Nov. 4, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Junior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) totaled 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots, to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to an 84-45 victory over St. Francis Xavier in an exhibition game at the Hart Center. Senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) also had a big night for the Crusaders, finishing the game with 17 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Clifford opened the game on fire, hitting shots on each of Holy Cross' first three possessions to give the Crusaders an early 7-0 lead. Holy Cross was then up 9-5 after five minutes of play, before going on a 13-0 run to build a 17-point advantage. Simmons scored eight of the Crusaders' points during that spurt, including a pair of three-pointers. The X-Men were able to keep the game close for most of the first half, and trailed 31-16 at the 4:29 mark, before Holy Cross closed out the half on 10-0 run to take a 25-point advantage into the locker room.
In the second half, St. Francis Xavier was able to get no closer than 23 points. The Crusaders' lead would grow as large as 41 points in the closing minutes of play, before Holy Cross finally won by 39.
Freshman forwards Andrew Keister (Galloway, N.J.) and Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) were both impressive in their first appearances in Holy Cross uniforms. Keister finished the night with 13 points and five rebounds, while Meister totaled 10 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) also played well for the Crusaders, totaling 11 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
Terrence Taylor scored a team-high eight points for St. Francis Xavier, which had entered the game with a perfect 5-0 record.
Holy Cross returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 7, when it plays host to Salem State in an exhibition game at 7:00 p.m.