Nov. 12, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) hit a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining in overtime, to break a 65-65 tie and lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 67-65 victory over Fairfield at the Hart Center. Thomas finished the game with 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals, while hitting six of nine field goals, six of eight free throws and both of his three-point attempts. Holy Cross opens the year at 1-0, while Fairfield falls to 0-2.
The Stags jumped out to a 63-59 lead half-way through the overtime period, before senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) hit a free throw and a three-pointer to tie the score at 63-63. Thomas then made a pair of free throws to give the Crusaders the lead, before Greg Nero hit a basket in the paint to tie the score at 65-65 with 34 seconds remaining. Thomas would hit the game-winning free throws on the next possession, and Fairfield could manage only a desperation shot from mid-court before time expired.
Fairfield had opened the game with a 6-3 lead after five minutes of play, before Holy Cross went on a 17-0 run to go up 20-6 with nine minutes left in the first half. The Stags responded with a 13-2 spurt of their own, before sophomore guard Lawrence Dixon (Columbia, Md.) hit a three-pointer to put the Crusaders up 25-19 at the break.
Holy Cross led by an many as nine points early in the second half, and was still up by six (52-46) with four and a half minutes left in regulation. Fairfield then scored six straight points to tie the score at 52-52, before junior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) made a layup and a pair of free throws to give the Crusaders a four-point lead with one minute remaining. But Fairfield's Mike Van Schaick hit a three-pointer to trim the lead to one point, and with less than a second remaining, Holy Cross was called for a foul to give the Stags a chance to win the game. Danny Oglesby hit his first free throw to tie the score, but missed the second and the game went on to overtime.
Simmons finished the afternoon with 18 points, five steals and two rebounds, while Clifford added six points, five rebounds and four blocked shots. Fairfield was led by Nero with 23 points and six rebounds, while Marty O'Sullivan chipped in with 14 points and five boards.
Holy Cross returns to action next Wednesday, November 15, when it plays host to Hampton in a 7:00 p.m. contest at the Hart Center.