Men's Basketball Heads West To Face San Francisco

Dave Dudzinski

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (6-4, 0-0 PL) vs. San Francisco (5-3, 0-0 WCC)
Date: December 18, 2012
Time: 10:00 p.m. (EST)
Place: War Memorial Gymnasium (4,800), San Francisco, Calif.
Live Video Streaming: www.USFDons.com
Holy Cross Radio: WNEB 1230AM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: www.USFDons.com
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 3-2
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 88, San Francisco 83 (December 22, 2011; Worcester, Mass.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 13, Malcolm Miller, 6-6, 190, So.
F, 50, Dave Dudzinski, 6-9, 227, Jr.
C, 44, Phil Beans, 6-9, 233, Sr.
G, 3, Justin Burrell, 5-9, 165, So.
G, 32, Jordan Stevens, 6-5, 200, Sr.

CRUSADERS BEGIN ROAD TRIP AT SAN FRANCISCO: Following a 10-day break for final exams, Holy Cross will head to the West Coast to begin a three-game road swing at San Francisco on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 10:00 p.m. (EST). The Crusaders will then travel to Harvard on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 2:00 p.m., before a seven-day layoff for Christmas. Holy Cross will next play at Boston College, in a 2:00 p.m. contest on Saturday, Dec. 29.

THE SERIES WITH SAN FRANCISCO: This will be only the sixth meeting between the Crusaders and the Dons on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 3-2. The Crusaders have won the last three games in the series: 88-83 in Worcester on Dec. 22, 2011; 97-88 in Worcester on Dec. 27, 2008; and 67-63 in overtime in San Francisco on Jan. 5, 2008. The Dons' last win over the Crusaders was a 58-42 home victory in the opening round of the Northwestern Mutual Classic on Dec. 4, 1998. The first meeting between the teams came on Dec. 28, 1955, during the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. In that contest, No. 1 ranked San Francisco defeated No. 14 Holy Cross 67-51. The Crusaders also stand 4-6 all-time against current members of the West Coast Conference (0-1 vs. Loyola Marymount, 1-1 against Portland, 3-2 vs. San Francisco and 0-2 against Santa Clara).

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 3-2
In San Francisco: Tied, 1-1
At War Memorial Gymnasium: Tied, 1-1
Milan Brown vs. San Francisco: 1-0
Rex Walters vs. Holy Cross: 0-2
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, three games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0

CRUSADERS COME TO LIFE ON OFFENSE: After struggling on the offensive end of the court during the first eight contests of the season, Holy Cross has found its rhythm over the last two games. In those two contests, the Crusaders have hit 49.5 percent of their field goal attempts (50 of 101), 47.6 percent of their three-pointers (20 of 42) and 81.1 percent of their free throws (30 of 37). Holy Cross averaged 75.0 points in those two games, including a season-high 83 points at Sacred Heart on Dec. 5.

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 10 games played this season, he has averaged a team-high 13.4 points, 2.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds per contest, while hitting 96.2 percent (25 of 26) of his free throws. During the victory over Dartmouth, Burrell led the team with 19 points and four assists. Previously at Sacred Heart, he recorded a career-high 30 points, five assists and three rebounds, while making 11 of 15 field goal attempts, four of six three-pointers and all four of his free throws. Burrell also played well at St. John's, recording 12 points and five assists. A few of his other top performances this season came against Texas-San Antonio (17 points, three rebounds, two steals), Morgan State (16 points, four assists), Old Dominion (15 points, six rebounds) and Hartford (10 points, three assists). 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. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Burrell has now totaled 348 points, 133 assists, 81 rebounds and 26 steals, while making 81.8 percent (90 of 110) of his free throws.

HOLY CROSS SHINES ON THE DEFENSIVE END: The Crusaders have once again been a strong defensive team so far this season. Through 10 games played, Holy Cross has given up only 59.0 points per contest, while holding the opposition to 39.9 percent shooting from the field and 24.7 percent shooting from three-point range. The Crusaders are also averaging 3.8 blocked shots per game, and are outrebounding the opposition by 2.7 boards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross has held six of its 10 opponents to 60 points or less this season. 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.

