January 4, 2008

Men's Basketball Heads West To Face San Francisco

Jan. 4, 2008

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (8-3, 0-0 PL) vs. San Francisco (4-10, 0-0 WCC)
Date: January 5, 2008
Time: 5:00 p.m. (EST)
Place: War Memorial Gymnasium (5,300), San Francisco, Calif.
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet
San Francisco Radio: Pat Olson, play-by-play; Jim Brovelli, color; www.usfdons.com, internet
Series Record: San Francisco leads, 2-0
Last Meeting: San Francisco 58, Holy Cross 42 (December 4, 1998, San Francisco, Calif.)


PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name                Ht.   Wt.   Cl.
F      21  Alex Vander Baan    6-9   205   Jr.
F      33  Colin Cunningham    6-6   210   Jr.
C      00  Tim Clifford       6-11   260   Sr.
G       2  Kyle Cruze          6-2   175   Sr.
G      20  Pat Doherty        5-11   170   Jr.

THE SERIES WITH SAN FRANCISCO: This will be only the third meeting between the Crusaders and the Dons on the hardwood, with San Francisco leading the all-time series 2-0. The last game between the two schools came on Dec. 4, 1998, when the Dons posted a 58-42 home victory in the opening round of the Northwestern Mutual Classic. The first meeting between the teams was on Dec. 28, 1955, during the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. In that contest, No. 1 ranked San Francisco defeated No. 14 Holy Cross 67-51. The Crusaders' also stand 1-6 all-time against the West Coast Conference (0-1 vs. Loyola Marymount, 1-1 against Portland, 0-2 vs. San Francisco and 0-2 against Santa Clara).

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: San Francisco leads, 2-0
In San Francisco: San Francisco leads, 1-0
At War Memorial Gymnasium: San Francisco leads, 1-0
Ralph Willard vs. San Francisco: 0-0
Eddie Sutton vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
Current Win Streak: San Francisco, two games

HOLY CROSS KICKS OFF ANOTHER ROAD TRIP: Having already played four of their last five games away from the Hart Center, the Crusaders are set to begin another three-game road swing. Holy Cross begins the trip with a contest at San Francisco on Jan. 5 at 5:00 p.m. (EST). The Crusaders will then head back to the East Coast from a game at Maryland on Jan. 8 at 8:00 p.m. The road trip will conclude with Holy Cross' Patriot League opener at Lafayette on Jan. 12 at 1:00 p.m. The next home game for the Crusaders will not come until Jan. 16, when they play host to Army in a 7:00 p.m. contest at the Hart Center.

CLIFFORD PLAYS BIG ROLE IN THE MIDDLE: Senior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) is once again among the top big men in the conference this season, after earning second team All-Patriot League honors in 2006-2007. In the first 11 games of the season, he has averaged 17.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest, while hitting 62.0 percent (80 of 129) of his field goal attempts. In the Boston University game, Clifford totaled 16 points and eight rebounds, while tying his career-high with six blocked shots. During the previous contest at Sacred Heart, he led the team with 24 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Clifford also had a big game at Siena, scoring a season-high 26 points on 11 of 16 shooting, including two three-pointers in the final 12 seconds of regulation to force overtime. Some of Clifford's other top games this season have been against Yale (23 points, eight rebounds, six blocked shots and four assists), Harvard (22 points and four rebounds), Hampton (22 points and six rebounds), Dayton (20 points), St. Joseph's (16 points and seven rebounds) and Ohio (11 points on five of six shooting). In 34 games played last year, Clifford averaged 11.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest. He was even more impressive in Patriot League regular season games, averaging 12.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Clifford has now totaled 915 points, 416 rebounds and 166 blocked shots. He currently needs 85 points to become Holy Cross' 44th 1,000-point scorer.

