WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) and senior center Andrew Keister (Galloway, N.J.) both scored 14 points, but the Holy Cross men's basketball team was defeated by American 60-57 at the Hart Center. Keister hit five of nine shots from the field and also grabbed eight rebounds, while Brown was six of 10 from the floor and pulled down three rebounds. Holy Cross falls to 4-15 overall and 3-2 in the Patriot League with the loss, while American improves to 14-6 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
The game was close throughout a first half which featured three ties and three lead changes. The Eagles held a 10-7 lead early on, before the Crusaders used an 8-1 run to pull in front. Later in the half, American used a 10-2 spurt to take the lead, and eventually held a 27-24 advantage into the locker room.
The Eagles were still up by one point (33-32) early in the second half, when Holy Cross scored seven straight points to claim the lead, 39-33 with 14:22 to play. Senior guard Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.) hit a three-point field goal and a pair of free throws during that spurt. But a few minutes later, American went on a 14-2 run to claim the lead for good. The Eagles were up by as many as eight points (56-48 with four minutes to play), before a 7-2 Holy Cross spurt made things interesting in the closing minutes.
A layup by Brown with 33 seconds to play made it a two-point game (59-57), and the Crusaders would then have two possessions in the final 25 seconds trailing by just three points. But Holy Cross came up empty both times, allowing American to hold on for the win. The Eagles hit just one of four free throws in the final minute of play to keep things close, twice missing on the front end of a one-and-one.
Beinert finished the game with eight points, five steals and four assists, while sophomore forward Eric Obeysekere (Orinda, Calif.) had four points and a team-high nine rebounds.
American was led by Stephen Lumpkins with game-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Vlad Moldoveanu added 14 points for the Eagles on six of 22 shooting from the field.
The Crusaders return to action on Thrusday, Jan. 27, when they play host to Colgate at 7:00 p.m., in a contest which will be shown live on CBS College Sports Television.