Dec. 4, 2005
WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) totaled a career-high 23 points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 71-63 victory over Fordham in double overtime at the Hart Center. The Crusaders, who have now won their last three overtime contests, improve to 3-4 overall on the season. The Rams fall to 1-6 on the year.
Fordham led 28-23 at halftime, and was up by 10 points (41-31) with just under 12 minutes left to play in regulation. Holy Cross then used a 6-0 run to make the game close, and the Rams' lead fluctuated from three to seven points until the final minute of the second half. After Jermaine Anderson hit a pair of free throws with 16 seconds remaining to put Fordham up by five (55-50), freshman forward Colin Cunningham (Memphis, Tenn.) hit a three-pointer to make the score 55-53 with just nine seconds remaining. Fordham's Marcus Stout was then called for a player control foul before the Rams could inbound the ball, giving possession back to Holy Cross. Thomas then drove the lane and dished to Cunningham for a layup, sending the game to overtime tied at 55-55.
The Rams held a 59-56 lead with one minute left in the first overtime session, before the Crusaders rallied once again. Thomas drove to the basket for a layup, before Fordham's Marcus Stout made one of two free throw attempts to give the Rams a 60-58 lead. Holy Cross missed two shots on its next possession, but came up with a pair of offensive rebounds to stay in the game. Thomas was then fouled driving the lane, and hit a pair of free throws to send the game to a second overtime tied at 60-60.
The second overtime session was all Thomas, as he made a three-pointer, a layup and a pair of free throws to give Holy Cross a 67-60 lead with 56 seconds remaining. Thomas added one more free throw in the closing seconds, while senior guard Kevin Hamilton (Queens Village, N.Y.) made three of four free throw attempts down the stretch to help secure the win.
Holy Cross used excellent defense late in the game to earn the victory, stepping things up over the final five minutes of regulation and the two overtimes. During those final 15 minutes of play, the Crusaders allowed the Rams to score just 14 points, with Fordham making only three of 17 field goal attempts and committing seven turnovers.
Cunningham finished the game with 15 points, four rebounds and two assists, while junior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) added 12 points and six boards. Fordham was led by Anderson and Bryant Dunston with 19 points each.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 7, when it plays host to Brown in an 8:30 p.m. game at the Hart Center.