Holy Cross Returns Home To Face Hartford

Justin Burrell

Complete Release in PDF Format

The Teams: Holy Cross (1-3, 0-0 PL) vs. Hartford (0-4, 0-0 AEC)
Date: November 23, 2011
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Tied, 5-5
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 79, Hartford 53; December 12, 2002; Hartford, Conn.

Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 10, R.J. Evans, 6-3, 200, Jr.
F, 50, Dave Dudzinski, 6-9, 227, So.
C, 44, Phil Beans, 6-9, 233, Jr.
G, 2, Devin Brown, 6-1, 190, Sr.
G, 3, Justin Burrell, 5-9, 165, Fr.

THE SERIES WITH HARTFORD: This will be only the 11th meeting between the Crusaders and the Hawks on the hardwood, with the all-time series tied at 5-5. Holy Cross has won the last three games between the schools, although they have not met since a 79-53 victory by the Crusaders at the Hartford Civic Center on Dec. 12, 2002. For games played in Worcester, the teams have split the previous four games. The schools first met on Dec. 22, 1985, when the Hawks posted a 69-65 victory at the Hartford Civic Center.

Overall: Tied, 5-5
In Worcester: Tied, 2-2
At the Hart Center: Tied, 2-2
Milan Brown vs. Hartford: 0-0
John Gallagher vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, three games
In Overtime: Tied, 1-1

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE: Against the nine schools which currently compete in the America East Conference, Holy Cross stands 98-39 all-time (51-12 vs. Boston University, 5-5 against Hartford, 6-0 vs. Maine, 20-10 against New Hampshire, 0-2 vs. Stony Brook and 16-10 against Vermont). The Crusaders played in the America East, then known as the ECAC North Atlantic, for four seasons from 1979-1983, posting a 9-7 record in conference play (the league played only a tournament and no regular season in the first two years). In 1980, Holy Cross won the ECAC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

HOLY CROSS RETURNS TO HART CENTER: The Crusaders will be back at home to face Hartford on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross then hits the road for its next two games, at Maine (Sunday, Nov. 27) and Providence (Tuesday, Nov. 29).

EVANS RETURNS TO THE LINEUP: Junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) looks to once again be among the top players in the Patriot League this year, after missing the majority of the 2010-2011 season due to injury and receiving a medical redshirt. In four games played so far this year, Evans has averaged 14.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.8 assists, while hitting 53.2 percent (25 of 47) of his field goal attempts. He totaled 14 points, five rebounds and two assists at Fairfield on Sunday, after posting 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals in Friday night's victory over Boston College. Evans previously recorded 13 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals against Harvard, and had 16 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists at the College of Charleston. Last year, he averaged 9.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in only eight games played, while hitting 46.3 percent (31 of 67) of his field goal attempts. Evans scored in double figures five times in his eight appearances a year ago, with his best game coming against the College of Charleston (16 points, five assists, three steals, two rebounds). During the 2009-2010 campaign, he averaged a team-best 13.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest. Evans finished that 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 936 points, 361 rebounds, 148 assists and 93 steals over the course of his Holy Cross career. He has scored in double-figures 55 times during his collegiate career and has hit the 20-point mark seven times, including a career-high 31 points against Bucknell in the 2009 Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals.

BROWN NOW IN SECOND YEAR WITH CRUSADERS: Milan Brown is in his second season as the head coach at Holy Cross in 2011-2012, with an overall record of 9-24 and a 7-7 mark in Patriot League regular season games. With the win over Army on Feb. 9, 2011, he recorded the 100th victory of his collegiate head coaching career. Brown's overall career record now stands at 104-144 (.419). 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 (69-60 over Coppin State).

