Nov. 25, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) totaled 16 points, eight rebounds and a school record-tying seven steals, to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 66-57 victory over William & Mary at the Hart Center. The Crusaders improve to 5-0 on the year with the victory, while the Tribe falls to 1-2. This marks the 11th time in school history that Holy Cross has opened a season with at least five straight victories.
Simmons scored the first five points of the game, as the Crusaders quickly jumped out to an 8-2 lead after three minutes of play. A few minutes later, Holy Cross would go on a 12-2 run to take its largest lead of the afternoon (22-9) with 10:30 left in the first half. But William & Mary refused to go away, eventually cutting the lead to eight points (34-36) at the break.
The Tribe then came out of the locker room on fire, scoring seven straight points to make it a one-point game (34-33) with 17:58 remaining. The Crusaders were able to hold onto a slim lead over the next several minutes, before William & Mary tied the score at 44-44 with 10:10 left in regulation. But sophomore guard Pat Doherty (Scranton, Pa.) hit a runner in the lane to put Holy Cross back in front, then had a steal and a fast break layup to make it a four-point game. Those four points by Doherty started an 11-0, giving the Crusaders an insurmountable 55-44 lead with just five minutes remaining. The Tribe was able to get no closer than seven points the rest of the way, as Holy Cross held on to win by nine.
Junior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) finished the game with 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks, while Doherty had 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) added 10 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals, and sophomore forward Alex Vander Baan (Uxbridge, Mass.) pulled down a team-best nine rebounds.
William & Mary was led by Adam Payton with 15 points and five rebounds, while Nathan Mann added 12 points and four assists.
Holy Cross returns to action on Monday, November 27, when it plays at Syracuse. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m., in a game which will be shown nationally on ESPNU.