Holy Cross To Face New Hampshire At The Hart Center

Phil Beans

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The Teams: Holy Cross (2-5, 0-0 PL) vs. New Hampshire (2-2, 0-0 AEC)
Date: December 3, 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: Holy Cross leads, 20-10
Last Meeting: UNH 55, Holy Cross 52; Nov. 20, 2010; Durham, N.H.

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 NEW HAMPSHIRE: This will be the 31st meeting between the Crusaders and the Wildcats on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 20-10. New Hampshire won the last meeting 55-52 in Durham a year ago, but the Crusaders had previously been victorious in three of the prior four games in the series. For contests played in Worcester, Holy Cross holds an 11-3 advantage, including two straight wins. Holy Cross and New Hampshire first met on Jan. 10, 1973, with the Crusaders posting a 78-60 victory in Worcester.

Overall: Holy Cross leads, 20-10
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 11-3
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross leads, 10-2
Milan Brown vs. New Hampshire: 0-2
Bill Herrion vs. Holy Cross: 1-0
Current Win Streak: New Hampshire, one game
In Overtime: New Hampshire leads, 1-0

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE: Against the nine schools which currently compete in the America East Conference, Holy Cross stands 99-40 all-time (51-12 vs. Boston University, 6-5 against Hartford, 6-1 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 New Hampshire on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross then hits the road to take on Columbia (Dec. 6), before coming back home to play Sacred Heart (Dec. 9).

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 seven games played this season, Dudzinski has averaged 11.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks, while making 60.0 percent (30 of 50) of his field goal attempts. During Tuesday's game at Providence, he posted career highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds, while hitting nine of 13 field goal attempts. Previously at Maine, Dudzinski led the team with 20 points, five rebounds and two steals. He also played well against Boston College, totaling 10 points and six rebounds. A few of Dudzinski's other top games this year have come against the College of Charleston (14 points, five rebounds, two steals) and Harvard (six points, eight rebounds, career-high four blocked shots). Last season, 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 205 points, 124 rebounds and 17 blocked shots, and made 56.6 percent (81 of 143) of his field goal attempts.

HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: Even though Holy Cross is off to an 2-5 start this season, it has faced one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the Patriot League. All five of the Crusaders' losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 160 of the ratings percentage index: Harvard (18th), the College of Charleston (62nd), Maine (106th), Fairfield (108th) and Providence (159th). Holy Cross' opponents have combined to go 23-19 so far this season, good for a .548 winning percentage. Through games of Nov. 29, the Crusaders' schedule was ranked as the 225th-hardest in the nation by CBSSports.com. The toughest schedule in the Patriot League currently belongs to Bucknell at 220th, but the Bison played a game against Division II West Alabama which does not factor in the strength of schedule rankings.

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 seven games played so far this year, Evans has averaged 12.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals, while hitting 51.9 percent (40 of 77) of his field goal attempts. During Tuesday's game at Providence, he totaled a season-high 21 points, four rebounds three steals and two assists. Previously against Hartford, Evans had 10 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals. He also had a solid game at Fairfield, with 14 points, five rebounds and two assists. Some of Evans' other top games this season came against the College of Charleston (16 points, seven rebounds, four steals, two assists), Boston College (14 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals) and Harvard (13 points, three assists, two rebounds, two steals). 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 967 points, 370 rebounds, 158 assists and 98 steals over the course of his Holy Cross career. He has scored in double-figures 57 times during his collegiate career and has hit the 20-point mark eight times, including a career-high 31 points against Bucknell in the 2009 Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals.

PROVIDENCE RECAP: Providence's LaDontae Henton converted a three-point play with 25.6 seconds remaining, to break a 77-77 tie and lift the Friars to an 82-77 victory over Holy Cross at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Nov. 29, 2011. R.J. Evans and Dave Dudzinski led the Crusaders with 21 points each. Dudzinski hit nine of 13 shots from the field and set a new career high in scoring for the second straight game, in addition to grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds. Evans' 21 points were his highest total this season, to go along with four rebounds, three steals and two assists. The Friars started the game hot, and jumped out to a quick 15-9 lead after the first five minutes of play. The Crusaders responded with a 13-4 spurt over the next four minutes to take a 22-19 lead, with Dudzinski and Evans both scoring four points during that run. Providence had pulled back in front by one (28-27) with eight minutes remaining before the break, when it went on a 15-5 run to take an 11-point lead. The Friars eventually took a 47-38 advantage into the locker room. Holy Cross was still down by nine points (57-48) with 15:24 left to play, when Providence scored the next seven points to extend its lead to 16 (64­-48). The Friars' lead was at 15 points (66-51) with 12 minutes remaining, when the Crusaders used an 11-0 run over the next four and a half minutes to make it a four-point game. Holy Cross would later tie the score at 69-69 on a three-pointer by junior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) with 6:20 left to play, and regained the lead (75-73) with 2:23 to go on a layup by Evans. But after the Crusaders led 77-75 with 1:28 to go, Providence scored the final seven points to claim the victory. Justin Burrell had a career-high 15 points, six assists and two steals for Holy Cross. Bryce Cotton led the Friars with 24 points, followed by Vincent Council with 19 points, Gerard Coleman with 18 points and Henton with 17 points.

