Holy Cross Opens Up Four-Game Road Trip At Army

Feb. 5, 2007

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (18-6, 9-0 PL) vs. Army (13-10, 3-5 PL)
Date: February 6, 2007
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Christl Arena (5,043), West Point, N.Y.
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play
Army Radio: WBNR 1260 AM, Beacon, N.Y.; WLNA 1420 AM, Peekskill, N.Y.; Rich DeMarco, play-by-play; Bob Beretta, color
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 49-14
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 66, Army 42 (January 9, 2007; Worcester, Mass.)


PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name                Ht.   Wt.   Cl.
F      10  Keith Simmons       6-5   205   Sr.
F      21  Alex Vander Baan    6-8   205   So.
C      00  Tim Clifford       6-10   270   Jr.
G       1  Torey Thomas       5-11   185   Sr.
G       2  Kyle Cruze          6-2   175   Jr.

THE SERIES WITH ARMY: This will be the 64th meeting between the Crusaders and the Black Knights on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 49-14. The Crusaders took this year's first meeting in Worcester, and have won 12 straight games overall against the Black Knights. Army's last victory in the series came on Jan. 23, 2002, when it posted a 57-46 win at home. For games played at West Point, Holy Cross holds a 17-12 advantage, with four straight victories. The schools first met on Feb. 22, 1926, with Army posting a 41-27 victory at West Point.

SERIES QUICK FACTS
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 49-14
At West Point: Holy Cross leads, 17-12
At Christl Arena: Holy Cross leads, 12-8
Ralph Willard vs. Army: 15-3
Jim Crews vs. Holy Cross: 0-11
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, 12 games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 2-1

CRUSADERS OPEN UP FOUR-GAME ROAD TRIP AT ARMY: Holy Cross will play the first of four straight games away from the Hart Center this week, when it travels to Army on Tuesday, February 6, at 7:30 p.m. The Crusaders will then head to Bucknell for a contest which will be televised on ESPNU at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 9. The road trip will continue next week with a pair of games at Navy (February 14) and at Hofstra (February 17) in the O'Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters. Holy Cross currently has an 8-6 mark away from the Hart Center so far this season, including five straight wins and a 7-4 mark on the opposing team's home court. The next home game for the Crusaders comes on February 21, when they play host to Colgate.

SIMMONS ENJOYING OUTSTANDING SENIOR YEAR: Senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) has been Holy Cross' top player this season, averaging 17.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals in 24 games played. He has scored in double figures in 35 straight games dating back to last year, and has led the team in scoring 12 times this season. During Saturday's victory over Lafayette, Simmons recorded 17 points and nine rebounds. In the previous game against American, he totaled 11 points, six rebounds and three steals. Simmons also had a big game against Lehigh, posting 16 points and six rebounds. Some of Simmons' other top performances this season have come against Lafayette (26 points, six rebounds, three steals), Niagara (23 points, three rebounds), Syracuse (game-high 22 points), Navy (22 points, seven rebounds), Bucknell (22 points, four rebounds, three assists), Boston University (21 points, 11 rebounds), Harvard (20 points, six rebounds), Providence (20 points, four rebounds, three steals), Hampton (19 points, six rebounds), Siena (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Army (18 points, seven rebounds, four steals, three assists). Prior to the start of the year, Simmons was selected as a 2006-2007 preseason mid-major All-American by CollegeInsider.com (one of just 25 players from across the nation to be chosen to the squad). He was also named preseason All-Patriot League, after earning first team all-conference honors in both his sophomore and junior years. In 32 games played last season, Simmons averaged 14.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, while shooting 52.5 percent (158 of 301) from the field and 47.6 percent (60 of 126) from three-point range. Entering the Army game, Simmons has scored 1,499 career points as a Crusader, while making 49.6 percent of his field goal attempts (509 of 1026) and 43.4 percent from three-point range (186 of 429).