BROWN SET FOR ANOTHER STANDOUT SEASON: Senior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) has been one of Holy Cross' top players over the last two years, and was selected second team All-Patriot League in 2010-2011. In four games played so far this season, he has averaged 18.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 50.0 percent (nine of 18) from three-point range. During Friday night's victory over Boston College, Brown led the team with 32 points, five rebounds and five assists. He previously scored 17 points against Harvard, while recording 14 points and four rebounds at the College of Charleston. In 29 games played last season, Brown averaged a team-best 15.4 points per contest while hitting 35.9 percent (60 of 167) of his three-point attempts and 80.6 percent (104 of 129) of his free throws. He finished the year ranked fifth in the Patriot League in three-point field goals made, sixth in both scoring and free throw percentage, and 14th in three-point percentage. Brown was extremely hot over the last 10 games in 2010-2011, averaging 20.3 points per contest during that span and connecting on 48.9 percent (68 of 139) of his field goal attempts and 40.3 percent (25 of 62) of his three-pointers. His top game a year ago came against Yale, when he scored a career-high 33 points to go along with five rebounds and two assists. Brown's 33 points against the Bulldogs were the most by a Crusader in a single game since Tim Clifford scored 34 points at Navy on Feb. 20, 2008. He also scored 32 points in the home victory over Navy while hitting seven of 15 attempts from three-point range, and had a pair of outstanding games against Lehigh with 27 points and 26 points. During the 2009-2010 campaign, 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 in 2009-2010. Brown finished the 2009-2010 season 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 1,079 points, 193 rebounds and 118 assists, while hitting 38.5 percent (145 of 377) of his three-point field goal attempts and 80.5 percent (276 of 343) of his free throws. During the final game of the 2010-2011 season against Lafayette, he became the 45th 1,000-point scorer in school history.

FAIRFIELD RECAP: Fairfield's Maurice Barrow totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds, including 13 points in the second half, as Fairfield pulled away for a 73-52 victory over the Holy Cross men's basketball team at Alumni Hall on Nov. 20, 2011. The Crusaders were led by Phil Beans with a career-high 14 points and R.J. Evans with 14 points and five rebounds. The game was close throughout a first half which featured three ties and eight lead changes. The Crusaders opened the game by jumping out to a quick 8-4 lead after the first three minutes of play. Fairfield came back with a 7-2 spurt a few minutes later, claiming a 15-14 lead. The Stags would lead by as many as three points on a few occasions, before taking a 31-29 advantage into the locker room. Holy Cross netted the first five points of the second half to pull back in front, before Fairfield scored eight of the next 12 points to claim a 39-38 advantage. The Stags then went on a 16-4 run over the next six minutes to take a 13-point lead (55-42) with eight minutes left to play. Fairfield would eventually lead by as many as 25 points down the stretch, before finally claiming a 21-point victory. The Stags shot 54.5 percent (30 of 55) from the field on the day and outrebounded the Crusaders 39-29, including a 24-13 edge on the boards in the second half. Devin Brown had 10 points and two steals in the game for the Crusaders. Ryan Olander (13 points), Rakim Sanders (13 points) and Derek Needham (10 points) gave Fairfield four players in double figures.

HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: Even though Holy Cross is off to an 1-3 start this season, it has faced far and away the toughest non-conference schedule of any school in the Patriot League. Through games of Nov. 20, the Crusaders' schedule was ranked as the 34th-hardest in the nation by CBSSports.com. The next toughest schedule of any school in the Patriot League belongs to Colgate at 102nd. Holy Cross' opponents have combined to go 9-3 so far this season, good for a .750 winning percentage. In addition, all of the Crusaders' losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 50 of the ratings percentage index: Fairfield (35th), the College of Charleston (43) and Harvard (50th).