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. In eight games played, Beans has averaged 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest, while making 39.4 percent (13 of 33) of his shots from three-point range. During the victory over Dartmouth, he recorded 18 points and three rebounds, while hitting four of six shots from three-point range. Previously at Sacred Heart, Beans totaled 18 points, five rebounds and two assists, and made six of nine field goal attempts. He also had a big game against Maine, leading the team with a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds. Beans previously earned All-Tournament honors at the Liberty Tax Classic after averaging 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, including 17 points and six rebounds against Morgan State. In 28 games last year, he 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, Beans has now recorded 302 points, 176 rebounds and 20 blocked shots.

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 10 games played this year, he has averaged 6.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals per contest. During the victory over Maine, Stevens posted his first career double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. He previously had 14 points, four rebounds and four steals against Texas-San Antonio. Stevens also scored nine points at Hartford, 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 410 points, 162 rebounds and 93 assists, while connecting on 33.7 percent (62 of 184) of his three-point field goal attempts.

DARTMOUTH RECAP: Justin Burrell recorded 19 points and four assists, as Holy Cross defeated Dartmouth 67-56 at the Hart Center on Dec. 8, 2012. Burrell made five of eight field goal attempts, including all three of his shots from three-point range, while also downing all six of his foul shots. Phil Beans also had a big game for Holy Cross with 18 points and three rebounds, while hitting four of six attempts from beyond the three-point arc. Cullen Hamilton added 10 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Dave Dudzinski chipped in with 10 points, four rebounds and two assists. Burrell started the game by scoring the first five points, and the Crusaders would go up by 10 (18-8) with 11:50 left in the first half. Holy Cross then went cold from the field and did not score another point for almost seven minutes, but Dartmouth could manage only six points during that time to make the score 18-14. After a three-pointer by Burrell broke the Crusader scoring drought, Holy Cross went on to build its lead back up to nine points (31-22) at halftime. The Crusaders increased their advantage to 14 points (40-26) early in the second half, before the Big Green used an 8-0 run to get back into the game. Dartmouth eventually cut the margin down to four points (47-43) with eight minutes left to play, before another Burrell three-pointer put Holy Cross back up by seven. The Crusaders still led by just five (53-48) with 4:37 remaining, when they used a 10-2 run to put the game away. Holy Cross hit 10 of 13 free throws in the final four minutes to help secure the victory. The Crusaders made 45.7 percent of their field goal attempts on the afternoon (21 of 46), including 52.6 percent of their shots from three-point range (10 of 19).

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 10 games played, he has averaged 12.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per contest, while connecting on 83.3 percent (35 of 42) of his free throw attempts. During the victory over Dartmouth, Dudzinski recorded 10 points, four rebounds and two assists. Previously at Sacred Heart, he totaled 19 points and five rebounds. Dudzinski also had a big game at Hartford, posting a double-double with 13 points, a career-high 15 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Some of his other top games this year have come against Morgan State (20 points, eight rebounds), New Hampshire (19 points, eight rebounds, three steals, two assists), St. John's (12 points, five rebounds), Providence (11 points, eight rebounds) and Maine (10 points, nine rebounds)). 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 524 points, 328 rebounds and 49 blocked shots, while connecting on 79.5 percent (120 of 151) of his free throws.

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 3.8 points and 6.3 rebounds over the last six contests. Obeysekere totaled eight points, seven rebounds and two assists at Providence, and pulled down 10 rebounds at Hartford. 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 263 points, 366 rebounds and 104 blocked shots.

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 fifth all-time at Holy Cross in career blocked shots (104). 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.

