PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Freshman guard Anthony Thompson (Glenn Dale, Md.) totaled 15 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals, as the Holy Cross men's basketball team posted a 68-65 victory over Brown at the Pizzitola Sports Center in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The Crusaders improve to 20-13 on the season and advance to the second round, where they will face an opponent still to be determined on either Friday or Saturday, March 21 or 22. The Bears conclude the year at 15-14 overall.
Sophomore guard Eric Green (Mountain House, Calif.) finished the night with 14 points, five rebounds and two steals, while senior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) had 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Junior forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.) added 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks, and junior guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) recorded 10 points, three rebounds and two steals. Brown was led by Leland King with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The score was tied at 9-9 early on, when the Crusaders used an 8-2 spurt to claim the lead (17-11). After a jumper by Brown's Tavon Blackmon made the score 17-13 with 12:26 left in the first half, Holy Cross scored 12 straight points over the next 2:25 to claim a 16-point advantage (29-13). The Crusaders would eventually lead by 19 points and were still up by 18 (42-24) with 2:36 to go until the break, before the Bears closed out the half with a 7-0 run to make the score 42-31 at halftime.
Holy Cross moved its lead back to 14 points (47-33) early in the second half, when Brown went on an 11-2 run to get back into the game. The Crusader lead would then stay between five and 10 points for the majority of the second half, before jumper by King with 2:01 left to play made the score 64-60. Dudzinski would score on Holy Cross' next possession after grabbing an offensive rebound, then Cedric Kuakumensah hit a basket with 30.7 seconds remaining to make the score 66-62. A pair of free throws by Thompson put the Crusaders back in front by six (68-62), but King drained a three-pointer with 5.7 seconds to go to make it a three-point game. The Bears then forced a turnover, but a three-point attempt by King in the closing seconds was blocked by freshman forward Malachi Alexander (Bowie, Md.), allowing Holy Cross to hold on for the win.