DUDZINSKI STEPS INTO STARTING LINEUP: Sophomore forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) has become a key player for the Crusaders in the low post positions. In four games played this season, Dudzinski has averaged 9.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks, while making 59.1 percent (13 of 22) of his field goal attempts. During Friday night's victory over Boston College, he totaled 10 points and six rebounds. Dudzinski previously recorded 14 points, five rebounds and two steals at the College of Charleston, then had six points with career highs of eight rebounds and four blocked shots against Harvard. He was named to the 2011 Patriot League All-Rookie team, after averaging 4.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 27 games played, while hitting 54.8 percent (51 of 93) of his field goal attempts. Against Lafayette in last year's Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals, Dudzinski totaled 11 points and four rebounds, while hitting all five of his field goal attempts. He also played well during the regular season victory over Lafayette, recording nine points and five rebounds, including a pair of free throws with 1:37 remaining to give Holy Cross the lead for good. A few of Dudzinski's other top performances last season came at Sacred Heart (career-high 15 points), against St. Joseph's (seven points, career-high six rebounds) and at Colgate (seven points, three rebounds). Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 159 points, 101 rebounds and 16 blocked shots, and made 55.7 percent (64 of 115) of his field goal attempts.

BEANS PLAYS BIG ON FRONT LINE: Junior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) is playing a key role for Holy Cross in the paint this season. In four games, he has averaged 8.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. Beans has also become a threat from beyond the arc, making 66.7 percent (six of nine) of his three-point field goal attempts. During Sunday's game at Fairfield, he scored a career-high 14 points, making six of 10 shots and two of three three-pointers. Previously in the win over Boston College, Beans totaled nine points and six boards, and hit three of four shots from three-point range. Last year, Beans played in only seven games due to injury. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, he has recorded 76 points, 59 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

THE LAST MEETING WITH HARTFORD: Tim Szatko scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed six rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to a 79-53 victory over Hartford in the consolation game of the Phoenix Classic at the Hartford Civic Center on Dec. 12, 2012. Patrick Whearty also had a strong night for the Crusaders, totaling 20 points and six rebounds. Holy Cross used an 11-0 run early in the first half to jump out to a seven-point lead. Whearty scored five of his 15 first half points in that spurt, which put the Crusaders up 14-7 with 14:40 left before the break. The Hawks responded with a 6-0 run of their own to cut the margin to one point, before Holy Cross held Hartford without a field goal for the next three minutes to build its lead back to six points. A few minutes later, an 8-0 run allowed the Crusaders to build their lead to double figures, and they eventually took a 42-28 advantage into the locker room. Holy Cross scored the first four points of the second half to go in front by 18, but the Hawks were able to trim the margin to 12 points (48-36) with 15:45 left to play. The Crusaders then used a 14-2 run to extend their lead to 24 points and put the game away. Hartford would get no closer than 19 points the rest of the way, as Holy Cross eventually posted a 26-point victory.

FRESHMEN MAKE PRESENCE FELT: The three freshmen on Holy Cross' roster have all made an impact so far this season. Freshman guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) has started the first four games of the year, and totaled 10 points and three assists in the season opener at the College of Charleston. Burrell then had six points and two assists against Harvard, and recorded five points and seven assists in the victory over Boston College. Freshman forward Taylor Abt (Darnestown, Md.) put up seven points and four rebounds at the College of Charleston, and also scored five points against Harvard. Freshman forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.) turned in his top performance so far in the Boston College game, with nine points, three rebounds and two assists.

CRUSADERS LOOKING FOR SIXTH PATRIOT LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: During the 2011-2012 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 2006-2007, 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 and Bucknell are the only teams in league history to win three outright titles, while Holy Cross' five total championships are tied for the second-most in conference history with Navy (one outright, four shared), behind only Bucknell (three outright, three shared).

BROWN NAMED PRESEASON ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE: Senior guard Devin Brown was selected to the preseason All-Patriot League team, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Brown was joined on the preseason all-conference team by Lafayette junior guard Tony Johnson, Lehigh junior guard C.J. McCollum, Bucknell junior center Mike Muscala and Navy senior guard Jordan Sugars. In addition, McCollum was selected as the preseason Patriot League Player of the Year.