THE LAST MEETING WITH SAN FRANCISCO: Devin Brown scored a team-high 21 points on nine of 12 shooting from the field, to lead Holy Cross to an 88-83 victory over San Francisco at the Hart Center on Dec. 22, 2011. Dave Dudzinski added 20 points and six rebounds for the Crusaders. Holy Cross hit a season-best 58.1 percent of its shots from the field (25 of 43), including 68.8 percent (11 of 16) in the second half. The Crusaders also outrebounded the Dons 37-24 and made 85.7 percent of their free throws (30 of 35) on the night, but had to overcome a season-worst 28 turnovers. The game was close early on, and Holy Cross held a slim 21-19 advantage with six minutes to play in the first half. The Crusaders then went on a 7-0 run to increase their lead to nine points (28-19), with Jordan Stevens scoring five points during that spurt. Holy Cross would eventually take a 37-29 advantage into the locker room.  The Crusaders increased their lead to 11 points (44-33) early in the second half, before San Francisco went on an 18-5 run to pull in front by two (51-49) with 10:44 left to play. The game stayed close for the next several minutes, and the Dons held a 61-60 lead with 6:22 remaining. A fast break dunk by Brown then ignited a 9-0 run which put Holy Cross in the lead for good. San Francisco kept things close down the stretch, trimming the margin to three points on six occasions in the final three minutes of play. But the Crusaders hit 15 of 18 free throws in the last 1:33 to hold on for the win. Stevens finished the night with 16 points and a career-high seven assists, while Justin Burrell added 12 points, six assists and four rebounds. Eric Obeysekere had a big night off the bench, posting a double-double with 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.  The Dons were led by Rashad Green with 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Angelo Caloiaro added 16 points for San Francisco, all in the second half.

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 29-39 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 124-159 (.438). 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).

HAMILTON STARTS CAREER STRONG: Freshman guard Cullen Hamilton (Washington, D.C.) has been a key player for the Crusaders off the bench this year. Hamilton is currently averaging 6.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, while hitting 72.0 percent (18 of 25) of his free throws. During the victory over Dartmouth, he recorded 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. Hamilton previously scored 11 points in the win over New Hampshire. He also 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.

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).

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 94th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1320-888 (.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 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.

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders for five statistical categories, through games of Dec. 9. In addition, two players stand among the best in the nation in individual statistical categories. The rankings:

Category Rank   Player / Team Avg.
Free Throw Percent 3   Justin Burrell 96.2
  5   Holy Cross 78.7
  138   Dave Dudzinski 83.3
Three-Point Percent Defense 12   Holy Cross 24.7
Scoring Defense 50   Holy Cross 59.0
Fewest Personal Fouls 80   Holy Cross 16.2
Rebounding 95   Dave Dudzinski 8.0
Field Goal Percent Defense 97   Holy Cross 39.9


HOLY CROSS NAMES CAPTAINS: Senior center Phil Beans, sophomore guard Justin Burrell and junior forward Dave Dudzinski are serving 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 were the Crusaders' captains during the 2011-2012 campaign.

CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 333-132 at the Hart Center, including a 3-0 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 120-40 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 76-20 record against Patriot League foes.

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Ten of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2012-2013 season will be carried by Emmanuel Radio, WNEB 1230 AM in Worcester.  Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is 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. All games aired on Emmanuel Radio can also be heard live over the internet by clicking here. Most games not carried on Emmanuel Radio will be streamed by Stretch Internet free of charge, with links to the broadcasts available by clicking here. 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 DONS: San Francisco enters the contest with an overall record of 5-3 on the year. The Dons had won five consecutive games, before falling at Pacific (67-59) and at Nevada (59-51) in their last two contests. Junior guard De'End Parker currently leads the team with an average of 16.1 points per game, while hitting 65.2 percent (15 of 23) of his three-point field goal attempts. Junior forward Cole Dickerson has added 13.1 points and 12.6 rebounds per contest, while junior guard Cody Doolin is chipping in with 10.9 points and 6.5 assists per game. Head coach Rex Walters owns a 67-69 record in five years leading the Dons. Walters' career mark stands at 98-102, including two seasons as the head coach at Florida Atlantic.

DRIBBLES: 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 4.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 blocks 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 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest ... Freshman forward Christopher Morgan (Gloucester, Va.) scored a career-high six points at Providence, while hitting all three of his field goal attempts ... Former Crusader George Kaftan (Class of 1949) was selected as one of the 75 best players in the history of March Madness by the NCAA. In addition, the 1946-1947 Crusaders were chosen as one of the top 25 teams of all-time. Beginning in January, fans can vote on the top 15 all-time players and the best team at 'www.NCAA.com/MarchMadness'.