CRUSADERS GET OFF TO FAST START IN LEAGUE PLAY: Holy Cross has opened Patriot League play with a perfect 9-0 mark in its first nine conference games. This is the best league start ever for the Crusaders, with the previous mark held by the 1992-1993 squad which won its first seven conference games. Prior to this season, the Crusaders' best conference start under Ralph Willard came during both the 2000-2001 and 2002-2003 campaigns, when Holy Cross started league play at 4-0. In Patriot League history, only two teams have ever began the conference season with at least nine straight victories: Bucknell won all 14 of its league games in 2005-2006, while Navy posted nine straight conference wins to open up 1997-1998.

HOLY CROSS EXTENDS LEAGUE WINNING STREAK: The Crusaders enter the Army game having won 13 straight Patriot League regular season contests, a mark which ties for the fourth-longest conference winning streak in league history. Holy Cross has not lost a regular season Patriot League game since Feb. 11, 2006, when it fell to Bucknell (57-52). The Crusaders have also become the only team in Patriot League history to win 10 conference regular season games in a row on three different occasions. Here is a look at the longest regular season conference winning streaks in Patriot League history:

Rank  Games  School      Dates
  1.     17  Bucknell    Feb. 26, 2005-Jan. 9, 2007
  2.     16  Navy        Jan. 29, 1997-Feb. 8, 1998
  3.     15  Holy Cross  Jan. 12, 2005-Jan. 11, 2006
  4.     13  Holy Cross  Feb. 15, 2006-present
         13  Lafayette   Jan. 20, 1998-Jan. 20, 1999
  6.     12  Navy        Jan. 23, 2000-Jan. 17, 2001
  7.     11  Fordham     Jan. 8, 1991-Feb. 16, 1991
  8.     10  Holy Cross  Jan. 31, 2003-Jan. 10, 2004
         10  Navy        Feb. 1, 1995-Jan. 17, 1996

CRUSADERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: A number of Holy Cross players have placed their names in the school's all-time record book this season. Senior guard Keith Simmons ranks second on the school career list for three-point field goals made (186), second in three-point field goal attempts (429), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (43.4 percent), fifth in steals (174) and ninth in minutes played (3,170). He also ranks among the Patriot League's all-time leaders in three-point field goal percentage (43.4 percent, 1st), field goal percentage (49.6 percent, 7th), steals (174, 11th) and points scored (1,499, 15th). Senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) currently stands third all-time at Holy Cross in steals (233), sixth in assists (422) and sixth in minutes played (3,248). He also ranks fourth all-time in the Patriot League in steals and eighth in assists. In addition, Simmons tied the Holy Cross single game record for steals with seven against William & Mary on Nov. 25, 2006, while Thomas matched that record with seven steals against Lehigh on Jan. 26, 2007. Junior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) has also placed his name in the record books, standing fourth all-time at Holy Cross and 11th all-time in the Patriot League in blocked shots (115).

LAFAYETTE RECAP: Torey Thomas recorded 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals, to lead Holy Cross to a 74-52 victory over Lafayette at the Hart Center on Feb. 3, 2007. Following the contest, Thomas received the Martin J. O'Malley Award as the most valuable player of Holy Cross' Winter Homecoming game. The score was close early on, with the Crusaders holding just a four-point lead (21-17) with eight minutes left in the first half. Greg McCarthy then hit a three-point field goal and a layup on Holy Cross' next two possessions, igniting a 14-0 run which put the Crusaders in control of the game for good. At halftime, Holy Cross held a 39-24 lead. The Crusaders continued to dominate play coming out of the locker room, and at one point went on another 14-0 run to extend their lead to 30 points, 60-30 with 10 minutes left to play. Lafayette was able to get no closer than 18 points in the closing minutes, before Holy Cross finally won by 22. McCarthy finished the game with a career-high 11 points, two rebounds and two blocked shots. Keith Simmons added 17 points and nine rebounds, while Tim Clifford chipped in with 11 points, five assists and three rebounds. The Leopards were led by Bilal Abdullah with 13 points and four assists. Holy Cross turned in another outstanding effort on the defensive end, holding Lafayette to just 52 points on 39.0 percent shooting from the field (16 of 41). The Crusaders also dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Leopards 32-17.

