Crusaders To Return From Break At Dartmouth

Justin Burrell

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The Teams: Holy Cross (5-7, 0-0 PL) vs. Dartmouth (3-10, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: December 31, 2011
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
Live Video Streaming:
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics:
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 66-31
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 73, Dartmouth 52 (January 5, 2005; Worcester, Mass.)

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 DARTMOUTH: This will be the 98th meeting between the Crusaders and the Big Green on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 66-31. The Crusaders have won three straight and six of the last eight meetings in the series, although the teams have not played since 2005. The series is tied at 25-25 for games played in Hanover, with Dartmouth holding a 5-4 advantage for contests held at Leede Arena. The schools first met on December 17, 1901, with Holy Cross winning 25-18 in Worcester.

Overall: Holy Cross leads, 66-31
In Hanover: Tied, 25-25
At Leede Arena: Dartmouth leads, 5-4
Milan Brown vs. Dartmouth: 0-0
Paul Cormier vs. Holy Cross: 3-3
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, three games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 4-0

CRUSADERS TRAVEL NORTH TO FACE DARTMOUTH: Following a nine-day layoff for Christmas, Holy Cross returns to action at Dartmouth on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 2:00 p.m. The Crusaders will next travel to Yale on Tuesday, Jan. 3, for their last non-league game of the year at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross then opens Patriot League play with a pair of home games, against Lehigh (Jan. 7, 3:30 p.m.) and Navy (Jan. 11, 7:00 p.m.).

IMPRESSIVE AGAINST THE IVY LEAGUE: The Crusaders have enjoyed a good deal of success against schools from the Ivy League over the last 13 years. Holy Cross stands 23-19 against Ivy League foes since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season. The Crusaders have lost their last four games against Ivy League opponents, including setbacks against Harvard and Columbia earlier this season. Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 197-121 against the eight schools which are members of the Ivy League (43-17 vs. Brown, 4-7 against Columbia, 3-2 vs. Cornell, 66-31 against Dartmouth, 41-24 vs. Harvard, 3-3 against Pennsylvania, 2-7 vs. Princeton and 35-30 against Yale).

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 12 games played this season, he has averaged 14.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists, while making 40.3 percent (25 of 62) of his shots from three-point range. During the victory over San Francisco, Brown led the team with 21 points on nine of 12 shooting from the field. Previously against Sacred Heart, he scored 22 points and hit seven of 14 shots from the floor. 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), New Hampshire (15 points, three rebounds) 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 1,177 points, 211 rebounds and 131 assists, while hitting 38.2 percent (161 of 421) of his three-point field goal attempts and 79.4 percent (286 of 360) of his free throws. He became the 45th 1,000-point scorer in school history against Lafayette on March 2, 2011.

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 12 games played this season, Dudzinski has averaged 10.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks, while making 51.3 percent (41 of 80) of his field goal attempts. During the victory over San Francisco, he totaled 20 points and six rebounds, while hitting 11 of 12 free throw attempts. Previously at Providence, Dudzinski posted career highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds, and connected on nine of 13 shots from the field. He also had a big game at Maine, leading the team with 20 points, five rebounds and two steals. A few of Dudzinski's other top performances this year have come against the College of Charleston (14 points, five rebounds, two steals), Boston College (10 points, six rebounds), 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 243 points, 158 rebounds and 20 blocked shots, and made 53.2 percent (92 of 173) of his field goal attempts.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 93rd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1304-877 (.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.

SAN FRANCISCO RECAP: Devin Brown scored a team-high 21 points on nine of 12 shooting from the field, to lead Holy Cross to an 88-83 victory over San Francisco at the Hart Center on Dec. 22, 2011. Dave Dudzinski added 20 points and six rebounds for the Crusaders. Holy Cross hit a season-best 58.1 percent of its shots from the field (25 of 43), including 68.8 percent (11 of 16) in the second half. The Crusaders also outrebounded the Dons 37-24 and made 85.7 percent of their free throws (30 of 35) on the night, but had to overcome a season-worst 28 turnovers. The game was close early on, and Holy Cross held a slim 21-19 advantage with six minutes to play in the first half. The Crusaders then went on a 7-0 run to increase their lead to nine points (28-19), with Jordan Stevens scoring five points during that spurt. Holy Cross would eventually take a 37-29 advantage into the locker room.  The Crusaders increased their lead to 11 points (44-33) early in the second half, before San Francisco went on an 18-5 run to pull in front by two (51-49) with 10:44 left to play. The game stayed close for the next several minutes, and the Dons held a 61-60 lead with 6:22 remaining. A fast break dunk by Brown then ignited a 9-0 run which put Holy Cross in the lead for good. San Francisco kept things close down the stretch, trimming the margin to three points on six occasions in the final three minutes of play. But the Crusaders hit 15 of 18 free throws in the last 1:33 to hold on for the win. Stevens finished the night with 16 points and a career-high seven assists, while Justin Burrell added 12 points, six assists and four rebounds. Eric Obeysekere had a big night off the bench, posting his first double-double of the year with 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.  The Dons were led by Rashad Green with 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Angelo Caloiaro added 16 points for San Francisco, all in the second half.

