Holy Cross To Open Patriot League Play At Lafayette

Jan. 10, 2008

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (9-4, 0-0 PL) vs. Lafayette (9-6, 0-0 PL)
Date: January 12, 2008
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Allan P. Kirby Sports Center (3,500), Easton, Pa.
Television: Lafayette Sports Network; Gary Laubach, play-by-play; John Leone, color
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play
Lafayette Radio: WSAN 1470 AM, Whitehall, Pa.; Dick Hammer, play-by-play; Phil La Bella, color
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 27-13
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 83, Lafayette 53 (February 28, 2007; Worcester, Mass.)


PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name                Ht.   Wt.   Cl.
F      33  Colin Cunningham    6-6   210   Jr.
F      45  Greg McCarthy      6-11   230   Jr.
C      00  Tim Clifford       6-11   260   Sr.
G       2  Kyle Cruze          6-2   175   Sr.
G      22  Andrew Beinert      6-2   175   Fr.

THE SERIES WITH LAFAYETTE: This will be the 41st meeting between the Crusaders and the Leopards on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 27-13. The Crusaders have won the last seven meetings between the schools, but in 2003-2004 Lafayette swept the season series. Prior to that, Holy Cross had won three straight and four out of five meetings. For games played in Easton, the Crusaders hold a slim 10-8 lead, having won four of their last five visits to the Kirby Sports Center. The schools first met on Feb. 4, 1947, with Holy Cross posting a 50-40 victory at the Boston Garden.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 27-13
In Easton: Holy Cross leads, 10-8
At the Kirby Sports Center: Holy Cross leads, 10-8
Ralph Willard vs. Lafayette: 12-6
Fran O'Hanlon vs. Holy Cross: 12-14
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, seven games
In Overtime: Tied, 1-1

HOLY CROSS SET TO WRAP UP ROAD TRIP: The contest at Lafayette on Jan. 12 will mark the end of a three-game road trip for the Crusaders. It will also mark the end of an eight-game stretch in which Holy Cross played only one contest at the Hart Center. Since posting a 60-39 home victory over Yale on Nov. 28, the Crusaders have played at home just once (a 65-62 win over Boston University). Holy Cross has gone only 2-4 in its six games away from the Hart Center during that time, with the victories coming at St. Joseph's (71-66) and San Francisco (67-63 in overtime). After facing Lafayette, the Crusaders open a three-game homestand against Army on Jan. 16.

CRUSADERS IN PATRIOT LEAGUE OPENERS: Holy Cross is beginning its 18th season of play in the Patriot League with the contest against Lafayette. During their first 17 years in the conference, the Crusaders have posted a 12-5 record in their first Patriot League game of the season. Holy Cross has come out victorious in seven of its last eight league openers, including two victories over both Colgate (68-51 in 1999-2000; 68-55 in 2000-2001), Army (61-45 in 2002-2003; 60-32 in 2003-2004) and Lafayette (86-57 in 2005-2006; 84-74 in 2006-2007), and one win over Navy (70-57 in 2001-2002). The lone loss during that time came at Bucknell in 2004-2005 (59-43). The Crusaders also stand 11-6 all-time in their first Patriot League road game of the season, with a 6-2 mark under Ralph Willard.

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 13 games of the season, he has averaged 17.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest, while hitting 56.5 percent (91 of 161) of his field goal attempts. In the Maryland game, Clifford led the team with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists. During the previous contest at San Francisco, he recorded 17 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Clifford also had a big day against Boston University, totaling 16 points and eight rebounds, while tying his career-high with six blocked shots. Some of Clifford's other top games this season have been against Siena (26 points on 11 of 16 shooting), Sacred Heart (24 points, seven rebounds and two blocks), 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 947 points, 429 rebounds and 170 blocked shots. He currently needs 53 points to become Holy Cross' 44th 1,000-point scorer.

