Crusaders Set To Face Boston College At The DCU Center

Jan. 16, 2006

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (9-8, 2-1 PL) vs. #21 Boston College (12-4, 1-3 ACC)
Date: January 17, 2006
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: DCU Center (13,008), Worcester, Mass.
Television: Don Orsillo, play-by-play; Ron Perry, color; Jayme Parker, sidelines; New England Sports Network
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Jeremy Lechan, color; WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Boston College Radio: Ted Sarandis, play-by-play; Bill Ebben, color; WEEI 850 AM, Boston, flagship
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 57-51
Last Meeting: Boston College 63, Holy Cross 60 (OT; December 9, 2004; Chestnut Hill, Mass.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name               Ht.   Wt.   Cl.
F      10  Keith Simmons      6-4   210   Jr.
F      21  Alex Vander Baan   6-8   195   Fr.
C      41  Kevin Hyland       6-8   245   Sr.
G       1  Torey Thomas      5-11   170   Jr.
G      14  Kevin Hamilton     6-4   190   Sr.

THE SERIES WITH BOSTON COLLEGE: This will be the 109th meeting between the Crusaders and the Eagles on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 57-51. Boston College has won 14 of the last 15 games the schools have played, with the lone victory for the Crusaders during that time coming on Dec. 1, 2002, at the DCU Center (71-70). Holy Cross owns a 29-20 edge in the series for games played in Worcester, although the Eagles hold a 3-1 advantage at the DCU Center. The teams first met on Jan. 9, 1906, when Holy Cross posted a 35-14 win on the road. There were also two games played between the schools in 1921, when Boston College challenged Holy Cross to a home and home series, even though the Crusaders had not fielded a team in 11 years. Holy Cross won both of those games, 28-26 on the road (March 5, 1921) and 35-23 at home (March 11, 1921).

SERIES QUICK FACTS
Overall: Holy Cross, 57-51
In Worcester: Holy Cross, 29-20
At the DCU Center: Boston College, 3-1
Ralph Willard vs. Boston College: 6-11
Al Skinner vs. Holy Cross: 8-1
Current Win Streak: Boston College, two games

CRUSADERS AND EAGLES AT THE DCU CENTER: Holy Cross and Boston College will be facing each other at the DCU Center for the fifth time. The Eagles won the first three meetings in the building, on Feb. 12, 1983 (89-74), Dec. 2, 1994 (81-75) and Dec. 7, 1999 (50-43). The Crusaders came out victorious in the last meeting at the DCU Center on Dec. 1, 2002 (71-70).

HOLY CROSS AT THE DCU CENTER: The Crusaders will be making their 17th appearance at the DCU Center, formerly known as the Worcester Centrum. Holy Cross owns an all-time record of just 6-10 at the DCU Center, but stands 3-0 under the direction of head coach Ralph Willard. The most recent contest for the Crusaders at the DCU Center came on Jan. 18, 2005, when they posted a 78-53 victory over Iona. Holy Cross' other victories in the building under Willard came against Boston College (71-70 on Dec. 1, 2002) and Massachusetts (78-65 on Nov. 25, 2000). Last year, the DCU Center served as the site for first and second round games of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament. The building previously hosted NCAA first and second round games on March 20 and 22, 1992. Overall, a total of 39 Division I collegiate men's basketball games have been played at the DCU Center in its history. The first contests came on Dec. 29, 1982, when Holy Cross defeated Davidson 65-62 and Iona downed George Washington 65-57 in the Shawmut Worcester County Classic. (DCU Center Records   )

HAMILTON ENJOYING ANOTHER OUTSTANDING SEASON: Senior guard Kevin Hamilton (Queens Village, N.Y.) is once again one of the top players in the Patriot League this year. On Saturday at Bucknell, he led the team with 18 points, nine rebounds and three steals. In the two previous games, Hamilton totaled 21 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals at Army, while posting 18 points, six rebounds, a career-high nine assists and seven steals (tying the school single-game record) against Lafayette. Earlier in the season, Hamilton was named Patriot League Player of the Week and to the All-Tournament team following the San Juan Shootout, after averaging 26.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in three games, while shooting 54.5 percent from the floor and 57.1 percent from three-point range. He had a career-high 38 points against Tennessee-Chattanooga, recorded 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals against Clemson, and totaled 27 points, six assists and three steals against Mississippi State. Hamilton was also named Patriot League Player of the Week and Most Valuable Player at the William & Mary Tip-Off Classic, following games against High Point (22 points) and William & Mary (18 points, nine rebounds). Hamilton has now scored in double figures in 15 of the 16 games he has played this season. On the year, he is averaging 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.8 steals per contest. Last season, Hamilton was named Patriot League Player of the Year, first team All-Patriot League, All-Patriot League Tournament and an honorable mention All-American, after averaging 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.8 assists. He has now scored in double figures 68 times during his Holy Cross career, including 58 times in his last 64 games.

