November 26, 2011

Men's Basketball Hits The Road To Face Maine

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (2-3, 0-0 PL) vs. Maine (1-1, 0-0 AEC)
Date: November 27, 2011
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: Alfond Sports Arena (5,712), Orono, Maine
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Live Video Streaming: www.GoBlackBears.com
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 6-0
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 85, Maine 78 (OT); February 3, 1983; Worcester, Mass.

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
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 MAINE: This will be only the seventh meeting between the Crusaders and the Black Bears on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 6-0. The schools have not met since Feb. 3, 1983, when the Crusaders posted an 85-78 overtime victory at the Hart Center. For games played in Maine, Holy Cross holds a 2-0 advantage (with both of those contests being played in Portland). The teams first faced each other on March 1, 1906, with the Crusaders winning 35-13 in Worcester.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 6-0
In Orono: First Meeting
At the Alfond Sports Arena: First Meeting
Milan Brown vs. Maine: 1-1
Ted Woodward vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, six games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE: Against the nine schools which currently compete in the America East Conference, Holy Cross stands 99-39 all-time (51-12 vs. Boston University, 6-5 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.

BROWN ENJOYING 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 five games played so far this season, Brown has averaged 18.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting 52.2 percent (12 of 23) from three-point range. During Wednesday's victory over Hartford, he recorded 17 points, four assists and two rebounds. Previously in the win over Boston College, Brown led the team with 32 points, five rebounds and five assists. He also 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 1,096 points, 195 rebounds and 122 assists, while hitting 38.7 percent (148 of 382) 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.

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 five games played so far this year, he has averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.6 steals, while hitting 53.7 percent (29 of 54) of his field goal attempts. During Wednesday's victory over Hartford, Evans had 10 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals. Previously at Fairfield, he totaled 14 points, five rebounds and two assists. Evans also recorded 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals against Boston College; 13 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals against Harvard; and 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 946 points, 364 rebounds, 153 assists and 95 steals over the course of his Holy Cross career. He has scored in double-figures 56 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.

HARTFORD RECAP: Jordan Stevens totaled a career-high 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, as Holy Cross posted an 80-66 victory over Hartford at the Hart Center on Nov. 23, 2011. Stevens hit six of seven shots from the field on the night, including all four of his attempts from three-point range. The Crusaders hit 56.6 percent of their field goal attempts in the game (30 of 53), and connected on 57.1 percent of this shots from beyond the three-point arc (12 of 21). Holy Cross also had assists on 22 out of its 30 baskets, and outrebounded Hartford 36-28. The game was close early on, and neither team led by more than four points for the first 10 minutes of play. Hartford was up 19-17 with 9:38 left in the first half, when Holy Cross went on an 18-0 run over the next six minutes to take control of the game. Malcolm Miller scored five points during that spurt, including a three-pointer to make the score 35-19 with 3:25 left in the half. The Crusaders would eventually take a 43-25 advantage into the locker room. Early in the second half, Holy Cross used an 8-0 spurt to increase its lead to 22 points (51-29), with R.J. Evans scoring five of his points during that run. The Hawks refused to go quietly, and were eventually able to cut the margin to 10 points (68-58) with six minutes left in regulation. But Hartford would get no closer, as the Crusaders held on in the end for a 14-point victory. Devin Brown recorded 17 points, four assists and two rebounds for Holy Cross, and hit three of five shots from three-point range. Evans added 10 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Justin Burrell finished with 10 points, six assists and three rebounds. Hartford was led by Andres Torres with 15 points, five steals and four rebounds.

HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: Even though Holy Cross is off to an 2-3 start this season, it has faced one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the Patriot League. Through games of Nov. 25, the Crusaders' schedule was ranked as the 156th-hardest in the nation by CBSSports.com. The only school to have played a tougher schedule is Bucknell at 146th. Holy Cross' opponents have combined to go 14-12 so far this season, good for a .538 winning percentage. In addition, all of the Crusaders' losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 110 of the ratings percentage index: Harvard (29th), Fairfield (85th) and the College of Charleston (107th).

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 five games played this season, Dudzinski has averaged 8.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks, while making 56.0 percent (14 of 25) of his field goal attempts. During the 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, and 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 164 points, 108 rebounds and 16 blocked shots, and made 55.1 percent (65 of 118) 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 five games, he has averaged 7.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. Beans has also become a threat from beyond the arc, making 54 percent (six of 11) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the Fairfield game, 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 82 points, 64 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

STEVENS STEPS UP OFF THE BENCH: Junior guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.) is a key reserve for the Crusaders at the wing positions. In five games played so far this year, Stevens has averaged 5.2 points and 2.4 rebounds, while making 55.6 percent (five of nine) of his three-point field goal attempts. During Wednesday's victory over Hartford, he totaled a career-high 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, and hit all four of his shots from beyond the three-point arc. Last season, Stevens averaged 8.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists over the Crusaders last 21 games, 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 229 points, 88 rebounds and 47 assists.

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 10-24 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 105-144 (.422). 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).

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 five games of the year, averaging 6.6 points and 4.4 assists per contest. He totaled 10 points and three assists in the season opener at the College of Charleston, then had 10 points, six rebounds and three assists in the victory over Hartford. Burrell also had solid games against Harvard (six points, two assists) and Boston College (five points, seven assists). 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.) totaled nine points, three rebounds and two assists in the Boston College game, and also had five points and four rebounds against Hartford.

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).

CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 321-130 at the Hart Center, including a 1-1 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.

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, although he has been limited this season due to injury. After missing the Boston College and Fairfield games, Obeysekere came back to total seven points, five rebounds and two blocked shots in the win over Hartford. 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 167 points, 212 rebounds and 63 blocked shots.

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).

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 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 fourth all-time at Holy Cross in three-point field goals made (148), fifth in career three-point field goal attempts (382) 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).

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 93rd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1301-873 (.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).

HOLY CROSS HAS GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders look to once again be a strong rebounding team this year. In five games played so far in 2011-2012, Holy Cross has averaged 33.0 boards per game, and outrebounded the opposition by 1.0 boards per contest. 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.

CRUSADERS HAVE FIVE PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CROWNS: Five years ago, the Crusaders captured their fifth Patriot League Tournament crown with a 74-66 victory over Bucknell on March 9, 2007. Holy Cross' previous tournament titles came in 2003 (72-64 over American), 2002 (58-54 at American), 2001 (68-64 over Navy in overtime) and 1993 (98-73 at Bucknell). The Crusaders' five conference tournament championships are the most in Patriot League history, with Navy (1994, 1997 and 1998) and Bucknell (2005, 2006 and 2011) being tied for second. Holy Cross has also appeared in the championship game seven times in the last 11 years. Overall, the Crusaders have made a conference-record 10 appearances in the Patriot League championship game.

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 BLACK BEARS: Maine enters the contest with an overall record of 1-1 on the season. The Black Bears defeated Maine-Machias 113-49 in their season opener, before falling to Connecticut 80-60 in their last game. Justin Edwards has led the team by averaging 22.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, while hitting 60.7 percent (17 of 28) of his field goal attempts. Alasdair Fraser has added 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest, while Kilian Cato has scored 11.0 points per game and hit 54.5 percent (six of 11) of his shots from three-point range. Maine is led by Ted Woodward, who is 890-120 in eight seasons as the Black Bears' head coach. Woodward previously served as an assistant coach at Central Connecticut State, Connecticut, Harvard and Maine.

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.