March 6, 2005
WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior guard Kevin Hamilton (Queens Village, N.Y.) totaled 16 points and five rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to a 57-53 overtime victory over Lehigh in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament at the Hart Center. The Crusaders improve to 24-5 overall with the victory, and will play host to Bucknell in the Patriot League championship game on Friday, March 11, at 4:30 p.m. Lehigh concludes its season at 14-15.
Hamilton was eight of nine at the free throw line in the game, including a perfect six of six performance in the overtime. As a team, the Crusaders scored all eight of their overtime points on free throws, making eight of nine attempts. The Mountain Hawks were four of four at the line in the extra session, to account for all four of their overtime points.
The first half featured six ties and eight lead changes, before Lehigh took a two-point lead (29-27) into the locker room. The Mountain Hawks extended their lead to as many as seven points after the break, but Holy Cross refused to go away.
After a deflected pass went into the basket to put Lehigh up 49-44 with 3:45 remaining, the Crusaders did not allow the Mountain Hawks to score again in regulation. Hamilton then hit a three-pointer, and sophomore guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) made a pair of free throws with 42 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Holy Cross held Lehigh to zero for six shooting in the extra session, while Hamilton made six straight free throws to turn a 53-51 deficit into a 57-53 lead.
Senior forward John Hurley (South Boston, Mass.) finished the game with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Simmons added 11 points and three boards. Joe Knight led Lehigh with 11 points on three of 14 shooting.