CUNNINGHAM STARTS SEASON STRONG: Junior forward Colin Cunningham (Memphis, Tenn.) has taken over as the starting small forward for Holy Cross this year, and has been one of the Crusaders' top players. In the Boston University game, he totaled 16 points, four rebounds and three steals, while hitting four of five attempts from three-point range. During the previous contest at Sacred Heart, Cunningham recorded 10 points and four rebounds. Earlier in the season against Yale, he posted his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, while making all three of his three-point attempts. Some of Cunningham's other top performances this season have come against Fairfield (career-high 17 points, 10 of 10 on the free throw line), Siena (15 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals), Harvard (13 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals), Ohio (12 points and three rebounds) and Hampton (10 points, six rebounds and five assists). Overall this season, Cunningham is now averaging 10.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while hitting 44.4 percent (16 of 36) of his three-point attempts.

DOHERTY TAKES OVER AT THE POINT: Junior guard Pat Doherty (Scranton, Pa.) has taken over as the starting point guard for the Crusaders this year, after serving as the first guard off the bench in 2006-2007. Through the first 11 contests of the season, Doherty has averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. During the Boston University game, Doherty led the team with a career-high 20 points, in addition to posting three assists and three steals. Previously against Siena, he totaled 15 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. Doherty also had a big night against Ohio, recording 12 points, six assists and three steals. Some of Doherty's other top performances this season have come against Hofstra (18 points, four assists and three rebounds) and Fairfield (11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals). In 28 games played last season, Doherty averaged 5.3 points, 2.2 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per contest. Doherty returned to the Holy Cross lineup last season, after missing the majority of the 2005-2006 campaign due to injury, and receiving a medical redshirt. As a freshman in 2004-2005, Doherty was honored as the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, he has now totaled 408 points, 195 assists, 128 rebounds and 90 steals.

VANDER BAAN PLAYS KEY ROLE ON FRONT LINE: Junior forward Alex Vander Baan (Uxbridge, Mass.) is once again a key member of the Holy Cross lineup this year. In 10 games played so far this season, he has averaged 9.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per contest, while hitting 44.0 percent (11 of 25) of his three-point field goal attempts. During the Siena game, Vander Baan posted 13 points, six rebounds and two steals. Previously at St. Joseph's, he totaled 16 points and seven rebounds, while making all four of his free throws in the final minute of play. Vander Baan also had a big night against Dayton, recording 11 points and seven rebounds, while hitting all three of his shots from the floor. Some of Vander Baan's other top performances this season have come against Harvard (18 points and eight rebounds), Hofstra (15 rebounds, 10 points, three assists and three blocks) and Fairfield (11 points and four rebounds). In 34 games played last year, Vander Baan averaged 6.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest, while making 36.2 percent of his three-point field goal attempts (17 of 47). His top performance of the 2006-2007 season came at Lehigh on Feb. 25, when he recorded 14 points and eight rebounds. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Vander Baan has now totaled 513 points, 405 rebounds, 113 assists, 55 steals and 25 blocked shots.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY RECAP: Pat Doherty totaled a career-high 20 points, three assists and three steals, to lead Holy Cross to a 65-62 victory over Boston University at the Hart Center on Jan. 2, 2008. Holy Cross opened the game with a 6-0 run over the first 5:38 of play, then increased its lead to 10 points (15-5) with 11 minutes left in the first half. Boston University came right back with a 12-2 spurt of its own, tying up the score at 17-17 with four minutes left before the break. The Crusaders would eventually take a one-point lead (21-20) into the locker room. At the start of the second half, Holy Cross used an 8-1 run to build its lead back up to eight points (29-21). But the Terriers refused to go away, using an 11-2 spurt to go in front by one, 32-31. The score stayed close for several minutes, and Boston University was still up 43-42 with 8:51 left to play. The Crusaders then used a 9-3 run to take the lead for good, including five points by Doherty. The Terriers would narrow the gap to two points three times in the closing minutes, but Tim Clifford and Colin Cunningham both hit key baskets down the stretch to keep the lead safe. Holy Cross then made five of six free throws in the final 15 seconds to secure the win. Clifford finished the night with 16 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots, while Cunningham added 16 points, four rebounds and three steals. Boston University was led by Corey Lowe with 20 points, while Carlos Strong added 18 points and six assists.

CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Holy Cross is once again among the top defensive teams in the nation in 2007-2008. In 11 games played so far this season, the Crusaders have held their opponents to 59.0 points per contest, 41.4 percent shooting from the field and 37.6 percent shooting from three-point range. Holy Cross is also outrebounding the opposition by 6.8 boards per game, while forcing 15.0 turnovers per contest. Since the beginning of the 2001-2002 campaign, Holy Cross has held its opposition to only 58.6 points per contest. In addition, the Crusaders have ranked in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense in five of the last six seasons (sixth in 2001-2002 at 59.6; third in 2002-2003 at 58.7; seventh in 2003-2004 at 58.6; fifth in 2004-2005 at 56.8; and eighth in 2006-2007 at 57.5). Here is a look at Holy Cross' defensive statistics under Ralph Willard.

Season       PPG    FG%   3FG%    SPG    BPG
1999-2000   63.3   39.6   31.3    6.5    3.8
2000-2001   62.3   38.2   35.2    6.3    5.2
2001-2002   59.6   42.0   38.5    7.8    3.1
2002-2003   58.7   40.6   33.2    7.9    4.5
2003-2004   58.6   40.3   32.9   10.7    4.5
2004-2005   56.8   38.9   36.3   10.3    5.0
2005-2006   60.5   40.2   30.3    9.1    3.5
2006-2007   57.5   41.4   37.8    9.5    3.6

CLIFFORD BREAKS BLOCKED SHOT RECORD: Senior center Tim Clifford broke the Holy Cross record for career blocked shots during the victory over Yale on Nov. 28, 2007. Clifford's record-breaking block came at the 5:15-mark of the second half, when he swatted away an attempted jump shot by the Bulldogs' Porter Braswell. That block moved him past Nate Lufkin (2001-2005), who had 153 blocked shots during his Holy Cross career. Clifford, who currently has 166 blocked shots during his career as a Crusader, also owns two of the top six spots on the school single season list for blocks (64 in 2006-2007; 48 in 2005-2006).

CLIFFORD NAMED PATRIOT LEAGUE PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior center Tim Clifford was named the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Clifford was also one of five players selected to the preseason all-conference team. Along with Clifford, other selections to the squad were Army senior guard Jarell Brown, Bucknell senior guard John Griffin, Lehigh sophomore guard Marquis Hall and Navy senior guard Greg Sprink. Clifford, Brown and Sprink all earned second team all-conference honors at the conclusion of the 2006-2007 season, while Hall was last year's Patriot League Rookie of the Year.

THE LAST MEETING WITH SAN FRANCISCO: Gerald Zimmerman totaled 17 points, five rebounds and three assists, to lead San Francisco to a 58-42 victory over Holy Cross at War Memorial Gymnasium in the opening round of the Northwestern Mutual Classic on Dec. 4, 1998. The Crusaders jumped out to an early 9-4 lead after the first five minutes of play, but the Dons scored the next 10 points to take a five-point lead of their own (14-9). The score would stay close for the remainder of the first half, which featured six ties and six lead changes, before San Francisco took a 28-25 advantage into the locker room. The Dons opened the second half with a 10-2 run, to build their lead up to 11 points (38-27) with 15 minutes remaining. Holy Cross came back with a 10-3 spurt of its own to close to within four points (41-37), but that was as close as the Crusaders would get. San Francisco scored the next nine points to put the game away, and eventually pulled away to win by 16. Juan Pegues led Holy Cross with 13 points and two rebounds, while Jared Curry added eight points and four boards. Russell Hinder posted 13 points and three rebounds for San Francisco, and Terrence Moore added 10 points and nine boards.