CRUSADERS PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2011-2012 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in third place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 73 total points in the conference preseason poll. Bucknell placed first in the poll with 98 total points and 14 first-place votes, followed by Lehigh in second with 82 points and two first-place votes. The preseason rankings were rounded out by Lafayette (fourth, 55 points), American (fifth, 47 points), Colgate (sixth, 44 points), Navy (seventh, 34 points) and Army (eighth, 15 points).

CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 320-130 at the Hart Center, including an 0-1 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 36 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 16 times. The Crusaders stand 107-37 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 70-18 record against Patriot League foes.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 93rd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1300-873 (.598), 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.

HOLY CROSS SHINES ON THE DEFENSIVE END: The Crusaders look to be strong on the defensive end of the court this season, after developing into one of the top defensive teams in the Patriot League during the 2010-2011 campaign. Holy Cross' top defensive game so far in 2011-2012 was against Boston College, when it held the Eagles to 64 points on 37.3 percent shooting from the field. Last year, the Crusaders ranked second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense (33.7 percent) and blocked shots (3.8 blocks per game), and third in scoring defense (69.0 points per game) and field goal percentage defense (42.9 percent). Holy Cross was even more impressive during Patriot League regular season play, where they improved on all of those numbers. In conference games, the Crusaders ranked first in the league in blocked shots (4.0 blocks per game), second in field goal percentage defense (40.8 percent) and three-point field goal percentage defense (29.2 percent), and third in scoring defense (67.7 points per game).

CRUSADERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Three current Holy Cross players have already earned spots in the school's all-time record book. Senior guard Devin Brown currently stands fifth all-time at Holy Cross in three-point field goals made (145), fifth in career three-point field goal attempts (377) and sixth in career free throw percentage (.805). In addition, junior guard R.J. Evans ranks ninth all-time in career minutes played per game (29.3), and senior guard Mike Cavataio is 10th all-time in career minutes played per game (29.0).

HOLY CROSS HAS GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders look to once again be a strong rebounding team this year. In four games played so far in 2011-2012, Holy Cross has averaged 32.2 boards per game, and posted a 38-29 advantage on the boards against Boston College. Last season, the Crusaders averaged 36.7 boards per contest and outrebounded their opponents by an average margin of 3.1 rebounds per game. Holy Cross outrebounded 15 of its last 21 opponents a year ago, including margins of +15 at Army, +13 against Bucknell, +12 at Marist, +12 against Army at home and +11 against Stony Brook. Center Andrew Keister led the team with an average of 9.2 rebounds per game last season. Forward Eric Obeysekere stood second with 5.9 boards per contest, while guard Mike Cavataio has pulled down 5.4 rebounds per game. Entering 2011-2012, the Crusaders had posted a positive rebounding margin in 12 straight seasons, including nine years in which they outrebounded the opposition by at least four boards per game.

STEVENS STEPS UP OFF THE BENCH: Junior guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.) is a key reserve for the Crusaders at the wing positions. His top game so far this year came against Boston College, when he had five points and five rebounds. Over Holy Cross' last 21 games a year ago, Stevens averaged 8.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest, while hitting 33.3 percent (22 of 66) of his three-point field goal attempts. He scored 15 points while hitting all four of his three-point field goal attempts at Navy, in addition to totaling 15 points, three rebounds and three assists at Army. A few of Stevens' other top games last season came against Sacred Heart (15 points, three assists), at George Washington (13 points, four rebounds, two blocks, two steals), at Colgate (13 points, four rebounds), against Colgate (12 points), at Hofstra (11 points, two assists), at Marist (nine points, three assists, two rebounds) and at American (nine points, two rebounds). Overall last season, he averaged 7.1 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. Over the course of his collegiate career, Stevens has now totaled 212 points, 84 rebounds and 44 assists.

