December 19, 2011

Men's Basketball To Face San Francisco On Thursday Night

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (4-7, 0-0 PL) vs. San Francisco (9-3, 0-0 WCC)
Date: December 22, 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
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Tied, 2-2
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 97, San Francisco 88 (December 27, 2008; 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 SAN FRANCISCO: This will be only the fifth meeting between the Crusaders and the Dons on the hardwood, with the all-time series tied at 2-2. Holy Cross has won the last two games in the series, with a 97-88 victory in Worcester on Dec. 27, 2008, and a 67-63 overtime win in San Francisco on Jan. 5, 2008. San Francisco's last win over the Crusaders was a 58-42 home victory in the opening round of the Northwestern Mutual Classic on Dec. 4, 1998. The first meeting between the teams came on Dec. 28, 1955, during the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. In that contest, No. 1 ranked San Francisco defeated No. 14 Holy Cross 67-51. The Crusaders also stand 3-6 all-time against current members of the West Coast Conference (0-1 vs. Loyola Marymount, 1-1 against Portland, 2-2 vs. San Francisco and 0-2 against Santa Clara).

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Tied, 2-2
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
Milan Brown vs. San Francisco: 0-0
Rex Walters vs. Holy Cross: 0-1
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, two games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0

CRUSADERS RETURN HOME TO PLAY SAN FRANCISCO: Holy Cross will play its final non-conference home game of the season, when it takes on San Francisco on Thursday, Dec. 22, at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders will then have a nine-day layoff for Christmas, before returning to action at Dartmouth on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 2:00 p.m. After that, Holy Cross will travel to Yale on Tuesday, Jan. 3, for its last non-league game of the year at 7:00 p.m.

EVANS RETURNS TO THE LINEUP: Junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) is once again 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 10 games played so far this year, Evans has averaged 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals, while hitting 48.8 percent (62 of 127) of his field goal attempts. During Sunday's game at No. 9 Connecticut, he led the team with 15 points and four rebounds. Previously against Sacred Heart, Evans totaled 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists, while scoring the 1,000th point of his collegiate career. He also had a strong all-around game against New Hampshire with 14 points, six rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocked shots. Some of Evans' other top games this season have come against Providence (21 points, four rebounds, three steals, two assists), the College of Charleston (16 points, seven rebounds, four steals, two assists), Boston College (14 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals), Fairfield (14 points, five rebounds, two assists), Harvard (13 points, three assists, two rebounds, two steals) and Hartford (10 points, five assists, three rebounds and 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. During the 2009-2010 campaign, Evans averaged a team-best 13.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest. The 2008-2009 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, Evans has now totaled 1,018 points, 393 rebounds, 165 assists and 104 steals over the course of his Holy Cross career. He has scored in double-figures 60 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. Evans became the 46th 1,000th-point scorer in school history against Sacred Heart on Dec. 9, 2011.

HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: Even though Holy Cross is off to a 4-7 start this season, it has faced the toughest non-conference schedule in the Patriot League. Through games of Dec. 18, the Crusaders' schedule was ranked as the 92nd-hardest in the nation by CBSSports.com. The second hardest schedule in the Patriot League currently belongs to Bucknell at 183rd. Six of the Crusaders' losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 140 of the ratings percentage index: Connecticut (seventh), Harvard (21st), Fairfield (63rd), the College of Charleston (73rd), Columbia (123rd) and Providence (138th). Holy Cross' opponents have combined to go 67-44 so far this season, good for a .604 winning percentage.

BROWN ENJOYING ANOTHER STANDOUT SEASON: Senior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) has been one of Holy Cross' top players over the last few years, and was selected second team All-Patriot League in 2010-2011. In 11 games played this season, he has averaged 13.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists, while shooting 38.6 percent (22 of 57) from three-point range. During the victory over Sacred Heart, Brown led the team with 22 points on seven of 14 shooting from the field. Previously against New Hampshire, he totaled 15 points and three rebounds. Brown also had a huge game against Boston College, totaling 32 points, five rebounds and five assists. Some of his other top performances this season have been against Hartford (17 points, four assists, two rebounds), Harvard (17 points) and the College of Charleston (14 points, four rebounds). 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 scored a career-high 33 points against Yale on Jan. 5, 2011, while netting 32 points and hitting seven of 15 attempts from three-point range against Navy on Feb. 16, 2011. 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. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Brown has now totaled 1,156 points, 209 rebounds and 129 assists, while hitting 38.0 percent (158 of 416) of his three-point field goal attempts and 79.7 percent (286 of 359) of his free throws. He became the 45th 1,000-point scorer in school history against Lafayette on March 2, 2011.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 93rd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1303-877 (.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.

