NEW YORK, N.Y. – Columbia's Mark Cisco hit a free throw with 2.4 seconds remaining, to break a 45-45 tie and lift the Lions to a 46-45 victory over the Holy Cross men's basketball team at Levien Gymnasium. Holy Cross falls to 3-6 on the season with the loss, while the Lions win their sixth straight and improve to 6-4 overall.
The Crusaders held Columbia to just 23.3 percent shooting on the night, but committed 18 turnovers and allowed the Lions to grab 13 offensive rebounds. Columbia also shot 16 free throws in the second half, to just three for Holy Cross. On the night, the Crusaders were called for 18 fouls, while the Lions were whistled for just nine fouls.
The game was tied at 2-2 early on when the Crusaders went on an 11-1 run to pull in front by 10, with freshman forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.) scoring five points during that spurt. Holy Cross was up by seven (20-13) with 7:36 left until the break, before closing out the half with a 10-1 run to extend its lead to 30-14 heading into the locker room.
The Crusaders increased their lead to 20 points (35-15) early in the second half, when the Lions went on a 15-0 run to get back into the game. Columbia eventually came all the way back to tie the score at 41-41, and the game was still tied at 45-45 with less than a minute to play. After Holy Cross missed a potential game-winning shot with 2.4 seconds remaining, the Crusaders were called for a foul on the rebound. Cisco then hit one-of-two free throws to give the Lions their only lead of the game.
Junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) had eight points and seven rebounds on the night, with sophomore forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) adding eight points and five boards. Cisco led Columbia with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Holy Cross returns to action on Friday, Dec. 9, when it plays host to Sacred Heart at 7:00 p.m.