February 2, 2008

Crusaders Post Impressive 60-42 Victory Over Lehigh

Feb. 2, 2008

Box Score
Postgame Interview with Kyle Cruze

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Senior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) totaled 16 points, seven blocked shots, six rebounds and four assists, to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 60-42 victory over Lehigh at the Hart Center. Clifford tied the school single game record for most blocked shots, matching the mark set by Josh Sankes against Colgate on Feb. 5, 2000. The Crusaders improve to 11-9 overall and 2-5 in the Patriot League, while the Mountain Hawks fall to 11-10 on the season and 4-3 in the conference.

Holy Cross held an 8-5 lead after the first six minutes of play, before using an 11-0 run over the next seven minutes to expand its lead to 14 points (19-5). The Mountain Hawks were able to trim the lead down to eight points late in the half, before the Crusaders eventually took a 28-17 advantage into the locker room.

Lehigh opened the second half with a 6-2 spurt to cut the lead to seven points, but that would be as close as the Mountain Hawks would get the rest of the day. Holy Cross responded with a 13-4 spurt of its own, increasing its lead to 16 points with 11 minutes left to play. The Crusaders would eventually go up by as many as 21 points in the closing minutes of the game, before eventually winning by 18.

Holy Cross turned in one of its top defensive performances of the season, holding Lehigh to just 24.0 percent shooting from the field (12 of 50) and 20.0 percent shooting from three-point range (two of 10). The Crusaders also forced 18 turnovers, while outrebounding the Mountain Hawks 40-27.

Sophomore forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.), who had missed Holy Cross' last 11 games due to injury, returned to the court and totaled 10 points and a team-best nine rebounds. Senior guard Kyle Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.) also had a big day for the Crusaders, recording 13 points and eight rebounds. Lehigh was led by Marquis Hall with 15 points and four assists.

Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, February 6, when it plays host to American in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Hart Center.