GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (15-13, 9-5 PL) vs. Lafayette (12-17, 7-7 PL)
Date: February 29, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Patriot League All-Access
Holy Cross Radio: Dick Lutsk, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 33-19
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 70, Lafayette 63 (February 15, 2012; Easton, Pa.)
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 LAFAYETTE: This will be the 53rd meeting between the Crusaders and the Leopards on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 33-19. The Crusaders won the last game between the schools 70-63 in Easton on Feb. 15, but prior to that the Leopards had been victorious in three straight and five of seven meetings. For games played in Worcester, the Crusaders hold a 19-6 advantage, including victories in 11 of the last 14 games. The schools first met on Feb. 4, 1947, with Holy Cross posting a 50-40 victory at the Boston Garden.
SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 33-19
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 19-6
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross leads, 19-6
Milan Brown vs. Lafayette: 3-6
Fran O'Hanlon vs. Holy Cross: 18-20
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
In Overtime: Tied, 1-1
CRUSADERS SET FOR 2012 PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT: Holy Cross opens up play in the 2012 Patriot League Tournament on Wednesday, February 29, when it plays host to Lafayette in the quarterfinals at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders are the fourth seed in the tournament, while the Leopards are seeded fifth. The winner of the Holy Cross-Lafayette game will move on to face the Bucknell-Navy winner in the semifinals on Saturday, March 3, with the championship game set for Wednesday, March 7. For the sixth straight year, all games in the Patriot League Tournament will be played on the campus of the higher seed.
CRUSADERS RIDE SIX-GAME WINNING STREAK INTO LEAGUE TOURNAMENT: Holy Cross enters the Patriot League Tournament having won its last six games. This marks the 13th time in conference history that a team will enter the Patriot League Tournament with a winning streak of six games or more. All 12 previous teams which have gone into the conference tournament with six or more wins in a row have gone on to reach the championship game, with five of them claiming the title. Here is a look at every team in Patriot League history to enter the conference tournament with a winning streak of at least six games:
|Won Title||Lost in Final|
|Year||Team (Streak)||Year||Team (Streak)|
|1997||Navy (7 games)||1993||Bucknell (9 games)|
|2000||Lafayette (6 games)||1995||Navy (8 games)|
|2003||Holy Cross (9 games)||1996||Holy Cross (6 games)|
|2009||American (10 games)||1998||Lafayette (9 games)|
|2011||Bucknell (7 games)||2000||Navy (12 games)|
|2005||Holy Cross (14 games)|
|2007||Bucknell (12 games)|
HOLY CROSS STEPS UP ON DEFENSE: Over the last six games, the Crusaders have turned in some of their top defensive performances of the season. During that time, Holy Cross has held its opponents to just 54.7 points per game on 36.6 percent shooting from the field and 24.8 percent shooting from three-point range. On Feb. 22, the Crusaders held Army to 51 points on 30.4 percent shooting from the field (17 of 56) and 11.1 percent shooting from three-point range (three of 27). Previously against Bucknell, Holy Cross limited the Bison to 52 points (including just 10 points in the first half) and 20.0 percent shooting from three-point range (three of 15). The Crusaders also held American to 52 points on 32.2 percent shooting from the field (19 of 59), and limited Navy to 52 points and 21.7 percent shooting from three-point range (five of 23). In Patriot League regular season play this season, Holy Cross allowed 62.9 points per game, with their opponents making only 40.2 percent of their field goals (316 of 787) and 29.2 percent of their three-point attempts (89 of 305). Holy Cross also averaged a Patriot League-best 4.6 blocked shots per game in conference play, with a +2.0 rebound margin.