THOMAS SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINT: Senior guard Torey Thomas became the 43rd 1,000-point scorer in the history of Holy Cross men's basketball during the Jan. 26 victory over Lehigh. He hit a layup at the 11:51-mark of the first half to record the 1,000th point of his collegiate career. Thomas now ranks 39th on the all-time Crusader scoring list with 1,048 points in 115 games, good for an average of 9.1 points per contest. Last season, senior guard Keith Simmons became the 42nd 1,000-point scorer at Holy Cross, netting his 1,000th point at Colgate on Feb. 22, 2006, when he threw down a slam dunk at the 17:46-mark of the second half. Simmons now stands in 11th place all-time at Holy Cross with 1,499 points, needing just one more point to become only the 11th player in school history with 1,500 career points.

HOLY CROSS WINS 11TH STRAIGHT: With Saturday's win over Lafayette, Holy Cross posted its 11th straight victory, which is good for the second-longest current winning streak in the nation. This also marks 12th time the Crusaders have won at least 11 consecutive games in school history. The last time Holy Cross had a double-figure winning streak came in the 2004-2005 season, when it won 16 games in a row. During their current 11-game streak, the Crusaders averaged 65,5 points per game, while shooting 44.9 percent from the floor, 39.8 percent from three-point range and outscoring the opposition by 10.5 points per contest. Here is a look at the longest winning streaks ever by Holy Cross:

Rank    Streak  Dates
  1.  29 games  March 4, 1949-March 3, 1950
  2.  26 games  Jan. 7, 1947-Dec. 13, 1947
  3.  20 games  Jan. 8, 1948-March 20, 1948
  4.  16 games  Jan. 12, 2005-March 6, 2005
  5.  13 games  Feb. 6, 1906-Jan. 29, 1908
  6.  12 games  Jan. 31, 2003-March 14, 2003
  7.  11 games  Dec. 30, 2006-present
      11 games  Feb. 4, 1961-March 17, 1961
      11 games  Jan. 2, 1960-Feb. 16, 1960
      11 games  Dec. 30, 1955-Feb. 8, 1956
      11 games  Jan. 16, 1954-Feb. 24, 1954
      11 games  Dec. 5, 1953-Jan. 12, 1954
 13.  10 games  Jan. 5, 1963-Feb. 8, 1963
      10 games  Feb. 10, 1953-March 13, 1953
      10 games  Feb. 4, 1952-March 1, 1952
      10 games  Feb. 12, 1930-Dec. 10, 1930

THE LAST MEETING WITH ARMY: Keith Simmons recorded 18 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists, to lead Holy Cross to a 66-42 victory over Army at the Hart Center on Jan. 9, 2007. The game was close throughout a first half which featured five ties and 14 lead changes. Neither team led by more than three points until the closing minutes of the half, when the Crusaders used a 6-0 run to take a 27-23 lead into the locker room. Simmons scored four of his points during that spurt. Holy Cross held on to the lead early in the second half, but was still up by just six (32-26) with 15 minutes left to play. The Crusaders then went on a 12-0 run to put the game away, including five points each from Simmons and Torey Thomas. Army would get no closer than 14 points the rest of the way, as Holy Cross eventually pulled away to win by 24. The Crusaders had one of their top defensive performances of the season, limiting the Black Knights to just 42 points and forcing 23 turnovers. On four different occasions during the game, Army was held scoreless for at least four minutes. Thomas finished the night with 16 points and three assists, while Tim Clifford added 10 points and three rebounds. The Black Knights were led by Jarell Brown with 10 points.