OBEYSEKERE STEPS UP ON FRONT LINE: Junior forward Eric Obeysekere (Orinda, Calif.) has developed into a solid presence for the Crusaders in the low post, but has been limited so far this season due to injury. Over Holy Cross' last 23 games a year ago, he averaged 5.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest. Obeysekere's best game in 2010-2011 came during the victory at Navy, when he led the team with career highs of 16 points and seven blocked shots, to go along with 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Some of his other top performances last season were at Lafayette (12 points, six rebounds), at Army (eight points, 14 rebounds, four blocks), at Marist (nine points, career-high 17 rebounds) and at Sacred Heart (six points, nine rebounds, six blocks). His seven blocks against Navy tied for second place on the Holy Cross single-game record list, while his 17 rebounds against Marist tied for the most by any Patriot League player in a single game last season. Overall last year, Obeysekere averaged 4.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Over the course of his career with the Crusaders, he has now totaled 160 points, 207 rebounds and 61 blocked shots.

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Most of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2011-2012 season will be carried live over the internet. The games will be streamed by Stretch Internet free of charge, will links to the broadcasts available by clicking here. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre will be in his 25th season calling the play-by-play for Crusader basketball on the radio. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their eighth 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 five games shown on live television during the 2011-2012 season. The Crusaders had eight television appearances last year, while appearing on television nine times in 2009-2010, 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. 18 at Connecticut: SportsNet New York
Jan. 19 vs. Lafayette: CBS Sports Network
Jan. 28 vs. Colgate: CBS Sports Network
Feb. 4 at Lehigh: Service Electric Cable
Feb. 15 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network

PATRIOT LEAGUE ALL-ACCESS: Live video streaming of most 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, visit click here.

SCOUTING THE HAWKS: Hartford enters the contest with an overall record of 0-4 on the season. The Hawks have been defeated by Brown (59-52), Mount St. Mary's (63-50), Penn State (70-55) and Sacred Heart (70-50). Freshman forward Nate Sikma leads the team by averaging 8.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game so far this season. Freshman guard Yolonzo Moore has added 7.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest, while freshman guard Wes Cole is averaging 7.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. Hartford is led by John Gallagher, who is 11-24 in two seasons as the Hawks' head coach. Gallagher previously served as an assistant coach at Boston College, Pennsylvania, Hartford, Lafayette and La Salle.

DRIBBLES: Holy Cross' victory over Boston College on Nov. 18 snapped a 14-game losing streak against Atlantic Coast Conference schools, since a 63-61 win at North Carolina State during the Dixie Classic on Dec. 29, 1959. The Crusaders' last win over Boston College came on Dec. 1, 2002, when the Eagles were members of the Big East Conference ... Senior guard Devin Brown had 32 points in the Nov. 18 win over Boston College, to come up just one point shy of the DCU Center record for points scored (held by UMass' Lou Roe with 33 points against the Crusaders on Dec. 11, 1993) ... Holy Cross hit 52.4 percent of its three-point field goals against Boston College (11 of 21), the third-best single-game mark ever at the DCU Center ... Freshman guard Justin Burrell scored 10 points in the season opener at the College of Charleston. He was the first Crusader to hit double figures in his collegiate debut since R.J. Evans had 15 points against Sacred Heart in 2008 ... Two all-time Crusader greats were honored at halftime of the game between Holy Cross and Bucknell on Feb. 12, 2011. Jack Foley (Class of 1962) and Ronnie Perry (Class of 1980) were on hand to witness their jerseys being unveiled in the Hart Center rafters — only the second time Holy Cross held such a ceremony for former basketball players. On Nov. 16, 2008, George Kaftan (Class of 1949), Bob Cousy (Class of 1950), Togo Palazzi (Class of 1954) and Tom Heinsohn (Class of 1956) received the same honor ... Last season, Holy Cross head coach Milan Brown and assistant coach Dan Engelstad took part in Shots from the Heart, a project created by CollegeInsider.com to help raise awareness for the growing problem of heart disease. Engelstad is scheduled to take part in the event once again this year.