Dec. 28, 2006
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Junior guard Kyle Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.) scored a career-high 15 points to go along with four rebounds and two steals, leading the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 68-48 victory over La Salle in the opening game of the La Salle Invitational at Tom Gola Arena. Cruze made five of eight field goal attempts on the night, including three out of five from three-point range. The Crusaders improve to 7-5 on the season with the victory, while the Explorers fall to 6-4 overall.
Cruze scored the first eight points of the game, as the Crusaders jumped out to an early 8-0 lead after five minutes of play. La Salle was able to cut the lead down to three points (15-12) with nine minutes left in the half, before Holy Cross went on a 14-4 run to build their lead to double figures. Senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) hit four three-point field goals during that spurt.
The Crusaders were up 32-21 at the break, then came out of the locker room with an 8-0 run to take a 19-point advantage. La Salle was able to get no closer than 15 points the rest of way, with Holy Cross eventually expanding its lead to as many as 24 points (65-41 with 2:35 left).
Simmons finished the game with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals, while senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) added 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Rodney Green and Brian Grimes led the Explorers with 10 points each.
Holy Cross made 11 of 18 three-point field goals as a team, setting new season highs for three-pointers made and three-point percentage (61.1 percent). The Crusaders also held a 34-24 advantage on the glass, becoming the first team all season to outrebound La Salle.
Holy Cross returns to action tomorrow, December 29, when it faces Niagara (4-7) at 8:00 p.m. on the second day of the La Salle Invitational. The Purple Eagles were defeated by Delaware (1-9) 71-53 in Thursday's second game.