by as many as 16 points, and took a 42-28 advantage into the locker room. The Bulldogs increased their lead to 18 points (48-30) early in the second half, before Holy Cross used an 11-3 run to get back into the game. The Crusaders were still down by 12 (55-43) with just under 10 minutes left to play, when they scored five straight points to make it a seven-point game. But Holy Cross would not get any closer until there was less than a minute to play, and Yale made all 12 of its free throws in the final three minutes to hold on for the victory. Andrew Beinert led the Crusaders with 15 points, while hitting five of seven shots from three-point range. R.J. Evans and Greg McCarthy both added 12 points for Holy Cross.

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 are competing against other college basketball coaches from around the nation in a free throw shooting tournament, which will benefit the American Heart Association. Brown defeated Ron Hunter of IUPUI 30-29 in the first round of the tournament, then downed Rick Stansbury of Mississippi State 30-29 in the second round. Next, he will face Mark Phelps of Drake in the round of 16. Engelstad defeated Notre Dame's Martin Inglesby 30-28 in the first round, before falling to Rusty LaRue of Wake Forest 31-30 in the second round.

CRUSADERS REMAIN SOLID AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 316-124 at the Hart Center, including an 0-4 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 103-32 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 66-14 record against Patriot League foes.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 92nd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1292-860 (.600), 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.

OBEYSEKERE STEPS UP ON FRONT LINE: Sophomore forward Eric Obeysekere (Orinda, Calif.) has developed into a solid presence for the Crusaders in the low post. Over Holy Cross' last seven games, Obeysekere has averaged 5.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per contest. During Sunday's game at Sacred Heart, he totaled six points, nine rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots. Previously at Marist, Obeysekere had career highs of nine points and 17 rebounds. His six blocks against Sacred Heart tied for fourth place on the Holy Cross single-game record list, while his 17 rebounds against Marist are the most by any Patriot League player in a single game this season. Overall this season, Obeysekere is now averaging 4.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

KEISTER CONTINUES TO DOMINATE 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. Keister earned first team All-Patriot League in 2008-2009, then was named second team all-conference in 2009-2010. He has missed Holy Cross' last two contest due to injury, but has averaged 11.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest in 11 games this season, while hitting 46.5 percent (47 of 101) of his shots from the floor. During the Hofstra game, Keister led the team with 12 points and eight rebounds. Previously at Marist, he totaled 16 points and seven boards. Keister also played well against Fairfield, posting his 22nd career double-double with 16 points and seven 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. Over the course of his collegiate career, Keister has now totaled 740 points and 597 rebounds, while making 51.2 percent (296 of 578) of his field goal attempts and posting 22 double-doubles.

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.

EVANS KEEPS ON SCORING: Junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) is once again among the top players in the Patriot League this season, but has sat out the last five contests due to injury. 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. 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.

HOLY CROSS HAS GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders are once again a strong rebounding team this year. Holy Cross has averaged 34.7 boards per contest and has outrebounded its opponents by an average margin of 2.1 rebounds per game in 2009-2010. The Crusaders have outrebounded six of their last seven opponents, including margins of +12 at Marist and +11 against Stony Brook. Senior center Andrew Keister leads the team with an average of 7.8 rebounds per game, while sophomore forward Eric Obeysekere stands second with 5.8 boards per contest. Junior guard Mike Cavataio has pulled down 5.0 rebounds per contest and junior guard R.J. Evans has chipped in with 4.1 boards per game. Entering 2010-2011, the Crusaders had posted a positive rebounding margin in 11 straight seasons, including nine years in which they outrebounded the opposition by at least four boards per game.

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in three statistical categories, through games of Dec. 19. In addition, junior guard Devin Brown ranks 52nd in free throw percentage, senior center Andrew Keister is 124th in rebounding and senior guard Andrew Beinert ranks 174th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio. The rankings:

Category Rank Player / Team Avg.
Free Throw Percentage 52 Devin Brown 87.5
Fewest Personal Fouls 124 Holy Cross 18.6
Rebounding 124 Andrew Keister 7.7
Rebounding Margin 156 Holy Cross +1.7
Assist-Turnover Ratio 174 Andrew Beinert 1.6
Assists 192 Holy Cross 12.9

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Yale enters the game with an overall record of 5-7 on the season. The Bulldogs have lost three games in a row, and are coming off a 62-57 setback against Lehigh last Friday. Sophomore guard Austin Morgan leads the team with averages of 14.9 points and 3.1 assists per game, while hitting 52.6 percent (30 of 57) of his three-point field goal attempts. Junior forward Greg Mangano is also off to a strong start this year, averaging 13.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest. Yale is led by head coach James Jones, who owns an overall record of 147-175 in 12 seasons with the Bulldogs. During the 2001-2002 season, Jones led Yale to an overall record of 21-11 and the school's first Ivy League championship since 1962-1963.

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.

DRIBBLES: Freshman forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) had a strong game off the bench at Sacred Heart, scoring a career-high 15 points while making all six of his shots from the field (including two three-pointers). He previously had seven points and a career-high six boards against St. Joseph's, and is now averaging 4.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game ... Senior forward Josh Jones (Ocala, Fla.) had the top game of his career at George Washington, totaling career highs of 13 points and five rebounds while hitting six of eight shots from the field. Earlier in the season, he scored nine points against both the College of Charleston and Marist. Jones is now averaging 3.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game this year, and has hit 65.4 percent (17 of 26) of his field goal attempts ... Holy Cross' 0-8 start this year was the worst in school history. Previously, the Crusaders' worst start was 0-7 during the 1940-1941 season ... Holy Cross stands 0-4 so far this season when wearing its white uniforms, while going 1-8 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.