WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) scored 18 points on eight of 14 shooting from the field, but the Holy Cross men's basketball team was downed by Yale 61-54 at the Hart Center. Dudzinski also finished the game with team highs of nine rebounds and four blocked shots for the Crusaders. Holy Cross falls to 7-7 on the season with the loss, while the Bulldogs improve to 5-10 on the year.
Sophomore guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) finished with 17 points and three assists on the night, while senior guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.) added eight points, six assists and five rebounds. The Bulldogs were led by Armani Cotton, who posted a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while hitting all 10 of his free throw attempts.
The Crusaders held an early 6-2 lead in the first half, before Yale scored the next 11 points to pull in front by seven (13-6). The Bulldogs increased their lead to 11 points (19-8), when Holy Cross responded with an 18-4 run to pull back in front 26-23 with 3:44 left to play before the break. The score remained close for the rest of the half, before Yale took a 31-29 advantage into the locker room.
The Bulldogs increased their lead to four points early in the second half, before the Crusaders used a 7-0 spurt to pull ahead. But Holy Cross then went cold from the floor, and Yale went on a 12-3 run to claim a six point advantage (47-41) with 8:06 left in regulation. The Crusaders refused to go quietly, coming back to tie up the game at 51-51 on a pair of free throws by Dudzinski with 2:45 remaining. The Bulldogs scored the next six points to pull back in front, but after a three-pointer by senior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio), Holy Cross had the ball down by three (57-54) with less than a minute to play. A three-point attempt by Burrell was blocked on that possession, and Yale then hit all four of its free throws in the final minute to hold on for the win.
The Crusaders made 40.4 percent (19 of 47) of their field goal attempts on the night, while holding the Bulldogs to 32.2 percent (19 of 59) shooting overall and 13.6 percent (three of 22) shooting from three-point range. But Holy Cross also committed a season-high 23 turnovers and allowed Yale to grab 19 offensive rebounds.
The Crusaders return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 8, when they play host to Columbia at 7:00 p.m.