THOMAS SHINES IN SENIOR SEASON: Senior point guard Torey Thomas is once again among the top players in the Patriot League this season, averaging 13.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.5 steals per contest. In Saturday's victory over Lafayette, Thomas totaled 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. During the previous game against American, he recorded 16 points, four rebounds and four assists. Earlier this year, Thomas had 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals against Siena, while posting 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals against Fairfield, including a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining in overtime to win the game. Some of his other top performances this season have come against Lehigh (18 points, eight assists, seven steals, six rebounds), Lafayette (18 points, six assists, five rebounds), Army (16 points, three assists, two steals), Boston University (16 points, three assists), Niagara (15 points, seven assists, six rebounds), La Salle (14 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals), Providence (13 points, four rebounds, four steals), Bucknell (13 points, five rebounds, five assists) and Dayton (13 points, four rebounds, four steals). Thomas was named preseason All-Patriot League prior to the start of the year, after being named second team all-conference last season. A year ago he averaged 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.4 steals per game, while making 34 of 96 attempts (35.4 percent) from three-point range. Thomas finished the 2005-2006 season as the Patriot League's leader in assists, while ranking second in steals, fourth in rebounding and 14th in scoring. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Thomas has now totaled 1,048 points, 464 rebounds, 422 assists and 233 steals.

CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Holy Cross is once again among the top defensive teams in the nation in 2006-2007. Through the first 24 games of the year, the Crusaders have held their opponents to 58.6 points per game, 42.3 percent shooting from the floor, and 37.8 percent shooting from three-point range. Holy Cross has also averaged 9.5 steals and 3.4 blocks per contest, while forcing the opposition to commit 17.0 turnovers per game and outrebounding its opponents by 3.6 boards per contest. In addition, the Crusaders have held 16 of their first 24 opponents to under 60 points during regulation. Last season, Holy Cross allowed just 60.5 points per game, while holding its opponents to 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 30.3 percent shooting from three-point range. The Crusaders also forced their opponents to commit 16.0 turnovers per game, while averaging 9.1 steals and 3.5 blocks per contest, and outrebounding the opposition by 3.9 boards per game. Since the beginning of the 2001-2002 campaign, Holy Cross has held the opposition to only 58.8 points per contest. In addition, the Crusaders ranked in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense in four of the last five 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).

HOLY CROSS IN THE RPI: Holy Cross is presently ranked 66th in the nation in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5697 through games of February 3. The Crusaders are currently the highest ranked team in the Patriot League, with the second-highest ranking belonging to Bucknell (113th, .5302). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 130th best in the country, and the hardest in the Patriot League. The Crusaders concluded the 2005-2006 season ranked 111th in the country in the RPI with a rating of .5304. Holy Cross also ranked 49th in the nation in the RPI at the end of the 2004-2005 season with a mark of .5657, to place ahead of four at large selections to the NCAA tournament.

CLIFFORD PLAYS BIG IN THE POST: Junior center Tim Clifford has established himself as one of the top big men in the Patriot League this season. During Saturday's victory over Lafayette, he totaled 11 points, five assists and three rebounds. Previously in the victory over Lehigh, Clifford posted 12 points and nine rebounds. He also had a strong game at Colgate, recording 18 points, four rebounds and two assists. Some of Clifford's other top performances this season have come against Harvard (22 points on nine of 11 shooting from the field), Providence (21 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks), American (19 points, nine rebounds), Boston University (16 points, three blocks, three assists), Bucknell (13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks), William & Mary (13 points, six rebounds, two blocks), George Mason (12 points, four rebounds), Lafayette (11 points) and Army (10 points, three rebounds, two assists). Through the first 24 games of the year, he is averaging 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per contest. Overall last year, Clifford averaged 7.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game, while making 96 of 194 (49.5 percent) field goal attempts. He was even more impressive against Patriot League opponents, averaging 9.7 points per contest and hitting 54.2 percent (52 of 96) of his shots from the floor. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Clifford has now totaled 584 points, 308 rebounds and 115 blocked shots.

WILLARD CONTINUES IMPRESSIVE RUN AT HOLY CROSS: Ralph Willard is now in his eighth season as the Crusaders' head coach, and currently owns a mark of 152-86 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 296-210. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.

CRUSADERS KEEP WINNING AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross stands 10-0 at the Hart Center so far this season, and now owns an all-time record of 286-105 in the building. The Crusaders currently have a 14-game home winning streak, after going 13-2 at the Hart Center last season with an 8-1 mark against Patriot League opponents. Holy Cross also stands 42-5 in Patriot League regular season home games since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, with an overall home record of 74-12 during that time. In 2004-2005, Holy Cross posted an overall record of 12-3 at home, including a 10-game winning streak. The building opened on Dec. 1, 1975, and since that time Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 28 out of 32 seasons, while posting double-figure home victories 15 times.