BROWN EARNS ALL-LEAGUE HONORS AGAIN: Senior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) has been one of Holy Cross' top players over the last few seasons, and has been selected second team All-Patriot League for the second year in a row. In 28 games played this season, he has averaged a team-high 14.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists, while making 74.6 percent (94 of 126) of his free throws and 36.6 percent (52 of 142) of his shots from three-point range. During the victory over Army, Brown totaled 24 points and six rebounds. Previously at Lafayette, he led the team with 18 points on six of 10 shooting from the field. Brown also had a huge game in the first meeting with Colgate, recording 27 points, three rebounds and two assists, while hitting five of nine shots from three-point range. Some of his other top performances this season have been against Boston College (season-high 32 points, five rebounds, five assists), against Navy (22 points, six rebounds), at Yale (22 points), against Sacred Heart (22 points), against San Francisco (21 points), against Lehigh (20 points), at Dartmouth (18 points, four rebounds), against Hartford (17 points, four assists), against Harvard (17 points), against New Hampshire (15 points, three rebounds), against American (14 points, seven rebounds, three assists), at the College of Charleston (14 points, four rebounds) and at American (14 points). 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. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Brown has now totaled 1,412 points, 248 rebounds and 147 assists, while hitting 37.5 percent (188 of 501) of his three-point field goal attempts and 79.5 percent (356 of 448) of his free throws.
HOLY CROSS POSTS ANOTHER WINNING RECORD IN LEAGUE PLAY: With a 9-5 mark in conference games this year, the Crusaders finished the regular season with a winning record in Patriot League play. This marks the 14th time Holy Cross posted a winning record against conference opponents in the league's 22-year history. The Crusaders previously finished with winning records in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Holy Cross' 14 winning seasons in conference play are the second-most in the history of the Patriot League, behind only Bucknell with 17.
BURRELL EARNS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HONORS: Freshman Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) has taken over as Holy Cross' starting point guard this season, and has been selected as the 2011-2012 Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Burrell has started all 28 of the Crusaders' game this season, averaging 7.4 points, 3.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds per contest, and hitting 78.0 percent (64 of 82) of his free throw attempts. He has really stepped up his play over the last six games, averaging 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists during that time, while connecting on 50.0 percent of his three-point field goal attempts (nine of 18). During the victory at Colgate, Burrell totaled 10 points, five assists and two rebounds. Previously against Bucknell, he led the team with 15 points and three assists. Burrell also played well at Lafayette, finishing with 16 points, three rebounds and two assists. A few of his other top performances this season have come at Navy (career-high 17 points, four rebounds, four assists), at Providence (15 points, six assists, two rebounds, two steals), against New Hampshire (13 points), against San Francisco (12 points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals), against Hartford (10 points, six rebounds, three assists), against Sacred Heart (10 points, six assists, two steals) and at the College of Charleston (10 points, three 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.
CRUSADERS A FIXTURE IN CONFERENCE TITLE GAME: Over the last 11 seasons, Holy Cross has appeared in the Patriot League title game seven times. The Crusaders have gone 4-3 in their seven championship game appearances during that time, winning the title in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2007. Only nine other teams in the nation have played in their conference championship game at least seven times over the last 11 years. Here is a look at the teams with the most league title game appearances in the last 11 seasons:
|11 of 11||Gonzaga||West Coast Conference|
|9 of 11||Duke||Atlantic Coast Conference|
|9 of 11||Utah State||Western Athletic & Big West Conferences|
|8 of 11||Butler||Horizon League|
|7 of 11||Austin Peay||Ohio Valley Conference|
|7 of 11||Holy Cross||Patriot League|
|7 of 11||Kent State||Mid-American Conference|
|7 of 11||Ohio State||Big Ten Conference|
|7 of 11||Pittsburgh||Big East Conference|
|7 of 11||Winthrop||Big South Conference|
CRUSADERS AND LEOPARDS IN THE POSTSEASON: The quarterfinal game between Holy Cross and Lafayette will mark the sixth meeting between the schools in the Patriot League Tournament. The Leopards have eliminated the Crusaders from the postseason in each of the last two years, winning 66-63 in Easton in the 2010 semifinals, and 77-70 in Worcester in the 2011 quarterfinals. The other times the schools have met in the Patriot League Tournament came in the 1992 quarterfinals (an 87-71 Holy Cross victory), the 1997 quarterfinals (a 70-65 Lafayette win) and the 2007 quarterfinals (a 83-53 Holy Cross victory).
