WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senior center Andrew Keister (Galloway, N.J.) totaled 11 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, but the Holy Cross men's basketball team was defeated by American 64-60 at Bender Arena. Keister posted a double-double for the fifth straight game and the 27th time in his collegiate career, in addition to becoming only the seventh player in the history of the Patriot League with 700 career rebounds. Holy Cross falls to 6-20 overall and 5-7 in the Patriot League with the loss, while American improves to 19-8 overall and 9-3 in the conference.
Junior guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) finished with a team-high 16 points, four rebounds and two assists, while junior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) added 13 points. American was led by Vlad Moldoveanu with 23 points and seven rebounds.
The Eagles led for most of a low-scoring first half, in which the teams combined to make just 16 field goals. American opened up a 13-6 lead at the 11:46-mark, and was still up by seven points (22-15) with 3:19 left before the break. Holy Cross then used a 7-2 run to close the gap, before the Eagles took a 26-22 advantage into the locker room.
American extended its lead back to six points (36-30) early in the second half, when the Crusaders used a 14-3 spurt to claim their first lead of the game. Holy Cross pulled in front with 12:49 to go on a basket by Keister, and would increase its lead to five points (44-39) with 9:46 to play on a shot by sophomore guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.). The Eagles came back to score the next six points to go back in front, and neither team would lead by more than four points the rest of the way. A basket by Stevens tied the score at 56-56 with 1:39 to go, before Troy Brewer hit a short jumper in the lane with 1:03 remaining to give American the lead for good. Moldoveanu then connected on all four of his free throw attempts in the final minute to allow the Eagles to hold on for the win.
The Crusaders committed just seven turnovers on the day, but the Eagles held a 23-14 advantage in free throw attempts.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 23, when it travels to Colgate for a 7:00 p.m. game.