CHARLESTON, S.C. – Junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) totaled 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals, but the Holy Cross men's basketball team was defeated by the College of Charleston 78-69 in its season opener at TD Arena. The Cougars were led by Antwaine Wiggins with a game-high 18 points and seven rebounds. The Crusaders open the season at 0-1, while Charleston begins the year 1-0.
Sophomore forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) finished the night with 14 points and five rebounds, while senior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) added 14 points and four boards. Freshman guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) gave Holy Cross four players in double figures by scoring 10 points, and freshman forward Taylor Abt (Darnestown, Md.) totaled seven points and four rebounds.
Charleston also had four players score in double figures, including Trent Wiedeman (15points, 10 rebounds), Andrew Lawrence (16 points) and Adjehi Baru (11 points, eight rebounds).
The Cougars started the game hot, hitting four of their first five shots from the floor to take an early 9-0 lead. After Evans hit a pair of jumpers to cut the deficit to five points (9-4), Charleston used another 9-0 spurt to build its lead up to double figures. The Cougars would eventually go up by 18 points (25-7) with 10 minutes left in the first half, before Brown scored six straight points to make the score 25-13. Charleston then used a 14-2 spurt to build its lead to 24 points, and eventually took a 40-19 advantage into the locker room.
After the Cougars hit the opening basket of the second half, Holy Cross went on an 11-0 run to make the score 42-30 with 17:05 remaining, as Dudzinski scored six of his points during that spurt. The Crusaders would then close the gap to 11 points (45-34) with 16 minutes to play, but Charleston was able to keep its lead in double-figures until the closing minutes of the game. Holy Cross finally cut the margin to nine points (72-63) with 1:07 to go on a layup by Evans, but would get no closer as the Cougars eventually posted a nine-point victory.
Holy Cross returns to action next Tuesday, Nov. 15, when it plays host to Harvard at 7:00 p.m.