STEALING THE SHOW: Through the first 24 games of the 2006-2007 season, Holy Cross has averaged 9.5 steals per game, including highs of 16 steals against Fairfield and 15 steals at American and against Lafayette. Senior guard Keith Simmons and senior guard Torey Thomas are tied for the team lead with 60 steals on the season, and have also both tied the school single-game record with seven steals (Simmons vs. William & Mary, Thomas against Lehigh). Sophomore guard Pat Doherty (Scranton, Pa.) has added 26 steals on the year, while junior guard Kyle Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.) has chipped in with 19 steals. In 32 games played last season, the Crusaders totaled 290 steals, for a Patriot League-best average of 9.1 steals per game. Holy Cross reached double figures in steals 11 times last year, with highs of 16 against Harvard and 15 against Lafayette. Kevin Hamilton led the team with 102 steals last year, while Thomas added 77 steals last season. With his 102 total steals, Hamilton set new Holy Cross and Patriot League single season records.

DOHERTY PROVIDES DEPTH IN BACKCOURT: Sophomore guard Pat Doherty has been the first guard off the bench for the Crusaders this season. In last Wednesday's victory over American, Doherty scored 10 points on three of three shooting from the field. Earlier in the season at Yale, he led the team with a career-high 18 points, four assists and three steals, while making five of six shots from the floor, all four of his attempts from three-point range, and all four of his free throws. Doherty also scored 10 points in the game at Lafayette, while totaling nine points and three assists at Dayton. In 18 games played this season, he is now averaging 6.1 points, 2.2 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per contest. Doherty returned to the Holy Cross lineup this year, 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.

VANDER BAAN BUILDS ON ALL-ROOKIE SEASON: Sophomore forward Alex Vander Baan (Uxbridge, Mass.) is once again a key member of the Holy Cross lineup this season, after being selected to the 2005-2006 Patriot League All-Rookie Team. In last Wednesday's victory over American, Vander Baan totaled 10 points and seven rebounds. Earlier this year in the victory over Navy, he scored a season-high 13 points on five of nine shooting, to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Some of Vander Baan's other top performances this season have come against Siena (11 points, 10 rebounds, first career double-double), Yale (10 points, seven rebounds, four assists), Hampton (nine points, six rebounds), Lafayette (nine points, four rebounds), Lehigh (nine points, two rebounds) and Syracuse (eight points, career-high 11 rebounds, four assists). In 24 games played so far this season, Vander Baan is averaging 6.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest, while making 45.0 percent of his field goal attempts (54 of 120). In 32 games played last year, Vander Baan averaged 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest, to rank ninth in the conference in rebounding. He also led all Patriot League freshmen by earning league Rookie of the Week honors four times last season (Nov. 21, Dec. 27, Feb. 6, Feb. 20).

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 88th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1242-795 (.610), 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 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 to coach professionally, and had 15 players who have coached in college, including current Crusader coach Ralph Willard.

CRUSADERS PICKED SECOND IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2006-2007 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in second place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 86 total points in the poll, to trail only first-place Bucknell (96 points). Holy Cross received three first-place votes in the poll, with the Bison earning 12 first-place votes and American one. Following the Crusaders in the poll were American (third, 70 points), Lehigh (fourth, 64 points), Colgate (fifth, 48 points), Lafayette (sixth, 35 points), Navy (seventh, 31 points) and Army (eighth, 18 points).

HOLY CROSS HAVING GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders have averaged 32.0 rebounds through the first 24 games of the 2006-2007 season, and are currently outrebounding their opponents by an average of 3.6 boards per game. Holy Cross has really stepped things up in Patriot League play, outrebounding the opposition by 8.0 boards per game, while allowing opponents to average just 24.6 rebounds per contest. The Crusaders' top rebounding game so far this year came against Siena, when it held a 43-21 advantage on the glass. The rebounding load has been well balanced, with five different players currently averaging at least 3.4 boards per contest. Senior guard Keith Simmons leads the team with 5.9 rebounds per game, while sophomore forward Alex Vander Baan has averaged 5.3 boards per contest. Junior center Tim Clifford (4.6 rebounds per game) and senior guard Torey Thomas (4.6 rebounds per game) are also enjoying fine seasons on the glass, while freshman forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) is chipping in with 3.4 boards per game.