BURRELL TAKES OVER AT THE POINT: Freshman Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) has taken over as Holy Cross' starting point guard this season. He has started all seven of the Crusaders' game so far this year, averaging 7.3 points, 4.6 assists and 1.4 rebounds per contest. During the Providence game, Burrell totaled a career-high 15 points, six assists, two rebounds and two steals. He also had a strong game in the victory over Hartford, recording 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. Earlier in the season, Burrell had 10 points and three assists at the College of Charleston; six points and two assists against Harvard; and five points with a career-high seven assists against Boston College. With his 10 points in the season opener at the College of Charleston, he became the first Crusader to hit double figures in his collegiate debut since R.J. Evans had 15 points against Sacred Heart in 2008.

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 seven games played so far this season, Brown has averaged 14.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists, while shooting 42.4 percent (14 of 33) from three-point range. During the 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's 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. He also scored 32 points in last year's 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 1,118 points, 200 rebounds and 126 assists, while hitting 38.3 percent (150 of 392) of his three-point field goal attempts and 80.2 percent (276 of 344) 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.

THE LAST MEETING WITH NEW HAMPSHIRE: New Hampshire's Tyrone Conley hit a three-point field goal with 33 seconds remaining, to lift the Wildcats to a 55-52 victory over Holy Cross at Lundholm Gymnasium on Nov. 20, 2010. After trailing by one point in the final minute of play, Conley's shot gave New Hampshire the lead for good. The score was close throughout most of the first half, and Holy Cross held an 18-17 with 5:45 left to play before the intermission. New Hampshire then scored eight straight points to take a 25-18 advantage, and would eventually increase its lead to eight points (33-25) late in the half. The Wildcats went on to take a 33-27 advantage into the locker room. New Hampshire scored the first four points of the second half to claim its largest lead of the night (37-27) with 18 minutes left to play. But the Crusaders refused to go away, using a 10-0 run to tie up the game at 37-37 with 13 minutes remaining. Dave Dudzinski scored five points during that spurt. Neither team led by more than three points the rest of the way, and the Wildcats were up 51-48 with three minutes left on the clock. Devin Brown then made a jumper and a layup to put Holy Cross in front 52-51 with less than a minute to play. But on the next possession, Conley's shot gave New Hampshire the lead, and the Crusaders would not score again. Brown finished the game with a team-high 16 points and two steals, while Mike Cavataio added 11 points and seven rebounds. Conley led the Wildcats with 16 points, four rebounds and three steals.

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 seven games played so far this year, he has averaged 5.7 points and 2.2 rebounds, while making 53.8 percent (seven of 13) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the Maine game, Stevens scored 11 points while hitting four of six shots from the field (including his only three-pointer). Previously in the 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) and at Hofstra (11 points, two assists). 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 243 points, 92 rebounds and 49 assists.

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.

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 seven games, he has averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest. Beans has also become a threat from beyond the arc, making 46.7 percent (seven of 15) 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. He also scored nine points on four of six shooting in the Providence game. Last year, Beans played in only seven games due to injury. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, he has recorded 91 points, 64 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

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.

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 10-26 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 105-146 (.418). 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).

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).

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 totaled 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 169 points, 216 rebounds and 67 blocked shots.

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 (150), fifth in career three-point field goal attempts (392) and sixth in career free throw percentage (.802). 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 1301-875 (.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 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 WILDCATS: New Hampshire enters the contest with an overall record of 2-2 on the season. The Wildcats had lost two straight games, before posting a 53-50 over Dartmouth on Wednesday night. Senior guard Alvin Abreu currently leads the team by averaging 17.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Junior guard Chandler Rhoads has added 14.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest, while senior forward Brian Benson is chipping in with 9.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. The Wildcats are led by Bill Herrion, who is now in his seventh season as New Hampshire's head coach. Herrion stands 72-110 with the Wildcats, while owning a career record of 309-279 (including eight years at Drexel and six seasons at East Carolina).

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 ... 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.