Men's Basketball To Play At Hartford On Saturday

Cullen Hamilton

Complete Release in PDF Format

The Teams: Holy Cross (4-3, 0-0 PL) vs. Hartford (3-3, 0-0 AEC)
Date: December 1, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Chase Family Arena (4,017), West Hartford, Conn.
Live Video Streaming:
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics:
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 6-5
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 80, Hartford 66; November 23, 2011; Worcester, Mass.

Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 13, Malcolm Miller, 6-6, 190, So.
F, 35, Eric Obeysekere, 6-8, 209, Sr.
C, 50, Dave Dudzinski, 6-9, 227, Jr.
G, 3, Justin Burrell, 5-9, 165, So.
G, 32, Jordan Stevens, 6-5, 200, Sr.

CRUSADERS CONTINUE ROAD SWING AT HARTFORD: Holy Cross will play the second of three straight games on the road, when it travels to Hartford at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. Following the contest against the Hawks, the Crusaders will head to Sacred Heart on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 7:00 p.m. The next home game for Holy Cross will not come until Saturday, Dec. 8, when it plays host to Dartmouth at 4:00 p.m.

THE SERIES WITH HARTFORD: This will be only the 12th meeting between the Crusaders and the Hawks on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 6-5. The Crusaders have won the last four games between the schools, including an 80-66 victory in Worcester last year. Hartford's last win in the series came on Nov. 19, 1997, in West Hartford (79-77 in overtime). For games played in Connecticut, the teams have split the previous six games. The schools first met on Dec. 22, 1985, when the Hawks posted a 69-65 victory at the Hartford Civic Center.

Overall: Holy Cross leads, 6-5
In Connecticut: Tied, 3-3
At the Chase Family Arena: Tied, 2-2
Milan Brown vs. Hartford: 1-0
John Gallagher vs. Holy Cross: 0-1
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, four games
In Overtime: Tied, 1-1

DUDZINSKI PLAYS BIG DOWN LOW: Junior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) is once again a key player for the Crusaders in the low post positions this year. In seven games played, he has averaged 12.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per contest, while connecting on 82.1 percent (23 of 28) of his free throw attempts. During the Providence game, Dudzinski led the team with 11 points and eight rebounds. Previously against New Hampshire, he totaled 19 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists. Dudzinski also had a huge game against Morgan State with 20 points and eight rebounds, including a pair of free throws to give Holy Cross the lead with 17 seconds remaining. Some of his other top games this year have come against St. John's (12 points, five rebounds), Maine (10 points, nine rebounds), Texas-San Antonio (eight points, 12 rebounds, three blocks) and Old Dominion (six points, six boards). In 29 games played last season, Dudzinski averaged 9.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks, while making 48.7 percent (97 of 199) of his field goal attempts and 83.1 percent of his free throws (69 of 83). During the 2010-2011 campaign, he was named to the 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 482 points, 304 rebounds and 47 blocked shots, while connecting on 78.8 percent (108 of 137) of his free throws.

BURRELL LEADS HOLY CROSS FROM THE POINT: Sophomore Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) is now in his second season as Holy Cross' starting point guard, after being selected as the 2011-2012 Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Through seven games played this season, Burrell has averaged 10.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest, while hitting 93.8 percent (15 of 16) of his free throws. During the St. John's game, he recorded 12 points and five assists. Burrell previously earned All-Tournament honors at the Liberty Tax Classic, where he averaged 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He totaled 16 points and four assists against Morgan State; 17 points, three rebounds and two steals against Texas-San Antonio; and 15 points and six rebounds against Old Dominion. Burrell started all 29 of the Crusaders' games last year, averaging 7.4 points, 3.7 assists and 2.0 rebounds per contest, and hitting 77.4 percent (65 of 84) of his free throw attempts. He really stepped up his play over the final seven games in 2011-2012, averaging 11.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds during that time, while making on 47.4 percent of his three-pointers (nine of 19). Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Burrell has now totaled 289 points, 121 assists, 75 rebounds and 24 steals, while making 80.0 percent (80 of 100) of his free throws.