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 12 of the Crusaders' game this year, averaging 7.8 points, 4.3 assists and 1.8 rebounds per contest, while hitting 82.1 percent (32 of 39) of his free throw attempts. During the victory over San Francisco, Burrell totaled 12 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals. Previously against Sacred Heart, he recorded 10 points, six assists and two steals. Burrell also played well against New Hampshire, scoring 13 points and hitting eight of nine attempts from the foul line. A few of his top performances earlier in the season came against Providence (career-high 15 points, six assists, two rebounds, two steals), 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.

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 11 games played 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 the 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 performance 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.

THE LAST MEETING WITH DARTMOUTH: Kevin Hamilton totaled 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals, to lead the Crusaders to a 73-52 victory over Dartmouth at the Hart Center. Holy Cross scored the first four points of the game, and increased its lead to 11 points (16-5) after seven minutes of play. The Crusaders would go up by as many as 13 points prior to the break, before taking a 10-point advantage (34-24) into the locker room. The Big Green opened the second half on an 8-2 run, and trailed by only three points (43-40) with 13:30 remaining in regulation. But Holy Cross then used an 8-1 run to once again take control of the game, before pulling away over the last five minutes for a 21-point victory. Torey Thomas totaled 15 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Crusaders, while Nate Lufkin added 12 points and John Hurley pulled down eight rebounds. As a team, Holy Cross connected on 50.0 percent of its three-point attempts (seven of 14) and 73.7 percent of its foul shots (14 of 19). Dartmouth was led by Mike Lang with 13 points, while David Gardner added 10 points. The Big Green committed 20 turnovers in the game, while making only 18 shots.

HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: Even though Holy Cross is off to a 5-7 start this season, it has faced the toughest non-conference schedule in the Patriot League. Through games of Dec. 22, the Crusaders' schedule is ranked as the 71st-hardest in the nation by The only other team in the Patriot League to play a schedule ranked better than 247th is Bucknell at 110th, but the Bison played a game against Division II West Alabama which does not factor in the strength of schedule rankings. Six of the Crusaders' losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 125 of the ratings percentage index: Connecticut (seventh), Harvard (28th), the College of Charleston (51st), Fairfield (67th), Providence (121st) and Columbia (122nd). Holy Cross' opponents have combined to go 83-54 so far this season, good for a .606 winning percentage.

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).

SHOTS FROM THE HEART: Holy Cross assistant coach Dan Engelstad is taking part in Shots from the Heart, a project created by 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.

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 12 games played this year, Stevens has averaged 5.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists, while making 52.4 percent (11 of 21) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the victory over San Francisco, he totaled 16 points and a career-high seven assists, while making all four of his field goal attempts (three of them from three-point range). Previously at Maine, Stevens scored 11 points on four of six shooting from the floor. He also played well against Hartford, totaling a career-high 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, and hitting 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) and at Colgate (13 points, four rebounds). Over the course of his collegiate career, Stevens has now totaled 270 points, 100 rebounds and 62 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, Obeysekere is averaging 3.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. During the victory over San Francisco, he posted his first double-double of the season with 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots. Previously against Sacred Heart, Obeysekere recorded seven points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks. He also played well against Hartford, totaling 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 191 points, 254 rebounds and 78 blocked shots.

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 13-28 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 108-148 (.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).

CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 324-130 at the Hart Center, including a 4-1 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 111-38 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 70-18 record against Patriot League foes.

BEANS PLAYS BIG UP FRONT: Junior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) is playing a key role for Holy Cross in the paint this season. In 12 games, he has averaged 6.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest. Beans has also become a threat from beyond the arc, making 46.2 percent (12 of 26) 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 11 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

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 (161), fourth in career three-point field goal attempts (421) and eighth in career free throw percentage (.794). 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).

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 BIG GREEN: Dartmouth enters the game with an overall record of 3-10 on the year. The Big Green has lost its last three games, but does have a 2-1 record at home this season. Junior guard R.J. Griffin currently leads the team by averaging 10.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Gabas Maldunas has added 8.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest, while senior guard David Rufful is chipping in with 8.5 points and 3.5 boards per game. Paul Cormier is in the second year of his second stint as Dartmouth's head coach, with an overall record of 95-128. Cormier's career record stands at 181-239, including seven seasons at Fairfield (1991-1998).

DRIBBLES: The Crusaders currently lead the Patriot League by holding their opponents to 28.4 percent shooting from three-point range. Eight of Holy Cross' last 10 opponents have shot below 30.0 percent from behind the arc, with six of those 10 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.