WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) had eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks, but the Holy Cross men's basketball team was defeated by Lafayette 54-43 at the Hart Center. The Leopards were led by Ryan Willen with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. Holy Cross falls to 8-10 overall (2-2 Patriot League) with the loss, while Lafayette improves to 8-11 on the year (3-1 Patriot League). The loss tonight marks only the second loss the Crusaders have had at home this season, (6-2) overall.
Senior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) scored eight points and hit both of his free throw attempts on the night, while junior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) added seven points and four rebounds. Dan Trist scored 11 points, and had three rebounds for Lafayette.
The Crusaders started the game hot, taking an early 10-2 lead after Brown made a layup with 13:37 remaining. Holy Cross eventually led by 11 points (16-5) at the 11:21 mark after Brown drove the lane and put in another layup. The Leopards responded with a 7-0 run to trim the margin to four points (16-12) with 6:25 remaining in the half. The Crusader defense then stepped up, allowing Lafayette to score only two more points in the final 6:25 of the first half. Holy Cross used an 8-2 run over that time to claim a 10-point lead (24-14) heading into the locker room.
The Leopards came out on fire to start the second half, hitting their first seven shots while going on a 15-2 run to claim their first lead of the night (31-26). Holy Cross scored the next six points, regaining a one-point lead (32-31) at the 13:09 mark after Dee Goens (Alpharetta, Ga.) hit a running jumper. The score would later be tied at 38-38 with 9:53 remaining, when Lafayette went on an 11-0 run over the next 5:25 to take a comanding 49-38 advantage with 4:28 remaining. The Crusaders were only able to score five more points the rest of the way, as the Leopards pulled away for an 11-point victory.
The Crusaders committed 14 turnovers on the night, but were able to outrebound Lafayette 38-31. The Leopards shot 33.9 percent from the floor (19 of 56), including 52.0 percent in the second half (13 of 25), while Holy Cross hit only 33.3 percent of its field goal attempts (18 of 54).
Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 21, when it travels to Bucknell for a 7:00 p.m. game.