SIMMONS SHINES AS A STARTER: Junior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) has moved into the starting lineup for the Crusaders this season, after serving as Holy Cross' sixth man in 2004-2005. In last Wednesday's victory at Army, Simmons totaled 26 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals, while hitting nine of 11 field goals and six of seven three-pointers. In the previous game against Lafayette, he scored 26 points on nine of 11 shooting, in addition to recording seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. To open the year, Simmons was named to the All-Tournament Team at the William & Mary Tip-Off Classic, after averaging 18.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games against High Point (21 points, 10 rebounds) and William & Mary (16 points). Some of his other top performances this season have come against Siena (20 points, seven rebounds), Vermont (18 points, five rebounds), Northeastern (15 points, five rebounds), Harvard (15 points, four rebounds) and Brown (14 points, five assists). On the season, he is averaging 13.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.0 percent (36 of 72) from three-point range. A year ago, Simmons earned first team All-Patriot League honors, after averaging 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals per contest. He enters the Boston College game with a career field goal percentage of 48.6 (296 of 609), while hitting 45.2 percent (119 of 263) of his three-point attempts.

THOMAS CONTINUES TO HAVE STRONG SEASON: Junior point guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) is once again one of the Crusaders' top players this season. He has averaged 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals per contest through the first 17 games of the year. Thomas has also been shooting well as of late, making 15 of 31 attempts (48.4 percent) from three-point range over the Crusaders' last nine contests. In last Wednesday's victory at Army, Thomas totaled 16 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. In the previous game against Lafayette, he posted his second double-double of the season with 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Earlier this season, Thomas was named to the All-Tournament team at the San Juan Shootout, after averaging 10.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds over three games. He had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds against Tennessee-Chattanooga, and added 13 points, four rebounds and three assists against Mississippi State. Some of Thomas' other top performances this season came against Fordham (career-high 23 points, five assists, five steals, four rebounds), High Point (20 points, six rebounds, six assists, three steals), George Mason (16 points, six rebounds), William & Mary (15 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, four steals) and Boston University (14 points, six rebounds, five steals). Entering the Boston College game, Thomas has career totals of 581 points, 280 rebounds, 236 assists and 146 steals.

BUCKNELL RECAP: Kevin Hamilton totaled 18 points, nine rebounds and three steals, but it was not enough as Holy Cross lost a 56-42 decision to Bucknell at Sojka Pavilion. The score was tied at 6-6 after four minutes of play, before Bucknell used a 14-1 run to build a 13-point lead. The Crusaders struggled shooting the ball throughout the first half, making only three shots before the break, and the Bison took a 34-14 advantage into the locker room. Holy Cross came out hot at the start of the second half, using a using a 17-6 run to cut Bucknell's lead to single digits. Hamilton scored 12 of his points during that spurt, while Keith Simmons accounted for the other five points. The Crusaders would eventually get as close as eight points (43-35 with nine minutes left), but were unable to overcome the 20-point halftime deficit. Holy Cross held the Bison to just five of 19 shooting from the floor in the second half, but Bucknell made 12 of 18 free throws after the break to account for the final margin. Simmons finished the game with 12 points and three steals, while Torey Thomas added 10 points, six rebounds and four assists. Chris McNaughton led Bucknell with 15 points, while Charles Lee totaled 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Holy Cross is once again among the top defensive teams in the nation this year. The Crusaders have been particularly impressive over their last five contests, allowing just 51.6 points per game, with the opposition shooting 37.4 percent from the floor and 24.4 percent from three-point range. Overall this season, Holy Cross is allowing 62.1 points per game, while holding its opponents to 42.3 percent shooting from the floor and 30.9 percent shooting from three-point range. Holy Cross has also forced its opponents to commit an average of 16.7 turnovers per game, including 25 by Fordham and 22 by Harvard. In addition, the Crusaders are averaging 9.6 steals and 3.3 blocks per contest, while outrebounding the opposition by 2.8 boards per game. Last year, the Crusaders allowed their opponents to average just 56.8 points per game, while holding 22 of their 32 foes to under 60 points in regulation. Since the beginning of the 2001-2002 campaign, Holy Cross has never allowed its opponents to average over 60 points per game for a season, while holding the opposition to only 58.9 points per contest during that span. In addition, the Crusaders have ranked in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense during each of the last four seasons (sixth in 2001-2002 at 59.6; third in 2002-2003 at 58.7; seventh in 2003-2004 at 58.6; and fifth in 2004-2005 at 56.8).