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE: Against the nine schools which currently compete in the America East Conference, Holy Cross stands 102-40 all-time (51-12 vs. Boston University, 6-5 against Hartford, 7-1 vs. Maine, 22-10 against New Hampshire, 0-2 vs. Stony Brook and 16-10 against Vermont). The Crusaders played in the America East, then known as the ECAC North Atlantic, for four seasons from 1979-1983, posting a 9-7 record in conference play (the league played only a tournament and no regular season in the first two years). In 1980, Holy Cross won the ECAC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

HOLY CROSS SHINES ON THE DEFENSIVE END: The Crusaders have once again been a strong defensive team so far this season. Through seven games played, Holy Cross has given up only 58.3 points per contest, while holding the opposition to 39.5 percent shooting from the field and 21.9 percent shooting from three-point range. Last year, the Crusaders ranked first in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.5 percent) and blocked shots (4.4 blocks per game), while holding their opponents to 66.8 points per game and 42.1 percent field goal shooting overall. Holy Cross was even more impressive during conference regular season play in 2011-2012, where it allowed just 62.9 points per game, 40.2 percent field goal shooting and 29.2 percent three-point shooting, while averaging 4.6 blocked shots per contest.

STEVENS STEPS INTO STARTING ROLE: Senior guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.) has taken over as a starter for the Crusaders on the wing this year, after serving as a key reserve last season. In seven games played this year, Stevens has averaged 6.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals per contest. During the victory over Maine, he posted his first career double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Stevens previously had 14 points, four rebounds and four steals against Texas-San Antonio, while recording seven points and two rebounds in the victory over Morgan State. In 28 games played in 2011-2012, he averaged 5.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists, while making 44.0 percent (22 of 50) of his three-point field goal attempts. As a sophomore in 2010-2011, Stevens averaged 7.1 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, scoring a season-high 15 points against both Army and Navy. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 393 points, 160 rebounds and 88 assists, while connecting on 33.9 percent (59 of 174) of his three-point field goal attempts.

PROVIDENCE RECAP: Providence's Bryce Cotton totaled 27 points, six assists and four rebounds, to lead the Friars to a 61-42 victory over Holy Cross at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The Crusaders were led by Dave Dudzinski with 11 points and eight rebounds. The game was tied at 4-4 early on, when the Friars went on a 7-0 run to pull in front. The Providence lead would stay between five and nine points for the majority of the first half, and the score was 25-19 with one minute left to play before the break. The Friars then used a quick 5-0 spurt to extend their advantage to 11 points (30-19) heading into the locker room. The Providence lead stayed in double figures early in the second half, and the score was 39-27 with 15:34 remaining. The Friars then went on a 13-0 run over the next eight minutes to put the game away, including eight straight points from Cotton during that spurt. Providence would eventually go up by as many as 30 points late in the game, before posting a 19-point victory in the end. Eric Obeysekere finished with eight points and seven rebounds, while Christopher Morgan scored a career-high six points. For the Friars, LaDontae Henton posted a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Neither team shot the ball well, as Providence hit 39.3 percent of its field goal attempts on the night (24 of 61), while Holy Cross connected on 33.3 percent of its shots from the floor (18 of 54).

BROWN NOW IN THIRD YEAR WITH CRUSADERS: Milan Brown is in his third season as the head coach at Holy Cross in 2012-2013, with an overall record of 27-38 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 122-158 (.436). 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).

BEANS PLAYS KEY MINUTES IN THE POST: Senior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) is once again playing a key role for Holy Cross in the paint this season, but has missed the last two contests due to injury. In five games played, Beans has averaged 9.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest, while making 36.4 percent (8 of 22) of his shots from three-point range. During the victory over Maine, he led the Crusaders with a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds. Beans previously earned All-Tournament honors at the Liberty Tax Classic, where he averaged 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. He recorded 17 points and six rebounds against Morgan State, posted three points and seven rebounds against Texas-San Antonio, and totaled six points, four rebounds and two steals against Old Dominion. In 28 games last year, Beans averaged 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest, while making 36.8 percent (21 of 57) of his three-point field goal attempts. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, he has now recorded 266 points, 166 rebounds and 19 blocked shots.