WILLARD CONTINUES IMPRESSIVE RUN AT HOLY CROSS: Ralph Willard is now in his ninth season as the Crusaders' head coach, and currently owns a mark of 167-92 during his time in Worcester. He now stands in second place on the all-time school list for career victories, behind only George Blaney (357-276 / 1972-1994). Last season, Willard was selected as the Patriot League Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. He was previously named the conference's Coach of the Year during the 2000-2001 and 2004-2005 seasons, and in 2004-2005 he was also one of 10 finalists for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. Willard has led the Crusaders to four Patriot League tournament titles and four trips to the NCAA Tournament, during the 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003 and 2006-2007 seasons. He has also guided Holy Cross to four Patriot League regular season championships in 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2004-2005 and 2006-2007, with the 2002-2003 squad posting an overall record of 26-5 to come up just one win shy of the school single season record for victories. Prior to his time at Holy Cross, Willard spent five seasons as the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, and four years as head coach at Western Kentucky University. He led Western Kentucky to the NCAA Tournament during each of his final two seasons (advancing to the Sweet 16 in 1992-1993), and his overall career record stands at 311-216. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.

HOLY CROSS HAS GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders have once again shown themselves to be an outstanding rebounding team this year. Holy Cross has not been outrebounded in 11 games this season, while averaging 33.2 rebounds per game and outrebounding the opposition by 6.8 boards per contest. The rebounding load has been well balanced, with five different players averaging at least 3.4 rebounds per game. Junior forward Alex Vander Baan leads the team with an average of 6.7 rebounds per game, followed by senior center Tim Clifford with 5.5 boards per contest. Sophomore forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) has totaled 4.6 rebounds per game, while junior forward Colin Cunningham has added 4.4 boards per contest, and junior guard Pat Doherty has contributed 3.4 rebounds per game. Last season, the Crusaders averaged 32.1 rebounds per game, and outrebounded their opponents by an average of 4.3 boards per game. Holy Cross really stepped things up in Patriot League regular season play last year, outrebounding the opposition by 8.0 boards per game, while allowing opponents to average just 25.2 rebounds per contest. Five different players averaged at least 3.6 boards per contest for Holy Cross in 2006-2007.

CRUZE PLAYS KEY MINUTES IN THE BACKCOURT: Senior guard Kyle Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.) has developed into a strong player in the Holy Cross backcourt. Through the first 11 games of the season, he has averaged 4.2 points, 2.9 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest. During the St. Joseph's game, Cruze posted season-highs of 13 points and six assists, while hitting four of five field goal attempts (including three of four three-pointers). Previously against Ohio, he hit the game-winning shot with 2.6 seconds remaining, while totaling seven points, four assists and he rebounds. Earlier this season, Cruze recorded 10 points, two rebounds and two steals against Hofstra, while finishing with nine points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win at Fairfield. During the 2006-2007 season, Cruze started 25 games for the Crusaders, averaging 2.1 points and 1.4 rebounds per contest.

CRUSADERS HAVE FAST START: Holy Cross began the 2007-2008 season by winning its first six games, good for is best start during Ralph Willard's tenure as head coach. Previously, the best start by the Crusaders under Willard came in 2006-2007, when they began the year 5-0 with wins over Fairfield (67-65 in overtime), Hampton (62-47), Siena (65-57), Harvard (82-69) and William & Mary (66-57). This season's 6-0 start was the best by Holy Cross since the 1988-1989 team also opened the year at 6-0, defeating Mount St. Mary's (90-82), New Hampshire (89-73), Assumption (105-84), Harvard (91-74), Fordham (79-68) and Boston College (85-80). This year marked the ninth time in school history in which Holy Cross opened a season with at least six straight victories.

