March 8, 2009
WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) had a career-high 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots, to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 61-44 victory over Colgate at the Hart Center in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament. Meister hit nine out of 10 shots from the floor on the day, setting a new school-record for best field goal percentage in a Patriot League Tournament game (90.0 percent). Holy Cross improves to 18-13 overall, and advances to the Patriot League championship game, where it will play at American on Friday, March 13, at 4:45 p.m. Colgate concludes the season at 10-20.
The Crusaders jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the first five minutes of play, before the Raiders scored four straight points to keep things interesting early on. Holy Cross was then up 16-11 with six minutes left before the intermission, before closing out the half on a 12-3 run to take a 28-14 advantage into the locker room.
Colgate was able to trim the Crusaders' lead to 12 points (36-24) with 16 minutes remaining in the game, before Holy Cross used an 8-0 spurt to increase the lead to 20 points and put the game away. The Crusaders would eventually lead by as many as 27 points (53-26 with 9:55 left to play), before finally posting a 17-point victory.
Holy Cross posted a 40-26 rebounding advantage on the day, while holding the Raiders to just 31.9 percent (15 of 47) shooting from the field.
Freshman guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) finished the game with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Crusaders, while sophomore guard Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.) added eight points, six assists and five rebounds. Colgate was led by Yaw Gyawu with 13 points and four rebounds.
On Friday, Holy Cross will be playing in the Patriot League championship game for the seventh time in the last nine years, and the 10th time overall. The Crusaders' 10 total conference title game appearances are the most in Patriot League history.