OBEYSEKERE STEPS UP ON FRONT LINE: Senior forward Eric Obeysekere (Orinda, Calif.) has developed into a solid presence for the Crusaders in the low post. After missing the first four games of the season due to injury, he has averaged 4.3 points and 5.3 rebounds over the last three contests. Obeysekere's top performance so far this year came at Providence, when he totaled eight points, seven rebounds and two assists. Last season, he averaged 3.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Obeysekere's best game during the 2011-2012 campaign came against San Francisco, when he totaled 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots. In 2010-2011, he averaged 4.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Over the course of his career with the Crusaders, Obeysekere has now totaled 253 points, 344 rebounds and 100 blocked shots.

THE LAST MEETING WITH HARTFORD: Jordan Stevens totaled 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, as Holy Cross posted an 80-66 victory over Hartford at the Hart Center on Nov. 23, 2011. Stevens hit six of seven shots from the field on the night, including all four of his attempts from three-point range. The Crusaders hit 56.6 percent of their field goal attempts in the game (30 of 53), and connected on 57.1 percent of this shots from beyond the three-point arc (12 of 21). Holy Cross also had assists on 22 out of its 30 baskets, and outrebounded Hartford 36-28. The game was close early on, and neither team led by more than four points for the first 10 minutes of play. Hartford was up 19-17 with 9:38 left in the first half, when Holy Cross went on an 18-0 run over the next six minutes to take control of the game. Malcolm Miller scored five points during that spurt, including a three-pointer to make the score 35-19 with 3:25 left in the half. The Crusaders would eventually take a 43-25 advantage into the locker room. Early in the second half, Holy Cross used an 8-0 spurt to increase its lead to 22 points (51-29), with R.J. Evans scoring five of his points during that run. The Hawks refused to go quietly, and were eventually able to cut the margin to 10 points (68-58) with six minutes left in regulation. But Hartford would get no closer, as the Crusaders held on in the end for a 14-point victory. Devin Brown recorded 17 points, four assists and two rebounds for Holy Cross, and hit three of five shots from three-point range. Evans added 10 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Justin Burrell finished with 10 points, six assists and three rebounds. Hartford was led by Andres Torres with 15 points, five steals and four rebounds.

CRUSADERS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2012-2013 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in fourth place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 55 total points in the conference preseason poll, to tie with Lafayette for fourth place. Lehigh placed first in the poll with 96 total points and 12 first-place votes, followed by Bucknell in second with 88 points and four first-place votes, and American in third with 66 points. The preseason rankings were rounded out by Army (sixth, 47 points), Colgate (seventh, 26 points) and Navy (eighth, 15 points).

HOLY CROSS NAMES CAPTAINS: Senior center Phil Beans, sophomore guard Justin Burrell and junior forward Dave Dudzinski have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2012-2013 season. These three players have taken over the leadership role from Devin Brown and R.J. Evans, who served as the Crusaders' captains during the 2011-2012 campaign.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 94th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1318-887 (.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 IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders for six statistical categories, through games of Nov. 25. In addition, three players stand among the best in the nation in individual statistical categories. The rankings:

Category Rank   Player / Team Avg.
Three-Point Percent Defense 4   Holy Cross 20.0
Free Throw Percent 8   Holy Cross 79.2
  27   Justin Burrell 93.8
  196   Dave Dudzinski 81.8
Scoring Defense 46   Holy Cross 57.8
Winning Percentage 103   Holy Cross 66.7
Field Goal Percent Defense 107   Holy Cross 39.6
Rebounding 119   Dave Dudzinski 8.0
Blocked Shots 124   Holy Cross 4.0
  204   Malcolm Miller 1.3

CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 332-132 at the Hart Center, including a 2-0 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 118-40 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 76-20 record against Patriot League foes.

CRUSADERS LOOKING FOR SIXTH PATRIOT LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: During the 2012-2013 campaign, Holy Cross will attempt to win the Patriot League regular season title for the sixth time in school history. The last championship for the Crusaders came in 2006-2007, when they tied for first place in the conference with Bucknell, as both teams posted 13-1 records in league play. Prior to that, Holy Cross won outright Patriot League regular season titles in 2001, 2003 and 2005, while sharing the regular season championship in 1994. The Crusaders' three outright titles are the second-most in league history, and Holy Cross' five total championships are tied for the second-most in conference history with Navy (one outright, four shared), behind only Bucknell (four outright, three shared).

