Holy Cross To Close Out Non-Conference Slate At Yale

Malcolm Miller

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (6-7, 0-0 PL) vs. Yale (8-4, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: January 3, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,532), New Haven, Conn.
Live Video Streaming: www.YaleBulldogs.com
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 35-30
Last Meeting: Yale 77, Holy Cross 76 (OT; January 5, 2011; 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 YALE: This will be the 66th meeting between the Crusaders and the Bulldogs on the hardwood, with Holy Cross holding a 35-30 advantage in the all-time series. The Crusaders have won eight of the last 13 games between the schools, although Yale has come out victorious in each of the last two meetings. For games played in New Haven, the Bulldogs own a narrow 22-21 advantage. Holy Cross and Yale first met on Feb. 10, 1903, with the Bulldogs posting a 26-10 victory in Worcester.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 35-30
In New Haven: Yale leads, 22-21
At the John J. Lee Amphitheater: Holy Cross leads, 20-17
Milan Brown vs. Yale: 0-1
James Jones vs. Holy Cross: 3-4
Current Win Streak: Yale, two games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 4-3

HOLY CROSS CLOSES OUT NON-CONFERENCE SLATE AGAINST YALE: The Crusaders will play their final non-conference game of the 2011-2012 campaign when they travel to Yale on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross then opens its 22nd season of competition in the Patriot League on Saturday, Jan. 7, when it plays host to Lehigh at 3:30 p.m. The Crusaders will follow that with a home contest against Navy on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 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 24-19 against Ivy League foes since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season. The Crusaders had lost four straight games against Ivy League opponents, before posting a 65-61 victory at Dartmouth on Saturday. Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 198-121 against the eight schools which are members of the Ivy League (43-17 vs. Brown, 4-7 against Columbia, 3-2 vs. Cornell, 67-31 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 13 games played this season, he has averaged 14.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists, while making 40.3 percent (27 of 67) of his shots from three-point range. During the victory at Dartmouth, Brown led the team with 18 points and four rebounds, including 16 points in the final 7:04 as Holy Cross rallied for the win. Previously against San Francisco, he scored 21 points on nine of 12 shooting from the field. 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 Sacred Heart (22 points), 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 1,195 points, 215 rebounds and 131 assists, while hitting 38.3 percent (163 of 426) of his three-point field goal attempts and 79.5 percent (290 of 365) 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 13 games played this season, Dudzinski has averaged 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 0.9 blocks, while making 51.6 percent (47 of 91) of his field goal attempts. During the victory at Dartmouth, he recorded 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Previously against San Francisco, Dudzinski totaled 20 points and six rebounds, while hitting 11 of 12 free throw attempts. He also had a big game at Providence, posting career highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds, and connecting on nine of 13 shots from the field. A few of Dudzinski's other top performances this year have come against Maine (20 points, five rebounds, two steals), 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 257 points, 166 rebounds and 22 blocked shots, and made 53.3 percent (98 of 184) of his field goal attempts.

HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: Even though Holy Cross is off to a 6-7 start this season, it has faced one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the Patriot League. Through games of Dec. 31, the Crusaders' schedule is ranked as the 126th-hardest in the nation by CBSSports.com. The only other team in the Patriot League to play a schedule ranked better than 260th is Bucknell at 96th, 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 135 of the ratings percentage index: Connecticut (third), Harvard (21st), the College of Charleston (56th), Fairfield (76th), Providence (125th) and Columbia (133rd). Holy Cross' opponents have combined to go 96-76 so far this season, good for a .558 winning percentage.

DARTMOUTH RECAP: Devin Brown scored 16 of his game-high 18 points in the final 7:04 of play, as Holy Cross rallied from 15 points down to defeat Dartmouth 65-61 at Leede Arena. Brown connected on four of his final five shots from the field, two of them from three-point range, and also hit all four of his free throw attempts in the final 30 seconds. The Crusaders shot 51.9 percent from the field in the second half (14 of 27), and hit 85.7 percent of their free throws (six of seven) after the break. Holy Cross also held a 36-27 advantage on the glass and turned the ball over just 11 times. The Big Green started the game hot, hitting nine of their first 13 shots from the field to jump out to a 22-7 lead after the first eight minutes of play. The Crusaders responded with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to get back into the game. Holy Cross was able to close the gap to three points (27-24) with five minutes left in the half, before Dartmouth expanded the margin back to nine points (37-28) heading into the locker room. The Dartmouth lead was at eight points (44-36) with 15 minutes remaining in regulation, when the Crusaders used a 9-2 spurt to make it a one-point game (46-45). Holy Cross claimed its first lead of the day (49-48) on a put back by Brown with 7:04 left to play, took the lead for good when Dave Dudzinski hit a pair of free throws with 6:33 remaining. The Crusaders were still clinging to a one-point lead (53-52) with four minutes to go, before using a 10-3 run to put the game. Brown scored all 10 of Holy Cross' points during that late spurt. Dudzinski finished the game with 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, while Jordan Stevens added 11 points off the bench. Dartmouth was led by Jabari Trotter with 15 points, and Javonte Brooks with 14 points and four rebounds.

