CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Junior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) scored a game-high 22 points, but the Holy Cross men's basketball team was defeated by Harvard 72-65 at Lavietes Pavilion. Dudzinski hit seven of 10 shots for the field, two of three attempts from three-point range and all six of his free throws on the day. Holy Cross falls to 7-5 on the season with the loss, while Harvard improves to 6-4 on the year.
Sophomore guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) totaled 13 points, two assists and two rebounds for the Crusaders, while senior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) added nine points and seven rebounds. The Crimson was led by Wesley Saunders with 15 points, four rebounds and three steals, and Siyani Chambers with 14 points and five assists.
Holy Cross played strong defense early on, jumping out to a 6-1 lead after the first five minutes of play. Harvard scored the next five points to tie up the game, and the score was still tied at 13-13 with 10 minutes left in the half. The Crimson were later up by two points (25-23) with 4:38 to go until the break, before closing out the half on an 11-4 run to take a 36-27 advantage into the locker room.
Harvard started the second half strong, using a quick 9-4 spurt to increase its lead to 14 points (45-31). The Crimson was still up by 14 (52-38) with 14:55 left to play, when the Crusaders went on a 15-0 run to regain the lead. Burrell scored five points during that spurt, while Dudzinski and senior forward Eric Obeysekere (Orinda, Calif.) added four points each. The score stayed close for the next several minutes, and Holy Cross was up 60-59 with 5:43 remaining. Harvard then used an 8-2 spurt over the next three minutes to pull back in front for good. The Crusaders were able to close back within two points (67-65) with 1:02 left to play after a pair of free throws by Dudzinski, and had one last possession down by three (68-65) in the final minute. But a jumper by Burrell was off the mark, and the Crimson then hit all four of its free throws in the final 15 seconds to hold on for the win.
Holy Cross made 49.0 percent (25 of 51) of its field goal attempts on the day and 83.3 percent (10 of 12) of its free throws. But Harvard also had a strong afternoon shooting the ball, connecting on 50.0 percent (25 of 50) of its short from the floor and 75.0 percent (15 of 20) of its free throws.
The Crusaders will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 29, when they travel to Boston College for a 2:00 p.m. game.