WILLARD CONTINUES IMPRESSIVE RUN AT HOLY CROSS: Ralph Willard is now in his seventh season as the Crusaders' head coach, and currently owns a mark of 123-76 during his time in Worcester. He stands in third place on the all-time school list for career victories, behind only George Blaney (357-276 / 1972-1994) and Lester "Buster" Sheary (155-36 / 1948-1955). Willard has led the Crusaders to three Patriot League tournament titles and three trips to the NCAA Tournament, during the 2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons. He has also guided Holy Cross to Patriot League regular season championships in 2000-2001, 2002-2003 and 2004-2005, 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. During the 2000-2001 and 2004-2005 seasons, Willard was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year, and in 2004-2005 he was also one of 10 finalists for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. 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 267-200. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.

THE LAST MEETING WITH BOSTON COLLEGE: Jared Dudley scored six of his 11 points in overtime, to lead Boston College to a 63-60 victory over Holy Cross at Conte Forum on Dec. 9, 2004. The Crusaders outrebounded the Eagles 41-39 and forced 18 turnovers, but hit only 36.2 percent from the floor and 46.7 percent at the free throw line. Boston College led by as many as nine points in the first half, before Holy Cross came back to make it a five-point game (27-22) at the break. The Crusaders stayed close early in the second half, and finally regained the lead (43-42) on a layup by Kevin Hyland with 9:48 remaining. The lead changed hands a few times in the closing minutes of regulation, with a put-back by Hyland tying the score at 53-53 with 1:38 left to play. Neither team scored again in regulation, as the game went to overtime tied at 53-53. Nate Lufkin scored Holy Cross' first four points of the extra session, giving the Crusaders a two-point lead with 3:14 remaining. But Steve Hailey hit a pair of free throws and a jumper to put Boston College back in front, then Dudley made all four of his free throw attempts down the stretch as the Eagles held on for the win. Lufkin led Holy Cross with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Torey Thomas totaled 10 points and eight assists. Craig Smith recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds for Boston College.

HAMILTON IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Senior guard Kevin Hamilton has put his name among the all-time leaders at Holy Cross in a number of statistical categories. Against Cincinnati, Hamilton hit a free throw at the 4:34 mark of the first half to become the 41st player in school history to score 1,000 career points. He now has 1,214 points during his four-year career as a Crusader, to stand in 20th-place on the school's all-time scoring list. In addition, Hamilton is already the Crusaders' all-time leader in career three-point field goals made (190) and attempted (543). He also has a good chance to become Holy Cross' all-time leader in steals, as he currently has 234, standing just 12 behind current record-holder Jave Meade (246 steals, 2000-2004). In addition, Hamilton has tied the school single game records for steals (seven against both Harvard and Lafayette) and three-point field goals (seven against Tennessee-Chattanooga) this season.

HOLY CROSS BREAKS THREE-POINT SHOOTING MARK: In last Wednesday's 84-46 victory at Army, the Crusaders set a school single game record by making 15 three-point field goals on only 22 attempts. Junior guard Keith Simmons led the way by hitting six of seven attempts from behind the arc, while senior guard Kevin Hamilton made four of six shots from three-point range. The previous school record for most team three-pointers made in a single game was set on Dec. 2, 1994, when the Crusaders made 14 of 32 shots from behind the arc against Boston College. Holy Cross also came up just short of the Patriot League single game record of 18 three-pointers made, which is held by Lafayette (on Dec. 11, 2000, against Fordham, and on Dec. 30, 2001, against Howard).

