Jan. 20, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Junior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) totaled 19 points and nine rebounds, to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 69-64 overtime victory over American at Bender Arena. The Crusaders improve to 14-6 overall and 5-0 in the Patriot League with the victory, while the Eagles fall to 9-10 overall and 1-4 in the conference.
The game was close throughout a first half which featured five ties and eight lead changes. The score was tied at 22-22 with 4:32 left before the break, but Holy Cross then closed the half on a 7-2 run to take a 29-24 advantage into the locker room.
The Crusaders then expanded their lead to seven points early in the second half, but were never able to pull away from the Eagles. The Holy Cross lead would range from one to seven points until the final minute of regulation, when American's Arvydas Eitutavicius hit a pair of free throws with 24.9 seconds left to tie the score at 58-58 and force overtime.
In the overtime, the Crusaders jumped out to a quick 62-58 lead as Clifford and senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) both hit a pair of free throws. But the Eagles came back to tie the score at 62-62, before sophomore guard Pat Doherty (Scranton, Pa.) drove the lane for a layup with 48.6 seconds left to give Holy Cross the lead for good. Simmons would later hit all four of his free throw attempts in the final 15 seconds to close out the victory.
Simmons finished the day with 14 points, five rebounds and five steals, while senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) added nine points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Freshman forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) added nine points and five boards off the bench. American was led by Eitutavicius with 24 points and six rebounds.
Holy Cross returns to action on Tuesday, January 23, when it travels to Colgate for a 7:00 p.m. game.