Jan. 28, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Senior guard Kevin Hamilton (Queens Village, N.Y.) recorded 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals, but it was not enough as the Holy Cross men's basketball team was defeated at Lehigh 64-63. Sophomore center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Crusaders. Holy Cross falls to 11-10 overall and 4-2 in the Patriot League, while Lehigh improves to 13-9 overall and 6-1 in the conference.
The teams traded baskets early in the game, before Lehigh used an 8-3 run to take an 11-8 lead. The score was tied at 13-13 a few minutes later, when the Crusaders went on a 13-2 run to go up by 11 points (26-15). Holy Cross would eventually expand its lead to as many as 16 points (37-21), before the Mountain Hawks scored the final seven points of the half to make the score 37-28 heading into the locker room.
Lehigh continued to cut into the Crusader lead early in the second half, going on an 8-3 run after the break to make the score 41-36. Holy Cross then used a 10-5 run to build its lead back to double figures, with Hamilton scoring eight of those 10 points. But the Crusaders would later go over three minutes without scoring, and the Mountain Hawks went on an 11-2 run to tie the score at 55-55 with five minutes left to play.
Holy Cross then regained the lead on a three-point play by Clifford, and was still up by three points (63-60) with less than a minute to play. But Lehigh's Jose Olivero hit a pair of free throws with 16.1 seconds left to cut the lead to one point, then the Mountain Hawks forced a turnover on the inbounds pass to get the ball back. On the next play, Olivero drove the lane for a layup with 4.5 seconds remaining to give Lehigh its first lead since the opening half. The Crusaders had one last chance to win the game, but freshman forward Colin Cunningham (Memphis, Tenn.) came up just short on a jumper from the corner as time expired.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 1, when it travels to Navy (8-11 overall, 1-5 Patriot League) for a 7:30 p.m. game.