Jan. 21, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Sophomore center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 74-63 victory over American at the Hart Center. Clifford made nine of 15 shots from the field and eight of nine attempts at the free throw line, in only the second start of his collegiate career. The Crusaders improve to 10-9 overall and 3-1 in the Patriot League with the win, while American falls to 6-12 overall and 2-3 in the conference. Holy Cross has now won 13 straight Patriot League regular season home games.
The Crusaders started the game with a 14-6 run, and eventually led by as many as 13 points (28-15) with 7:31 remaining in the opening half. But the Eagles responded with an 8-0 run, and cut the Holy Cross lead down to two points (34-32) with 26 seconds left before the break. Clifford then made a layup just before halftime, to give the Crusaders a four-point edge heading into the locker room.
American stayed close early in the second half, cutting the Holy Cross lead down to one point (42-41) at the 14:21 mark. The Crusaders then went on an 8-0 run, and were up by 11 points (56-45) with 10 minutes left to play. But the Eagles refused to go away, using a 6-0 run to claw their way back into the game. American would get as close as four points (63-59) with three minutes to go, before Clifford and junior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) made back-to-back shots to push the lead back to eight points. Holy Cross then hit seven of eight free throw attempts in the final two minutes to secure the victory.
Senior guard Kevin Hamilton (Queens Village, N.Y.) finished the game with 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals, while junior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) added 15 points and six boards. American was led by Andre Ingram with 18 points and five rebounds.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 25, when it plays host to Colgate in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Hart Center. The contest will be shown live on WCTR-TV3 in Worcester.