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 13 games played, he has averaged 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds, while hitting 71.1 percent (32 of 45) of his free throw attempts. In the Maryland game, May totaled 14 points, six rebounds and two steals. During the previous contest at San Francisco, he scored 12 points on four of five shooting, including the Crusaders' final nine points in overtime. May also had an outstanding game earlier in the season against Harvard, with a career-high 16 points and six rebounds. In addition, he 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.

CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Holy Cross is once again among the top defensive teams in the nation in 2007-2008. In 13 games played so far this season, the Crusaders have held their opponents to 60.4 points per contest, 41.4 percent shooting from the field and 37.1 percent shooting from three-point range. Holy Cross is also outrebounding the opposition by 5.4 boards per game, while forcing 15.4 turnovers per contest. Since the beginning of the 2001-2002 campaign, Holy Cross has held its opposition to only 58.7 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

MARYLAND RECAP: Maryland forward James Gist totaled 22 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots, to lead the Terrapins to a 73-48 victory over Holy Cross at the Comcast Center on Jan. 8, 2008. After Holy Cross scored the first five points of the night, Maryland went on a 20-0 run over the next 10 minutes to take control of the game. The Terrapins' lead grew as large as 20 points late in the half, before they took a 37-19 advantage into the locker room. The Crusaders hung around early in the second half, and eventually cut the Maryland lead down to 13 points (50-37) with 10 and a half minutes left to play. But the Terrapins responded with a 6-0 run to regain control, and Holy Cross would get no closer than 16 points the rest of the way. Maryland expanded its lead to 27 points in the closing minutes, before finally winning by 25. Tim Clifford led Holy Cross with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while Adam May added 14 points, six rebounds and two steals. Greivis Vasquez totaled 17 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Terrapins, with Landon Milbourne (12 points) and Cliff Tucker (10 points) also scoring in double figures for Maryland. The Crusaders shot just 27.1 percent from the field and committed 24 turnovers, although they did pull down 24 offensive rebounds.

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. Previously 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 9.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while hitting 40.0 percent (16 of 40) of his three-point attempts.

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 170 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.

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).

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 168-93 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 312-217. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.

THE LAST MEETING WITH LAFAYETTE: Tim Clifford totaled 22 points and eight rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to an 83-53 victory over Lafayette in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament at the Hart Center on Feb. 27, 2007. Lafayette held an 11-10 lead after five minutes of play, when the Crusaders went on a 9-0 run to go in front by eight points (19-11). After a basket by the Leopards to make it a 19-13 game, Holy Cross went on a 15-0 run to increase its lead to 34-13, while holding Lafayette scoreless for a span of 8:19. The Crusaders outscored the Leopards by an 8-2 margin in the final 3:11 to take a 42-18 lead into the locker room. The Leopards opened the second half with a 7-2 run to make it a 44-25 game. That is as close as Lafayette would come to Holy Cross as the Crusaders then went on a 14-0 run to extend their lead to 58-25 with 12:36 left in the second half. The Holy Cross lead would grow to 37 points (69-32) with 8:50 remaining, as the Crusaders would eventually win by 30 points (83-53). Torey Thomas finished the day with 13 points and four assists, while Keith Simmons chipped in with 12 points, four rebounds and five assists. Eric Meister was strong on the boards with a game-high nine rebounds, while Pat Doherty had five assists and five steals. Lafayette was led by Andrew Brown with 26 points.

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. In 12 games played this season, Doherty has averaged 10.0 points, 4.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals per contest. During the San Francisco game, Doherty recorded 16 points and four rebounds, while hitting six of 10 shots from the field. In the previous contest against Boston University, he led the team with a career-high 20 points, in addition to posting three assists and three steals. Doherty also had a big day against Siena, totaling 15 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. Some of Doherty's other top performances this season have come against Hofstra (18 points, four assists and three rebounds), Ohio (12 points, six assists and three steals) 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 424 points, 196 assists, 132 rebounds and 91 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.