CONNECTICUT RECAP: R.J. Evans totaled 15 points and four rebounds, but Holy Cross was defeated by ninth-ranked Connecticut 77-40 at the XL Center on Dec. 18, 2011. The Huskies were led by Andrew Drummond, who totaled 24 points, eight rebounds and five blocks while hitting 11 of 12 shots from the field. The game was close early on, and the Crusaders held a 13-12 advantage after Devin Brown hit a three-pointer with 12:11 left before the break. The Huskies scored the next seven points to pull in front, and were still up by four (25-21) with 6:38 left in the half. UConn then went on an 18-0 run over the next six minutes to increase its lead to 22 points, and would eventually take a 43-24 advantage into the locker room. The Huskies' lead remained at least 20 points early on in the second half, and the score was 53-31 with 13:43 left to play. Connecticut then outscored Holy Cross 13-2 over the next six minutes to put the game away. The Huskies would increase their lead to 39 points late in the game, before eventually claiming a 37-point victory. Phil Beans finished with eight points and five rebounds for the Crusaders, while Malcolm Miller added five points and seven rebounds. Alex Oriakhi posted 15 points and four rebounds for UConn, with Jeremy Lamb adding 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

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 11 games played this season, Dudzinski has averaged 9.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks, while making 50.0 percent (37 of 74) of his field goal attempts. During the Providence game, 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), Harvard (six points, eight rebounds, career-high four blocked shots) and Sacred Heart (six points, nine rebounds). 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. Over the course of his collegiate career, Dudzinski has now totaled 223 points, 152 rebounds and 19 blocked shots, and made 52.7 percent (88 of 167) of his field goal attempts.

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 11 of the Crusaders' game this year, averaging 7.5 points, 4.2 assists and 1.5 rebounds per contest, while hitting 81.5 percent (22 of 27) of his free throw attempts. During the victory over Sacred Heart, Burrell recorded 10 points, six assists and two steals. Previously against New Hampshire, he scored 13 points and hit eight of nine attempts from the foul line. Burrell also had a strong game at Providence, totaling a career-high 15 points, six assists, two rebounds and two steals. A few of his top performances earlier in the season came against Hartford (10 points, six rebounds, three assists), the College of Charleston (10 points, three assists), Harvard (six points, two assists) and Boston College (five points, career-high seven assists). With his 10 points in the season opener at the College of Charleston, Burrell became the first Crusader to hit double figures in his collegiate debut since R.J. Evans had 15 points against Sacred Heart in 2008.

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).

THE LAST MEETING WITH SAN FRANCISCO: R.J. Evans posted his first career double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to a 97-88 victory over San Francisco at the Hart Center on Dec. 27, 2008. Colin Cunningham added 26 points and six assists for the Crusaders, while Devin Brown finished with 22 points and five assists. The Dons jumped out to a seven-point lead in the opening minutes of the game, but the Crusaders came back to go in front 19-16 with 11 minutes left in the first half. The Dons would then go on a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead, and were eventually up by as many as 10 points late in the half. San Francisco led 48-40 heading into the locker room. Holy Cross trimmed the Dons' lead to two-points early in the second half, but San Francisco was eventually able to pull in front by 13 points (73-60) with just over nine minutes left to play. The Dons were still up by 10 (77-67) with 7:11 remaining, when the Crusaders went on a 17-1 run to take the lead for good. Evans scored eight of Holy Cross' points during that spurt, while Brown added five and Cunningham had four. San Francisco would get no closer than five points down the stretch, as the Crusaders hit 12 of 17 free throws in the final five minutes to secure the victory. San Francisco was led by Dior Lowhorn with 27 points and six rebounds, while Manny Quezada added 26 points and six assists for the Dons.

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 12-28 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 107-148 (.420). 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 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.