CAVATAIO BACK ON THE COURT: After missing 13 games due to injury, senior guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) returned to action for the start of Patriot League play. In 15 games played this year, he is now averaging 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest, while hitting 80.0 percent of his free throws (12 of 15). During the victory over Bucknell, Cavataio recorded nine points and four rebounds. Previously at Lehigh, he led the team with 12 points, four rebounds and two assists. A few of Cavataio's other top games this season have been against Lafayette (eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks, two steals), at American (eight points, seven rebounds, two assists), at Army (seven points, six rebounds), against Navy (seven points, three rebounds) and against Lehigh (six points, six rebounds, two assists). In 28 games played last year, he averaged 8.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest and hit 41.6 percent (102 of 245) of his field goal attempts. During the 2009-2010 season, Cavataio averaged 11.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest, while shooting 47.1 percent (131 of 278) from the field and 82.1 percent (78 of 95) on the free throw line. He sat out the 2008-2009 season after transferring to Holy Cross from St. John's, where he totaled 23 points and 20 rebounds during his only year with the Red Storm. During his career at Holy Cross, Cavataio has totaled 689 points, 392 rebounds and 151 assists.
EVANS RETURNS TO FORM: 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 27 games played this year, Evans has averaged 11.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals. During the victory at Colgate, he led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds. Previously against Army, Evans totaled 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. He also had a big night at Yale, recording a season-high 24 points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds. Some of Evans' other top games this season have come against Providence (21 points, four rebounds, three steals), at Army (18 points, five assists, three rebounds), at the College of Charleston (16 points, seven rebounds, four steals), at Connecticut (15 points, four rebounds), against New Hampshire (14 points, six rebounds, four steals), against Boston College (14 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals), at Fairfield (14 points, five rebounds), against Navy (14 points, three rebounds), against Harvard (13 points, three assists), against Sacred Heart (12 points, six rebounds, three steals), at Navy (12 points, five rebounds, five assists), against Colgate (11 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and against Hartford (10 points, five assists, three rebounds). 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 1,182 points, 470 rebounds, 211 assists and 127 steals over the course of his Holy Cross career. He has scored in double-figures 67 times during his collegiate career and has hit the 20-point mark nine times.
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 is competing against other collegiate assistant basketball coaches from around the nation in a free throw shooting tournament, which will benefit the American Heart Association. Engelstad downed Kurtis Townsend of Kansas 51-50 in the first round, defeated Rasheen Davis of Xavier 50-45 in the second round, and topped LaVall Jordan of Michigan 56-47 in the round of 16. He now moves on to face Andy Hipsher of South Florida in the national quarterfinals. Both Engelstad and head coach Milan Brown took part in Shots from the Heart last year, with Brown making the round of 16 and Engelstad advancing to the second round.
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 28 games played this season, Dudzinski has averaged 9.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks, while making 48.4 percent (91 of 188) of his field goal attempts and 83.3 percent of his free throws (65 of 78). During the victory at Colgate, he recorded 10 points and five rebounds. Previously against American, Dudzinski totaled 10 points, six rebounds and two steals. He also had a big game in the home victory over Lehigh, leading the team with career highs of 23 points and five blocked shots, in addition to pulling down eight rebounds and hitting nine of 11 field goal attempts. A few of Dudzinski's other top performances this year have come at Providence (21 points, career-high 11 rebounds), against San Francisco (20 points, six rebounds), at Maine (20 points, five rebounds, two steals), at Dartmouth (14 points, eight rebounds, two blocks), at the College of Charleston (14 points, five rebounds, two steals), against Boston College (10 points, six rebounds), at Bucknell (10 points, five rebounds, two blocks), against Army (nine points, six rebounds), at Army (nine points, five rebounds), at Lafayette (eight points, eight rebounds), against Navy (eight points, six rebounds, two blocks) and against Bucknell (seven points, seven rebounds, two blocks). 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 380 points, 242 rebounds and 40 blocked shots, and made 50.5 percent (142 of 281) of his field goal attempts.
