Dec. 30, 2006
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) recorded 17 points, two rebounds and two assists, to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 49-47 victory over Delaware on the final day of the La Salle Invitational at Tom Gola Arena. The Crusaders played outstanding defense, limiting the Blue Hens to just 47 points and 34.9 percent field goal shooting. Holy Cross improves to 8-6 on the season with the victory, while Delaware falls to 2-10.
Holy Cross opened the game with an 8-0 run over the first four minutes, including six points from sophomore forward Alex Vander Baan (Uxbridge, Mass.). But Delaware came back to score the next seven points, and the score remained close for the rest of the first half. Neither team led by more than four points, before the Blue Hens took a 27-24 advantage into the locker room.
Delaware was still up by three points (34-31) with 14:43 remaining, before the Crusaders went on a 11-2 run to take the lead for good (42-36). Simmons scored seven of his points during that span. Both teams struggled to score down the stretch, although the Blue Hens were able to trim the lead to one point on a few occasions, despite not making a field goal in the final 9:15 of play. Holy Cross held on to win in the end, despite making just three of six free throw attempts in the final two minutes of action.
Senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) totaled nine points, six rebounds and six assists for the Crusaders, while junior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) added eight points and four rebounds. Delaware was led by Herb Courtney with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Both the Crusaders and the Blue Hens finished the La Salle Invitational tied for first place with records of 2-1. Niagara can also tie for first with a victory over La Salle in the tournament's final game.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, January 3, when it travels to Boston University for a 7:00 p.m. game.