HOLY CROSS HAS LEAGUE WINNING STREAK SNAPPED: Prior to Saturday's loss at Bucknell, the Crusaders had won 15 straight Patriot League regular season contests, a mark which ranks as the second-longest conference winning streak in league history. Holy Cross had not lost a regular season Patriot League game since Jan. 8, 2005, when it fell at Bucknell (59-43). The only longer winning streak is league history is 16 games by Navy, from Jan. 29, 1997 to Feb. 8, 1998. Here is a look at the longest regular season conference winning streaks in Patriot League history:

Rank  Games   School       Dates
  1.     16   Navy         Jan. 29, 1997-Feb. 8, 1998
  2.     15   Holy Cross   Jan. 12, 2005-Jan. 11, 2006
  3.     13   Lafayette    Jan. 20, 1998-Jan. 20, 1999
  4.     12   Navy         Jan. 23, 2000-Jan. 17, 2001
  5.     11   Fordham      Jan. 8, 1991-Feb. 16, 1991
  6.     10   Holy Cross   Jan. 31, 2003-Jan. 10, 2004
         10   Navy         Feb. 1, 1995-Jan. 17, 1996

STEALING THE SHOW: In the first 17 games of the 2005-2006 season, the Crusaders have totaled 163 steals, for a Patriot League-best average of 9.6 steals per game. Holy Cross has reached double figures in steals seven times this year, with highs of 16 against Harvard and 15 against Lafayette. Junior guard Torey Thomas has led the team in steals so far this season, totaling 50 for an average of 2.9 steals per game. Senior guard Kevin Hamilton is also enjoying a fine year defensively with 44 steals (2.8 average). Last year, the Crusaders recorded 329 steals in 32 games, good for an average of 10.3 steals per contest. Hamilton led the team with 92 steals during the 2004-2005 campaign, to set a new Holy Cross single season record for steals (breaking the mark of 78 by Gordon Hamilton in 1993-1994). As a team, the Crusaders also broke the school single season record for steals last season.

HOLY CROSS HAS FIVE DIFFERENT 20-POINT SCORERS: In only 17 games played so far this season, Holy Cross has had five different players score 20 or more points in a single contest. Senior guard Kevin Hamilton and junior guard Keith Simmons have led the way with four 20-point games this season. Hamilton broke the 20-point barrier against Tennessee-Chattanooga (38 points), Mississippi State (27 points), High Point (22 points) and Army (21 points), while Simmons scored 20 points against Army (26 points), Lafayette (26 points), High Point (21 points) and Siena (20 points). Junior guard Torey Thomas also has a pair of 20-point games this year, totaling 23 points against Fordham and 20 points against High Point. In addition, sophomore center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) had 21 points against Brown, and freshman forward Alex Vander Baan (Uxbridge, Mass.) recorded 21 points against Mississippi State. Against High Point, the Crusaders had three 20-point scorers in a single game for the first time since Feb. 9, 1994 (against Lehigh). In addition, Holy Cross' five different 20-point scorers this year are its most since five players had 20-point games during the 1996-1997 season (Chris Rojik four times, Damion Ezell three times, John Hightower twice, Jon Kerr twice and Carlos Clark once). Also, the 12 total 20-point games by Crusaders this season are the most since Holy Cross had 14 20-point performances in 1996-1997.

CRUSADERS HEAT UP ON OFFENSE: Holy Cross has turned some outstanding shooting performances over the last few weeks. Against Army last Wednesday, the Crusaders made 27 of 47 field goals (57.4 percent), including 15 of 22 three-point tries (68.2 percent). In the Lafayette game on Jan. 7, they hit 34 of 61 shots from the floor (55.7 percent) and nine of 20 three-pointers (45.0 percent). Overall this season, Holy Cross has won all four games in which it has hit at least half of its shots. Last year, the Crusaders had a perfect 12-0 record when shooting at least 50 percent from the floor. In fact, Holy Cross has now won its last 30 games when it hits at least half its shots from the field, since a 75-73 loss to Bucknell on Feb. 20, 2002.

CRUSADERS KEEP WINNING AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross stands 4-1 at the Hart Center so far this season, and now owns an all-time record of 269-104 in the building. The Crusaders have also won their last 12 Patriot League regular season games played at home, including a 1-0 mark so far in 2005-2006. Holy Cross has not lost a regular season game to a conference opponent at the Hart Center since Jan. 25, 2004, when it was defeated by American 62-59. The Crusaders also have a 31-4 mark in Patriot League regular season home games over the last six seasons. Last year, Holy Cross posted an overall record of 12-3 at home, including a 10-game winning streak. Since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, the Crusaders now have an overall mark of 56-11 at the Hart Center. The building opened on Dec. 1, 1975, and since that time Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 26 out of 30 seasons, while posting double-figure home victories 13 times.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 87th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1213-785 (.607), while making 23 postseason tournament appearances -- 11 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 nine players on to professional basketball, had four players inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had 23 players drafted by professional teams, had three players go to coach professionally, and had 15 players who have coached in college, including current Crusader coach Ralph Willard.