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 23-34 and a 16-12 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 118-154 (.434). 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 330-131 at the Hart Center, including a 10-2 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 31 out of 37 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 17 times. The Crusaders stand 117-39 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 76-19 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 27 games, Beans has averaged 6.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest. He has also become a threat from beyond the arc, making 36.8 percent (21 of 57) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the victory at Navy, Beans recorded 10 points, three rebounds and two blocked shots. Previously against Colgate, he scored a career-high 16 points to go along with five rebounds and two blocks. Beans also played well at American, totaling 11 points and a career-best nine rebounds. A few of his other top games this season have come against Navy (14 points), against Fairfield (14 points), against Boston College (nine points, six rebounds), against New Hampshire (nine points, four rebounds), at Army (nine points), at Providence (nine points) and at Connecticut (eight points, five rebounds). Last year, Beans played in only seven games due to injury. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, he has recorded 219 points, 137 rebounds and 17 blocked shots.
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, he is averaging 3.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. During the victory at Colgate, Obeysekere recorded seven points and five rebounds. Previously against Army, he totaled six points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Obeysekere also played well at Lafayette, finishing with four points, eight rebounds and four blocks. A few of his other top games this year have been against San Francisco (10 points five rebounds, five blocks), against Sacred Heart (seven points, five rebounds, two assists, two blocks), against Hartford (seven points, five rebounds, two assists, two blocks), against American (six points, six rebounds, three blocks), at Dartmouth (four points, seven rebounds) and against Colgate (three points, 11 rebounds). 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. Over the course of his career with the Crusaders, Obeysekere has now totaled 237 points, 323 rebounds and 98 blocked shots.
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 27 games played this year, he has averaged 5.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists, while making 42.9 percent (21 of 49) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the victory over Lehigh, Stevens scored 17 points while hitting seven of 10 field goal attempts and three of five shots from three-point range. Previously at Dartmouth, he posted 11 points on four of six shooting from the floor. Stevens also played well against San Francisco, totaling 16 points and a career-high seven assists, and making all four of his field goal attempts (three of them from three-point range). A few of his other top games this year have been against Hartford (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. Over the course of his collegiate career, Stevens has now totaled 341 points, 134 rebounds and 73 assists.
THE STOPPER: Junior guard R.J. Evans has been one of the best defensive players in the Patriot League this season. He has consistently drawn the assignment of guarding the other team's top perimeter scorer, and has done an excellent job of slowing those players down. Here is a look at some of the players Evans has guarded this season, along with their scoring average entering the contest with Holy Cross.
|Jeremy Lamb (UConn)||4-16||2-6||10||20.0|
|Alvin Abreu (New Hampshire)||2-14||0-6||4||17.0|
|Austin Morgan (Yale)||1-4||0-3||2||14.2|
|Charles Hinkle (American)||4-18||2-8||14||19.4|
|Cameron Ayers (Bucknell)||3-7||1-3||7||11.4|
|Shane Gibson (Sacred Heart)||5-12||2-5||14||18.3|
|Meiko Lyles (Columbia)||1-5||1-5||5||9.2|
CRUSADERS LOOK FOR SIXTH PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CROWN: Holy Cross is looking to win its sixth Patriot League Tournament title in 2012. Five years ago, the Crusaders captured their fifth Patriot League Tournament championship with their 74-66 victory over Bucknell on March 9, 2007. Holy Cross' previous tournament titles came in 2003 (72-64 over American), 2002 (58-54 at American), 2001 (68-64 over Navy in overtime) and 1993 (98-73 at Bucknell). The Crusaders' five conference tournament championships are the most in Patriot League history, with Navy having the second most (three in 1994, 1997 and 1998). Holy Cross has also appeared in the championship game seven times in the last 11 years. Overall, the Crusaders have made a conference-record 10 appearances in the Patriot League championship game.