SHOTS FROM THE HEART: Holy Cross assistant coach Dan Engelstad is taking part in Shots from the Heart, a project created by CollegeInsider.com to help raise awareness for the growing problem of heart disease. Engelstad will compete against other collegiate assistant basketball coaches from around the nation in a free throw shooting tournament, which will benefit the American Heart Association. In the first round of the tournament, Engelstad downed Kurtis Townsend of Kansas 51-50. He now moves on to face Rasheen Davis of Xavier in the second round. Both Engelstad and head coach Milan Brown took part in Short from the Heart last year, with Brown making the round of 16 and Engelstad advancing to the second round.

CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 323-130 at the Hart Center, including a 3-1 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 110-38 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 70-18 record against Patriot League foes.

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 11 games, he has averaged 7.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest. Beans has also become a threat from beyond the arc, making 50.0 percent (12 of 24) 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 posted nine points and four rebounds against New Hampshire, scored nine points at Providence, and had eight points and five rebounds at No. 9 Connecticut. Last year, Beans played in only seven games due to injury. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, he has recorded 123 points, 85 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the top 100 teams in the NCAA Division I leaders for two statistical categories, through games of Dec. 18. In addition, several players stand among the top 200 in the nation in individual statistics. The rankings:

Category Rank Player / Team Avg. / Pct.
Three-Point Percent Defense 27 Holy Cross 27.5
Steals 68 R.J. Evans 2.1
Blocked Shots 91 Holy Cross 4.3
  110 Eric Obeysekere 1.6
Assists 126 Justin Burrell 4.2
Field Goal Percent 130 R.J. Evans 48.8
Rebounding 172 Dave Dudzinski 7.0


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 11 games played this year, he has averaged 4.6 points and 2.1 rebounds, while making 44.4 percent (eight of 18) 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 7.1 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. 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). Over the course of his collegiate career, Stevens has now totaled 254 points, 99 rebounds and 55 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. On the season, he is averaging 2.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. During the victory over Sacred Heart, Obeysekere recorded seven points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots. Previously against Hartford, he totaled seven points, five rebounds and two blocks. Last year, Obeysekere averaged 4.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. His 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). Over the course of his career with the Crusaders, Obeysekere has now totaled 181 points, 239 rebounds and 73 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 (158), fourth in career three-point field goal attempts (416) and seventh in career free throw percentage (.797). In addition, junior guard R.J. Evans ranks ninth all-time in career minutes played per game (29.3), and senior guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) is 10th all-time in career minutes played per game (29.0).

THE JESUIT BASKETBALL SPOTLIGHT: The matchup between Holy Cross and San Francisco is part of the nationwide Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project, using Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. Both Holy Cross and San Francisco are Jesuit schools. The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project highlights more than 90 games this season between men's and women's teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Each of the 28 is dedicated to strong academics and teaching women and men to serve others and live a faith that does justice. The spotlight project includes awareness announcements during these designated games and during gamecasts on radio and television. Jesuit, Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. The Jesuit educational mission began in Europe approximately 500 years ago. For more information on Jesuit higher education in the United States, visit 'www.ajcunet.edu'.

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 six 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 / MASN
Jan. 11 vs. Navy: Charter TV3
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, click here.

CRUSADER VISION: Live video streaming of selected home non-conference games during the 2011-2012 season will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available through individual game pay-per-view. For more details on how to sign up for Crusader Vision, click here.

SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the game with an overall record of 9-3 on the year. The Dons have won their last four games, and are coming off a 66-36 victory over Menlo College. Senior forward Angelo Caloiaro currently leads the team with averages of 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, while hitting 39.1 percent (18 of 46) of his three-point field goal attempts. Senior guard Rashad Green (11.5 points per game), junior guard Michael Williams (11.4 points per game) and junior forward Perris Blackwell (10.8 points per game) are also scoring in double-figures for San Francisco. Head coach Rex Walters owns a 51-55 record in four years leading the Dons. Walters' career mark stands at 82-88, including two seasons as the head coach at Florida Atlantic.

DRIBBLES: The Crusaders currently lead the Patriot League by holding their opponents to 27.5 percent shooting from three-point range. Holy Cross' last nine opponents have shot no better than 30.0 percent from behind the arc, with five of those nine teams attempting at least 20 three-pointers ... 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.