WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) scored 22 points, had six rebounds and hit 13 of 14 free throws, to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 73-69 victory over Navy at the Hart Center. The Midshipmen were led by J.J. Avila with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists. Holy Cross improves to 8-8 overall (2-0 Patriot League) with the win, while Navy falls to 3-13 on the year (0-2 Patriot League). The win was the Crusaders' sixth consecutive victory at home, as they improve to 6-1 overall at the Hart Center this season. Holy Cross is also off to a 2-0 start in Patriot League play for the second consecutive year.
Junior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) tied a career-high with 14 points for the Crusaders, while junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) added 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jordan Sugars scored 22 points and had five rebounds for Navy.
The game was close throughout the first half, the two teams eventually went into the locker rooms tied at 28-28. Holy Cross saw their first lead in the game (11-10) with 10:56 remaining, when Brown made a 10-foot jump shot. The Crusaders' biggest lead of the half came with 3:46 remaining, when freshman guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) hit a key three-pointer to make the score 23-16. The Midshipmen hit three three-point field goals in the final three minutes of the half to pull back in front, before the score was tied up heading into the intermission. The Crusaders shot 45.8 percent (11 of 24) from the floor in the first half, as Brown led all Crusaders' scorers with 10 points.
In the second half, the Crusaders once again took a seven point lead with 17:53 remaining in the game, 37-30. The Midshipmen came back to take their first lead of the second half, 44-43 with 12:02 remaining on a three-pointer by Avila. Navy went on to increase its lead to five points (49-44) with 10:43 left to play on a layup by Jordan Brickman. The Midshipmen were still up 56-53 with 7:21 remaining, when the Crusaders went on a 12-0 run to regain the lead for good. A three-point play by Brown with 3:05 remaining put Holy Cross up 65-56. The Crusaders were then able to hit eight of 10 free throws in the last 1:06 of the game, to hold on for a four-point victory.
The Crusaders were the better team on the boards, outrebounding the Midshipmen, 31-29. Navy shot 42.1 percent from the floor (24 of 57), while Holy Cross hit 46.7 percent of its field goal attempts (21 of 45).
Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 14, when it travels to American for a 2:00 p.m. game.