THE FIRST MEETING WITH LAFAYETTE: Mike Cavataio had eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks, but Holy Cross was defeated by Lafayette 54-43 at the Hart Center on Jan. 19, 2012. The Leopards were led by Ryan Willen with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. 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). The Crusaders started the game hot, jumping out to an early 10-2 lead and increasing the margin to 11 points (16-5) at the 11:21-mark. The Leopards responded with a 7-0 spurt to trim the margin to 16-12 with 6:25 remaining in the half. The Crusaders then closed out the half on an 8-2 run, claiming 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 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 commanding 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 eventually posted an 11-point victory. Devin Brown scored eight points, while Phil Beans added seven points and four rebounds. Dan Trist had 11 points and three rebounds for Lafayette.
THE SECOND MEETING WITH LAFAYETTE: Devin Brown scored a game-high 18 points on six-of-10 shooting from the field, to lead Holy Cross to a 70-63 victory over Lafayette at the Allan P. Kirby Sports Center on Feb. 15, 2012. Justin Burrell also had a strong night, totaling 16 points, three rebounds and two assists. Holy Cross shot 46.9 percent from the floor (23 of 49), including a blistering 60.9 percent in the second half (14 of 23). The Leopards were able to hit only 39.3 percent of their field goal attempts (24 of 61), including 26.9 percent of their shots from three-point range (seven of 26). In addition, the Crusaders outrebounded Lafayette 46-26, and blocked seven shots in the game. The Crusaders started the game with a 7-0 run, including five points by Burrell. Holy Cross increased its lead to 10 points (12-2) with 15 minutes left in the first half, and was still up by nine (21-12) at the six-minute mark. But the Leopards then began to cut into the lead, and would close out the half on a 4-0 run to make the score 30-27 heading into the locker room. The Holy Cross lead would stay between three and eight points for the majority of the second half, but the margin was only 57-54 with 5:34 remaining in regulation. The Crusaders then used a quick 6-0 spurt over the next two minutes to go in front by nine (63-54), with a dunk by Eric Obeysekere ending that run. Lafayette refused to go away quietly, and was able to cut the margin back down to four points (67-63) with 46.8 seconds left to play on a layup by Rob Delaney. Burrell was then able to connect on three of four free throw attempts in the final 45 seconds, and Holy Cross posted a seven-point win after not allowing the Leopards to score again. R.J. Evans finished the game with nine points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, while Dave Dudzinski added eight points and eight rebounds. Lafayette was led by Ryan Willen with 15 points and four rebounds.
COLGATE RECAP: R.J. Evans totaled 14 points and seven rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to a 65-58 victory over Colgate at Cotterell Court. Justin Burrell added 10 points and five assists for the Crusaders, while Dave Dudzinski finished with 10 points and five rebounds. The Crusaders shot 48.0 percent from the field (24 of 50), and committed just six turnovers on the day. Holy Cross also held Colgate to just 37.0 percent shooting from the field (20 of 54) and 33.3 percent shooting from three-point range (seven of 21). The score was tied at 5-5 early on, when the Crusaders went on a 9-0 run to claim a 14-5 advantage. A few minutes later the Raiders used an 8-1 spurt to trim the margin down to two points (22-20), and Holy Cross would lead 24-21 with 6:38 left in the half. The Crusaders then used a 14-3 run to increase their lead to 14 points (38-24) heading into the locker room. The Holy Cross lead would remain in between nine and 15 points for the majority of the second half, and the Crusaders would eventually hold a 57-46 advantage with 4:28 left to play. A three-pointer by Colgate's Mitch Rolls cut the margin to eight points, before neither team scored again for almost three minutes. The Raiders would then trim the lead to six points with just over a minute remaining, before Holy Cross made six of eight free throws in the final minute to hold on for the win. Dee Goens recorded nine points and three rebounds for the Crusaders, while Eric Obeysekere had seven points and five rebounds. Rolls led Colgate with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists.
HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the top 125 teams in the NCAA Division I leaders for five statistical categories, through games of Feb. 26. In addition, several players stand among the top 250 in the nation in individual statistics. The rankings:
|Category||Rank||Player / Team||Avg. / Pct.|
|Three-Point Percent Defense||17||Holy Cross||29.2|
|Blocked Shots||51||Holy Cross||4.5|
|Free Throw Percent||78||Holy Cross||71.9|
|Field Goal Percent Defense||110||Holy Cross||41.6|
|Fewest Personal Fouls||123||Holy Cross||17.6|
|Assist-Turnover Ratio||144||Justin Burrell||1.7|
CRUSADERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Four current Holy Cross players have earned spots in the school's all-time record book this season. Senior guard Devin Brown currently stands second all-time at Holy Cross in career three-point field goal attempts (501), third in career three-point field goals made (188), ninth in career free throw percentage (.795) and 10th in career games played. Junior guard R.J. Evans ranks ninth all-time in both career games started (88) and career minutes played per game (29.2), while junior forward Eric Obeysekere stands seventh in career blocked shots (98). In addition, junior guard Jordan Stevens tied the all-time school single-game record for three-point field goal percentage when he hit all four of his attempts from behind the arc against Hartford on Nov. 23.
SENIOR SALUTE: Four members of the Holy Cross basketball program will be concluding their collegiate careers at the end of the 2011-2012 season. Senior guard Devin Brown, senior guard Mike Cavataio and senior guard Charlie Mills (Tampa, Fla.) were honored in a pregame ceremony before the Feb. 18 contest against Bucknell, along with team manager Chris Holmes (Lebanon, N.H.).
CRUSADERS HAVE AT LEAST ONE WIN OVER EVERY PATRIOT LEAGUE SCHOOL: During the 2011-2012 campaign, Holy Cross posted at least one win against all of the other seven schools in the Patriot League. This marks the eighth time the Crusaders have defeated every other team in the league, after previously accomplishing the feat in 1993, 1995, 1996, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. In prior years where Holy Cross has defeated every other team in the league, it has won the conference regular season title three times (2003, 2005, 2007) and won the league tournament championship three times (1993, 2003, 2007).
TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 93rd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1313-883 (.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.
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 seven 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
Feb. 25 at Colgate: Time Warner Cable
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 was available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, was available through individual game pay-per-view. For more details on Crusader Vision, click here.
SCOUTING THE LEOPARDS: Lafayette enters the game with an overall record of 12-17 on the year, including a 7-7 mark in the Patriot League. The Leopards have lost four of their last five games, and are coming off a 76-59 setback at American on Saturday. Senior forward Ryan Willen has averaged a team-best 14.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while hitting 36.3 percent (29 of 80) of his three-point field goal attempts. Senior guard Jim Mower has added 12.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest, while senior guard Rob Delaney is chipping in with 9.1 points, 3.7 assists and 3.3 boards per game. Lafayette is led by head coach Fran O'Hanlon, who owns an overall record of 241-259 in 17 seasons with the Leopards.
DRIBBLES: Holy Cross' current six-game winning streak is its longest since winning five consecutive contests in 2007 (from Nov. 10-28) ... Freshman forward Taylor Abt (Darnestown, Md.) has averaged 4.6 points and 3.4 rebounds over the Crusaders' last seven games, while hitting four of six three-point field goal attempts. He tied his career high with seven points scored at Lehigh, then pulled down a career-high seven rebounds in the victory over American ... Holy Cross has hit 71.9 percent of its free throws on the year. Sophomore forward Dave Dudzinski currently leads the team by hitting 65 of 78 attempts from the charity stripe (83.3 percent) ... The Crusaders currently lead the Patriot League by holding their opponents to 29.2 percent shooting from three-point range. Fifteen of Holy Cross' last 26 opponents have shot below 30.0 percent from behind the arc, with 16 of those 26 teams attempting at least 20 three-pointers ... Holy Cross leads the Patriot League with an average of 4.5 blocked shots per game this year. Four different Crusaders are ranked in the top 15 in the conference in blocked shots ... During the Colgate game on Jan. 28, members of the Holy Cross coaching staff took part in the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers Awareness Weekend, a collaborative initiative of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society ... With their victory over Lehigh on Jan. 7, the Crusaders improved to 15-7 all-time in Patriot League openers ... The Crusaders held their annual postgame autograph session following the Lehigh contest on Jan. 7 ... 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 ... 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.