HOLY CROSS LOOKS TO POST ANOTHER WINNING RECORD IN LEAGUE PLAY: With a 9-5 mark in conference games last year, the Crusaders once again finished the regular season with a winning record in Patriot League play. That marked the 14th time Holy Cross has 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.

CRUSADERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Two current Holy Cross players have already earned spots in the school's all-time record book. Senior forward Eric Obeysekere currently ranks seventh all-time at Holy Cross in career blocked shots (100). In addition, senior 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, 2011.

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Most of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2012-2013 season will be carried live over the internet. The games will be streamed by Stretch Internet free of charge, with links to the broadcasts available by clicking here. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre will be in his 26th season calling the play-by-play for Crusader basketball on the radio. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their ninth year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. WCHC 88.1 FM, the Holy Cross student station, will also carry a number of games this year.

CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross will have at least seven games shown on live television during the 2012-2013 season. The Crusaders had seven television appearances last year, while appearing on television eight times in 2010-2011, 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 2012-2013 season:

Nov. 21 at St. John's: SportsNet New York
Nov. 27 at Providence: Cox Sports
Jan. 12 at Lehigh: CBS Sports Network
Jan. 23 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
Jan. 26 vs. Bucknell: CBS Sports Network
Jan. 30 vs. Army: Charter TV3
Feb. 17 at American: CBS Sports Network

PATRIOT LEAGUE ALL-ACCESS: Live video streaming of most Patriot League regular season games during the 2012-2013 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 all 2012-2013 Holy Cross home non-conference games will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available for $8.95 per game. Season packages are also available for men's basketball only ($29.95) or all Holy Cross sports ($99.95). For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.

E-MAIL ALERTS: Get all the latest news and results on the Holy Cross men's basketball team sent directly to your e-mail. To sign up for e-mail alerts, click here.

SCOUTING THE HAWKS: Hartford enters the contest with an overall record of 3-3 on the season. The Hawks have won their last two games, and are coming off a 60-51 victory at Yale on Thursday night. Sophomore forward Mark Nwakamma leads the team by averaging 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game so far this season. Sophomore guard Yolonzo Moore has added 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contest, while freshman guard Evan Cooper is averaging 8.5 points per game. Hartford is led by John Gallagher, who is 23-45 in three seasons as the Hawks' head coach. Gallagher previously served as an assistant coach at Boston College, Pennsylvania, Hartford, Lafayette and La Salle.

DRIBBLES: Freshman forward Christopher Morgan (Gloucester, Va.) scored a career-high six points at Providence on Tuesday night, while hitting all three of his field goal attempts ... Sophomore forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.) totaled 10 points and seven rebounds during the victory over New Hampshire. He also scored 10 points earlier in the year against Texas-San Antonio, and has now averaged 6.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 assists per game this season ... Sophomore forward Taylor Abt (Darnestown, Md.) set new career highs with nine points and eight rebounds in the win over New Hampshire. After missing the first three games of the season due to injury, he in now averaging 5.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest ... Freshman guard Cullen Hamilton (Washington, D.C.) totaled 15 points and four rebounds in the season opener at Old Dominion, including the game-winning free throw with 8.9 seconds remaining. His 15 points were the most by a Holy Cross player in his collegiate debut since R.J. Evans scored 15 points against Sacred Heart in 2008. Hamilton added 11 points in the victory over New Hampshire, and is now averaging 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game ... Last season, Holy Cross assistant coach Dan Engelstad took part in Shots from the Heart, a project created by to help raise awareness for the growing problem of heart disease ... Holy Cross' six-game winning streak in 2012 (from Feb. 8-25) was its longest since winning six consecutive contests in 2007 (from Nov. 10-28) ... Holy Cross' victory over Boston College on Nov. 18, 2011, 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' next most previous win over Boston College came on Dec. 1, 2002, when the Eagles were members of the Big East Conference.