March 13, 2009
WASHINGTON D.C. - American guard Garrison Carr scored 24 points to lead the Eagles to a 73-57 victory over the Holy Cross men's basketball team in the championship game of the 2009 Patriot League Tournament at Bender Arena. Following the game, Carr was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. American improves to 24-7 on the season with the victory and earns the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while Holy Cross falls to 18-14.
The Crusaders were led by freshman guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) with 16 points and eight rebounds, while junior forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) added 12 points and 12 rebounds. Both Evans and Meister were named to the All-Patriot League Tournament team. Senior guard Pat Doherty (Scranton, Pa.) also had a strong day for Holy Cross with 13 points and four assists.
The game was close early in the first half as both teams struggled to score, and the Crusaders held a 9-8 lead after eight minutes of play. The Eagles then went on a 9-0 run to claim the lead, and eventually took a 28-18 advantage into the locker room.
American then stayed hot to start the second half, using a 17-7 spurt over the next five minutes of play to take a 20-point lead (45-25). Holy Cross responded with a 9-1 run of its own to stay in the game, but was never able to cut the deficit to less than 11 points. The Eagles eventually pulled away for a 16-point victory in the final minute.
In addition to Evans, Meister and Carr, American's Derrick Mercer and Brian Gilmore were named to the All-Tournament team, along with Army's Cleveland Richard.