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 12 games played this year, Evans has averaged 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.9 steals, while hitting 48.5 percent (65 of 134) 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 1,025 points, 396 rebounds, 171 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.

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 13 of the Crusaders' game this year, averaging 7.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2.0 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.

THE LAST MEETING WITH YALE: Devin Brown scored a career-high 33 points, but it was not enough as Holy Cross was defeated by Yale 77-76 in overtime at the Hart Center on Jan. 5, 2011. Brown made 10 of 22 shots from the field, four of 10 attempts from three-point range and nine of 11 free throws. The score was tied at 71-71 with 1:36 left in overtime, when Mike Cavataio converted a three-point play to put Holy Cross up 74-71. After Yale's Jesse Pritchard hit one-of-two free throws, Jordan Stevens made lay up to put the Crusaders in front 76-72 with 26 seconds to play. Porter Braswell then made a lay up for the Bulldogs to trim the margin to two points, before the Crusaders missed a pair of free throws to give the ball back to Yale. With 6.8 seconds to go, Austin Morgan converted a three-point play to put the Bulldogs back in front 77-76. Holy Cross had one last possession, but a three-point shot by Stevens was just off the mark at the buzzer. The first half of the game featured five ties and six lead changes, with the largest lead being a seven-point advantage for the Crusaders. Holy Cross would take a 28-23 lead into the locker room halftime. The Crusaders then held onto a small lead early in the second half, until Yale pulled in front 41-40 with 11:50 left in regulation on a three-pointer by Morgan. The score remained close, until the Bulldogs eventually went up by five (61-56) with just 1:43 on the clock. After a three-pointer by Brown and a lay up by Andrew Beinert tied the score at 61-61, Yale went back in front on a Braswell lay up with 5.2 seconds to play. But Brown then drove the length of the court and hit a lay up with 0.2 seconds on the clock to force overtime.

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 13 games played this year, Stevens has averaged 6.0 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists, while making 56.5 percent (13 of 23) of his three-point field goal attempts (including five straight entering the Yale game). During the victory at Dartmouth, he scored 11 points on four of six shooting from the field. Previously against San Francisco, Stevens 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). He also played well against Hartford (career-high 17 points, four rebounds, three assists) and Maine (11 points). 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 281 points, 101 rebounds and 63 assists.

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.

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 3.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. During the victory at Dartmouth, he scored four points and grabbed seven rebounds. Previously against San Francisco, Obeysekere posted his first double-double of the season with 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots. He also recorded seven points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks against both Sacred Heart and Hartford. 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 195 points, 261 rebounds and 79 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 14-28 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 109-148 (.424). 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).

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 93rd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1305-877 (.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.

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 13 games, he has averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest. Beans has also become a threat from beyond the arc, making 48.1 percent (13 of 27) 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 128 points, 90 rebounds and 11 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 third in career three-point field goal attempts (426), fourth all-time at Holy Cross in three-point field goals made (163) and eighth in career free throw percentage (.795). In addition, junior guard R.J. Evans ranks ninth all-time in career minutes played per game (29.4), and senior guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) is 10th all-time in career minutes played per game (29.0).

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.

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 BULLDOGS: Yale enters the game with an overall record of 8-4 on the season. The Bulldogs have lost two games in a row, and are coming off a 90-70 setback at Florida on Saturday. Senior center Greg Mangano leads the team with averages of 18.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game. Junior guard Austin Morgan is also off to a strong start this year, averaging 14.2 points and 2.4 assists per contest, while hitting 45.9 percent (34 of 74) of his three-point field goal attempts. Yale is led by head coach James Jones, who owns an overall record of 165-185 in 13 seasons with the Bulldogs.

DRIBBLES: Holy Cross has hit 71.6 percent of their free throws on the year. Sophomore forward Dave Dudzinski currently leads the team by hitting 33 of 39 attempts from the charity stripe (84.6 percent) ... The Crusaders currently rank second in the Patriot League by holding their opponents to 29.6 percent shooting from three-point range. Eight of Holy Cross' last 11 opponents have shot below 30.0 percent from behind the arc, with six of those 11 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 ... The Crusaders were picked to finish in third place in the 2011-2012 Patriot League preseason poll, while senior guard Devin Brown earned preseason All-Patriot League honors in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors.