Jan. 24, 2009
WORCESTER, Mass. - Senior forward Colin Cunningham (Memphis, Tenn.) totaled 20 points, seven assists and four steals to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 71-62 victory over American at the Hart Center. Freshman guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) added 16 points and five rebounds for the Crusaders, while junior forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) had 12 points and eight rebounds. Holy Cross improves to 9-11 overall and moves into first place in the Patriot League with a 4-1 record in the conference. The Eagles fall to 11-7 on the season and 3-1 in the Patriot League.
American led 3-2 in the opening minutes of the game, when Holy Cross went on a 12-2 run to pull in front by nine (14-5). The Crusaders would lead by at least five points for the remainder of the first half, and closed out the period with an 8-1 run over the last three minutes to take a 36-24 advantage into the locker room.
Holy Cross then went on a 9-2 spurt coming out of the locker room, to pull in front by 19 points (45-26) with 15 minutes left to play. But American refused to go quietly, responding with 14-2 run to get back into the game. The Eagles eventually cut the lead down to two points (50-48) with 7:29 on the clock, before the Crusaders began to regain control. Evans hit a put-back lay up, then senior guard Pat Doherty (Scranton, Pa.) made two free throws to bring the Holy Cross lead back to six points (54-48) with six minutes left. American would get no closer than five points the rest of the way, as the Crusaders eventually pulled away for a nine-point victory.
The Eagles were led by Derrick Mercer with 19 points and five assists, while Brian Gilmore added 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Crusaders return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 28, when they play host to Colgate at 7:00 p.m.