CRUSADERS PICKED FIRST IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2007-2008 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in first place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 91 total points in the poll, and 10 out of 16 first place votes. Following Holy Cross in the poll were Bucknell (second, 85 points, five first place votes), Colgate (third, 62 points, one first place vote), Lehigh (fourth, 56 points), American (fifth, 49 points), Army (sixth, 42 points), Navy (seventh, 34 points) and Lafayette (eighth, 29 points).

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in five statistical categories, through games of December 16. In addition, senior center Tim Clifford is ranked among the national leaders in field goal percentage. The rankings:

Category                  Rank  Player / Team   Avg.
Scoring Defense              8  Holy Cross      55.3
Rebound Margin              24  Holy Cross      +8.1
Free Throw Percent          27  Holy Cross      75.0
Field Goal Percent          28  Tim Clifford    61.6
Winning Percent             33  Holy Cross      87.5
Field Goal Percent Defense  43  Holy Cross      38.5

HOLY CROSS NAMES CAPTAINS: Senior center Tim Clifford and senior guard Kyle Cruze have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2007-2008 season, while junior guard Pat Doherty and junior forward Alex Vander Baan will serve as co-captains. These four players will take over the leadership role from Keith Simmons and Torey Thomas, who served as the Crusaders' captains as seniors during the 2006-2007 season.

CRUSADERS EXTEND HART CENTER WINNING STREAK: Holy Cross currently owns a 23-game winning streak at the Hart Center, including a perfect 5-0 record so far this season. The Crusaders own the fifth longest current home court winning streak in the nation, behind only Brigham Young (39 games), Memphis (38 games), Notre Dame (29 games) and Indiana (26 games), and tied with Tennessee (23 games). In addition, the 23-game winning streak is the longest in the history of the Hart Center, which opened on December 1, 1975. Last season Holy Cross posted a perfect 14-0 mark at the Hart Center, setting a school record for the most home victories since it moved into the building. During the Hart Center's history, Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 28 out of 32 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 15 times. The Crusaders stand 296-104 all-time at the Hart Center, including an 83-12 mark since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season. Here is a look at the longest winning streaks in Hart Center history.

Rank    Streak  Dates                   Ended By
  1.  23 games  2/15/2006-present       --
  2.  15 games  1/9/1993-1/12/1994      Lehigh (87-85)
  3.  14 games  11/23/2002-11/25/2003   Williams (78-71)
      14 games  12/22/1980-1/9/1982     Boston U. (96-82)
  5.  11 games  12/28/2000-11/20/2001   Boston U. (61-49)
  6.  10 games  1/5/2005-3/6/2005       Bucknell (67-51)
      10 games  12/1/1975-1/22/1976     Connecticut (73-69)

HOLY CROSS IN THE RPI: Holy Cross is currently ranked 85th in the nation in the Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5532 through games of Jan. 3. The Crusaders are the highest ranked team in the Patriot League, with the second-highest ranking belonging to Lafayette (158th, .5088). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 193rd best in the country, and the second-hardest in the Patriot League. The Crusaders concluded the 2006-2007 season ranked 59th in the country in the RPI with a rating of .5730. Holy Cross was also ranked 111th in the RPI in 2005-2006 (.5304) and 49th in 2004-2005 (.5657).

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 89th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1257-802 (.610), while making 24 postseason tournament appearances -- 12 trips to the NCAA Tournament and 12 to the National Invitation Tournament. In the history of collegiate basketball, Holy Cross is one of only 16 schools to have won the NCAA Tournament (1946-1947) as well as the National Invitational Tournament (1953-1954). Throughout its history, Holy Cross has had six first team All-America selections, sent 10 players to the National Basketball Association, had four players inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had 23 players drafted by professional teams, had three players go on to coach professionally, and had 15 players who have coached in college, including current Crusader coach Ralph Willard.

