WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) had a career-high 23 points, eight rebounds and a career-high five blocks, as the Holy Cross men's basketball team defeated Lehigh, 84-78 at the Hart Center in the first game of Patriot League play for both teams in the 2011-2012 season. The Mountain Hawks were led by C.J. McCollum with 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Holy Cross improves to 7-8 overall (1-0 Patriot League) with the win, while Lehigh falls to 12-5 on the year (0-1 Patriot League).
Senior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) scored 20 points for the Crusaders, while junior guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.) added 17 points. Holden Greiner scored 14 points, and five rebounds for Lehigh.
The Crusaders got off to a great start opening the game on a 6-0 run, and never looked back in the first 20 minutes of play. Stevens hit his second three point basket of the night at the 14:21 mark to increase the Crusader lead to 10, 20-10. With 4:38 remaining in the first half Brown hit a three point jumper to pull ahead by 15, leading 41-26. Holy Cross' biggest lead in the first half was after freshman guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) and Dudzinski hit back-to-back three pointers to push their lead to 19, 47-28. The Mountain Hawks ended the first half on a 5-0 run to only find themselves down 14 heading into the locker room. The Crusaders shot 59.5 percent (19 of 32) from the floor over the first 20 minutes as Dudzinski led all Crusaders' scorers with 15 points.
In the second half, the Crusaders continued to take control of the game increasing their lead back up to 15, after Burrell made three free throws when he was fouled beyond the arc at the 16:55 mark, 53-38. Dudzinski powered the paint well all night and put in his career-high 23rd point with 6:31 remaining on a hard fought layup. Lehigh kept cutting into the lead, and at 1:22 only found themselves down five, 76-71. This was the closest Lehigh would be able to come as the Crusaders were able to stay in front in the final minute, winning the game by six, 84-78.
The Crusaders won the battle on the boards outrebounding the Mountain Hawks 40-37. Lehigh shot 39.0 percent from the floor (30 of 77), while Holy Cross hit 51.7 percent of its field goal attempts (30 of 58).
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 11, when they host Navy on Charter TV3 at the Hart Center, game time starts at 7:00 p.m.