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 been outrebounded only once in 13 games this season, while averaging 33.7 rebounds per game and outrebounding the opposition by 5.4 boards per contest. During Wednesday's game at Maryland, the Crusaders pulled down a season-best 24 offensive rebounds. 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 5.6 boards per contest. Sophomore forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) has totaled 4.6 rebounds per game, while junior forward Colin Cunningham has added 4.3 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 13 games of the season, he has averaged 3.8 points, 2.6 assists, 2.4 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.

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.

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in two statistical categories, through games of January 6. In addition, senior center Tim Clifford is ranked among the national leaders in field goal percentage and blocked shots. The rankings:

Category          Rank  Player / Team    Avg.
Scoring Defense     23  Holy Cross       59.3
Field Goal Percent  26  Tim Clifford     60.3
Free Throw Percent  38  Holy Cross       73.7
Blocked Shots       43  Tim Clifford      2.1

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 sixth longest current home court winning streak in the nation, behind only Memphis (41 games), Brigham Young (39 games), Notre Dame (30 games), Indiana (26 games) and Tennessee (24 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 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 7.4 points per game so far this season. Senior center Tim Clifford leads the team in scoring at 17.1 points per game, followed by junior guard Pat Doherty at 10.0 points per contest. Junior forward Alex Vander Baan has averaged 9.9 points per game, junior forward Colin Cunningham has added 9.2 points per contest, and sophomore forward Adam May is chipping in with 7.4 points per game.

HOLY CROSS IN THE RPI: Holy Cross is currently ranked 76th in the nation in the Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5598 through games of Jan. 9. The Crusaders are the highest ranked team in the Patriot League, with the second-highest ranking belonging to Lafayette (158th, .5089). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 169th-best in the country, and the 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).

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.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 89th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1258-803 (.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.

CRUSADERS CAPTURE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: Last year, Holy Cross won a share of the fifth Patriot League regular season championship in school history. The Crusaders tied for first place in the conference with Bucknell, as both teams posted 13-1 records in league play. Prior to last season, Holy Cross won outright Patriot League regular season titles in 2001, 2003 and 2005, while sharing the regular season championship in 1994. The Crusaders are the only team in league history to win more than two outright titles, while their five total championships are tied for the most in conference history with Navy (one outright, four shared) and Bucknell (two outright, three shared).

CRUSADERS EARN FIFTH PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CROWN: Last year, Holy Cross won the fifth Patriot League Tournament title in school history with its 74-66 victory over Bucknell on March 9, 2007. The Crusaders' previous tournament titles came in 2003 (72-64 over American), 2002 (58-54 at American), 2001 (68-64 over Navy in overtime) and 1993 (98-73 at Bucknell). Holy Cross' five conference tournament championships are the most in Patriot League history, with Navy having the second most (three in 1994, 1997 and 1998). Holy Cross also appeared in the championship game for the third straight season and the sixth time in the last seven years. Overall, the Crusaders made their conference-record ninth appearance in the Patriot League championship game.

SCOUTING THE LEOPARDS: Lafayette enters the game with an overall record of 9-6 on the year. The Leopards had lost three straight, before posting a 76-71 overtime victory at Princeton on Wednesday. Junior guard Andrew Brown currently leads the team in scoring with an average of 16.1 points per game, in addition to handing out a team-best 3.1 assists per contest. Senior guard Bilal Abdullah is averaging 13.6 points per contest, while senior forward Matt Betley is chipping in with 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. As a team, the Leopards have hit 41.4 percent from three-point range, while taking nearly half of their shots from behind the arc. Lafayette is led by head coach Fran O'Hanlon, who owns an overall record of 180-179 in 14 seasons with the Leopards.

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 victory at San Francisco, Holy Cross improved to 1-1 on the season in overtime games. The Crusaders now stand 11-3 in overtime contests under Ralph Willard ... 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 January 7.