Feb. 26, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Junior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) totaled 15 points, five rebounds and four assists, to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 68-64 victory over Lehigh in the regular season finale at the Hart Center. The Crusaders improve to 18-11 overall and 11-3 in the Patriot League with the victory, while the Mountain Hawks fall to 18-11 overall and 11-3 in the conference. The two teams finish tied for second place in the Patriot League, although Holy Cross earns the second seed in the conference tournament and home games in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
The Crusaders opened the game on a 6-0 run, and increased their advantage to 16-6 after seven minutes of play. Lehigh was able to cut the lead to seven points, before a 9-0 spurt by the Crusaders made the score 29-13 with just under three minutes left in the opening half. Holy Cross would eventually lead by as many as 19 points before the break, and took a 33-16 advantage into the locker room.
The Crusaders continued to dominate play early in the second half, and took a 21-point lead (47-26) with 12 minutes left in the game. But Lehigh then went on a 13-1 run to trim the lead to nine points, and would get as close as seven points (55-48) with four minutes left in the game. Thomas then hit a three-pointer to start a 9-1 Holy Cross run, putting the game away.
Senior guard Kevin Hamilton (Queens Village, N.Y.) finished with 12 points, five assists, three steals and two rebounds for the Crusaders. Sophomore center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) added 13 points and five rebounds, while junior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) had 11 points and five rebounds.
Lehigh was led by Kyle Neptune with 14 points and three rebounds, while Jose Olivero added 12 points.
Prior to the game, Holy Cross honored its three graduating seniors, in Hamilton, senior forward Kevin Hyland (White Plains, N.Y.) and student manager Chelsea Severson (Pen Argyl, Pa.).
The Crusaders return to action in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament, on Friday, March 3, when will play host to Navy at 8:00 p.m.