MAY PLAYS KEY MINUTES OFF THE BENCH: Sophomore forward Adam May (Mentor, Ohio) has been the first Holy Cross player off the bench this season at the wing positions. In 11 games played, he has averaged 6.4 points and 2.5 rebounds. May's top game so far this year came against Harvard, when he scored a career-high 16 points and pulled down six rebounds. He also had nine points and two rebounds at Fairfield, while scoring eight points against Ohio. Last season, May played in 18 games for the Crusaders, totaling 29 points and eight rebounds.

HOLY CROSS SHOWS BALANCE ON OFFENSE: The Crusaders graduated the top two scorers off of their 2006-2007 team in Keith Simmons and Torey Thomas, but a number of players have stepped up on the offensive end to make up for those losses. Holy Cross currently has five players averaging at least 6.4 points per game so far this season. Senior center Tim Clifford leads the team in scoring at 17.3 points per game, followed by junior forward Colin Cunningham at 10.6 points per contest. Junior forward Alex Vander Baan has averaged 9.9 points per game, junior guard Pat Doherty has added 9.5 points per contest, and sophomore forward Adam May is chipping in with 6.4 points per game.

SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the game with an overall record of 4-10 on the year. The Dons have lost their last five games, but they do own a 3-2 mark at home so far this season. Sophomore forward Dior Lowhorn currently leads the team with averages of 20.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Junior guard Manny Quezada is averaging 16.8 points and 3.7 assists per contest, while freshman guard Myron Strong is chipping in with 12.6 points and 3.9 assists per game. San Francisco is led by interim head coach Eddie Sutton, who will coaching just his third game since taking over. Sutton's career record stands at 798-317 over 37 seasons, including time at Creighton (1969-1974), Arkansas (1974-1985), Kentucky (1985-1989) and Oklahoma State (1990-2006).

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Once again this season, a number of the Crusaders' basketball contests will be carried by WTAG 580 AM in Worcester. For the 19th straight season, Bob Fouracre will call the play-by-play for most of the games. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their fourth year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. WTAG is currently scheduled to air 17 of the Crusaders' 28 regular season games. All 28 regular season games will also be carried live over the internet at "www.sportsjuice.com". In addition, the Holy Cross student station, WCHC 88.1 FM, will carry a number of games this year.

CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross is currently scheduled to have eight games shown on live television during the 2007-2008 season. The Crusaders had 13 television appearances last year, and 10 television games during both the 2005-2006 and 2004-2005 campaigns. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2007-2008 season:

Date     Opponent            Television Outlet
Jan. 2   Boston University   WCTR-TV3
Jan. 8   Maryland            Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic
Jan. 12  Lafayette           Lafayette Sports Network
Jan. 18  Bucknell            ESPNU
Feb. 2   Lehigh              ESPNU
Feb. 16  Bucknell            ESPN2
Feb. 27  Colgate             WCTR-TV3
Feb. 29  Lehigh              ESPNU

CRUSADER ALL-ACCESS: Live video streaming of a number of Holy Cross basketball games will be available over the internet through Crusader All-Access. The package, done in association with College Sports Television Online, is available for a $9.95 monthly subscription. For details on how to sign up for Crusader All-Access, click here.

DRIBBLES: With the loss at Siena, Holy Cross had a seven-game overtime winning streak snapped. The Crusaders, who stand 10-3 in overtime contests under Ralph Willard, had not lost a game which went into extra time since Dec. 9, 2004, when they fell at Boston College 63-60 ... Holy Cross posted a perfect 6-0 record in the month of November ... With the victory over Hofstra on Nov. 10, the Crusaders improved to 64-25 all-time in their opening game of the season, including a 7-2 mark under Ralph Willard, Holy Cross also upped its record to 26-7 in home openers since moving into the Hart Center ... Last year, Tim Clifford and Alex Vander Baan both broke the all-time Holy Cross single season records for games played and games started. They both had 34 appearances and starts last year. Eric Meister also broke the record for games played, as he has appeared in all 34 contests last season ... The Crusaders are ranked 13th in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 Poll from CollegeInsider.com, released on December 31.