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in steals, through games of Jan. 9. Junior guard Torey Thomas and senior guard Kevin Hamilton are also ranked among the national steal leaders. The rankings:

Category    Rank  Player / Team    Avg.
Steals        10  Torey Thomas      3.1
              17  Kevin Hamilton    2.7
              36  Holy Cross        9.5

HOLY CROSS IN THE RPI: Holy Cross is currently ranked 115th in the nation in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5293 through games of Jan. 15. The Crusaders are currently the second-highest rated team in the Patriot League, behind only Bucknell (23rd, .6125). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 104th hardest in the country. The Crusaders concluded the 2004-2005 season ranked 49th in the nation in the RPI with a mark of .5657, to place ahead of four at large selections to the NCAA tournament. The Crusaders' 2004-2005 non-conference schedule ranked as the 84th-toughest in the country, including games against three teams which finished the year ranked in the top 50.

VANDER BAAN ENJOYING STRONG FRESHMAN YEAR: Freshman forward Alex Vander Baan had three outstanding games for the Crusaders at the San Juan Shootout, and was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Dec. 27. He began the tournament by tying his career high with 11 points against Tennessee-Chattanooga, in addition to pulling down five rebounds. Against Clemson in the semifinals, Vander Baan set a new career-high, as he led the team with 15 points and seven rebounds. He then improved on his career-high once again against Mississippi State, totaling 21 points and nine rebounds. Over the three games at the San Juan Shootout, Vander Baan averaged 15.7 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting 55.6 percent from the floor. Earlier in the season, he was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week (Nov. 21) following his performance at the William & Mary Tip-Off Classic. Vander Baan averaged 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in the two games, while shooting 60.0 percent from the field. His top game came against High Point, when he totaled 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Through 17 games played this season, Vander Baan has averaged 6.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest, while hitting 43.2 percent (38 of 88) of his field goal attempts. Vander Baan came to Holy Cross from Whitinsville Christian School, where he averaged 16.1 points and 15.6 rebounds as a senior.

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Once again this season, the majority of the Crusaders' basketball contests will be carried by WTAG 580 AM in Worcester. For the 17th 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 second year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. Most games will be carried over the internet at "www.sportsjuice.com", including a few games which are not on WTAG. The Holy Cross student station, WCHC 88.1 FM, will also carry a number of games this year.

CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross is currently scheduled to have nine games shown on live television during the 2005-2006 season. Last year the Crusaders had 10 television appearances, including three games which were shown on ESPN2. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2005-2006 campaign:

Date     Opponent            Television Outlet
Dec. 1   Siena               Time Warner
Jan. 2   Boston University   New England Sports Network
Jan. 14  Bucknell            College Sports Television / WLVI-TV56
Jan. 17  Boston College      New England Sports Network
Jan. 25  Colgate             WCTR-TV3
Jan. 28  Lehigh              Fox College Sports / Service Electric
Feb. 4   Lafayette           Lafayette Sports Network
Feb. 8   Army                WCTR-TV3
Feb. 26  Lehigh              College Sports Television

SCOUTING BOSTON COLLEGE: The Eagles enter the game against Holy Cross with an overall record of 12-4 this year, including a 1-3 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In its last game, Boston College defeated Florida State 90-87 for its first-ever ACC victory. The Eagles are averaging 78.1 points per game and hitting 49.1 percent of their field goal attempts, with a scoring margin of +11.7, a rebound margin of +1.3 and a turnover margin of +2.9. Senior forward Craig Smith averages a team-best 17.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, while junior forward Jared Dudley has averaged 17.1 points and 7.4 boards per contest. Al Skinner is in his ninth season as the Eagles' head coach, posting an overall record of 159-104. He is a 1974 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, where he was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame and had his jersey No. 30 retired. Prior to his time at Boston College, Skinner spent nine years as the head coach at Rhode Island, and his career record stands at 297-230.

DRIBBLES: Senior guard Kevin Hamilton has been selected as the Crusaders' captain for the 2005-2006 season, while senior forward Kevin Hyland will serve as Holy Cross' co-captain ... With the victories over Lafayette and Army, Holy Cross now stands 11-5 all-time in Patriot League openers, 11-5 in conference home openers, and 10-6 in league road openers ... Holy Cross was picked to finish second in this year's Patriot League preseason poll, behind Bucknell ... Senior guard Kevin Hamilton and junior guard Keith Simmons were both named preseason All-Patriot League this year, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors ... When the Crusaders won the William & Mary Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 18-19, it marked the 12th regular season tournament title in school history.