Men's Basketball Advances To Tournament Semifinal Game
March 3, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - Senior guard Kevin Hamilton, junior guard Keith Simmons and sophomore center Tim Clifford combined to score 53 points and the Crusader defense held Navy to 39 percent shooting on the night as Holy Cross cruised to a 78-50 win over the Mids on Friday in Patriot League quarterfinal action at the Hart Center. The second-seeded Crusaders improve to 19-11 overall and advance to the semifinals where they will face third-seeded Lehigh on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The Mids finish their season with a 10-18 record.
Hamilton, Simmons and Clifford were all in double figures at halftime as Holy Cross jumped out to a 43-28 lead after holding Navy scoreless for nearly seven minutes midway through the half. During the drought, Holy Cross built a 16 point lead (33-17) on the strength of an 18-2 run, which was capped off by a Simmons jumper at the 4:19 mark. Five different Crusaders scored during the run.
Holy Cross shot 50.0 percent in the first and scored 15 points off of nine Navy turnovers, while converting 6-of-10 free throws. The Mids shot 48.0 percent, but only managed to get to the line three times (1-for-3) in the first stanza.
In the second, Navy cut the lead to 10 (48-38) following two free throws by Kaleo Kina with 15:37 on the clock, but the Crusaders did not let the visitors get any closer and held the Mids to just 12 points the rest of the way, as they extended their lead to 28 points by game's end.
Holy Cross finished the game 29-for-60 (48.3 percent) from the floor and totaled 19 assists on those 29 baskets. The Crusaders were also dominant on the glass throughout the game and won the rebound battle, 42-26.
Hamilton finished the game with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting and recorded his third double-double of the season, as he also grabbed a game-high 10 boards. In addition, he totaled four assists, three steals and a block. Simmons also had 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Clifford recorded 15 points, two rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Junior guard Torey Thomas had a solid all-around game with six points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals.
In the other bracket, top-seeded Bucknell will face American in the semifinal round at 1:00 on Sunday afternoon in Lewisburg, Pa.