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in three statistical categories, through games of Feb. 1. Senior guard Keith Simmons and senior guard Torey Thomas are also listed among the national leaders in steals. The rankings:

Category          Rank  Player / Team     Avg.
Steals              16  Keith Simmons      2.5
                    20  Torey Thomas       2.5
                    20  Holy Cross         9.3
Scoring Defense     16  Holy Cross        58.9
Winning Percentage  37  Holy Cross        73.9

SCOUTING THE BLACK KNIGHTS: Army has an overall record of 13-10 on the season, with a 3-5 mark in the Patriot League. The Black Knights started the year strong with a 9-2 mark, but have lost eight of their last 12 games. Army's leading scorer is junior guard Jarrell Brown, who has averaged 16.8 points per game while hitting 41.7 percent (65 of 156) of his three-point attempts. Senior guard Matt Bell has added 15.3 points per contest and made 53.5 percent (38 of 71) of his shots from three-point range, while freshman forward Chris Walker is chipping in with 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Army is led by head coach Jim Crews, who owns a 33-98 record during his five seasons with the Black Knights. Crews' career record stands at 327-307, including 17 years as the head coach at Evansville, where he led the Purple Aces to four NCAA Tournament appearances.

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 18th 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 third 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 22 of the Crusaders' 30 regular season games. In addition, WCUW 91.3 FM in Worcester will air seven Holy Cross contests which are not included as part of the WTAG package. All 30 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, is scheduled carry a number of games this year.

CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross is currently scheduled to have 10 games shown on live television during the 2006-2007 season, with other television appearances still to be announced. During each of the last two years, the Crusaders had 10 television appearances, including four games on ESPN2. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2006-2007 campaign:

Date     Opponent           Television Outlet
Nov. 27  Syracuse           ESPNU
Dec. 6   Duke               ESPN2
Jan. 3   Boston University  CN8
Jan. 6   Lafayette          CSTV / Lafayette Sports Network
Jan. 9   Army               WCTR-TV3
Jan. 12  Bucknell           ESPNU
Jan. 26  Lehigh             ESPNU
Jan. 31  American           WCTR-TV3
Feb. 9   Bucknell           ESPNU
Feb. 25  Lehigh             Service Electric

DRIBBLES: The Crusaders stand 3-0 in overtime games this season, and have now won their last six overtime contests ... Senior guard Keith Simmons and senior guard Torey Thomas are the Crusaders' captains for the 2006-2007 season ... On Jan. 6 and 9, Holy Cross held its opponents to 16 rebounds (at Lafayette) and 17 rebounds (against Army). Prior to that, the lowest rebounding total by a Crusader opponent during Ralph Willard's tenure as head coach was 18 ... The Crusaders were a perfect 13 of 13 at the free throw line against Niagara on Dec. 29, marking the first time in school history Holy Cross has made all of its free throw attempts ... The crowd of 19,235 at the Holy Cross-Syracuse game on Nov. 27 was the largest to ever witness a Crusader game during the regular season (attendance records are not available prior to the 1982-1983 season). It is also the third largest overall crowd to ever see Holy Cross play, behind the Kansas game in the 2002 NCAA Tournament (26,612) and the Marquette game in the 2003 NCAA Tournament (20,960) ... Sophomore forward Colin Cunningham (Memphis, Tenn.) had eight points and two assists in the overtime victory at Boston University, including a pair of key three-pointers late in regulation. Earlier in the year, he scored a season-high 11 points at Syracuse ... Junior guard Kyle Cruze scored a career-high 15 points in the victory at La Salle, then had career-highs of six assists and six rebounds against Niagara ... Sophomore center Greg McCarthy (Mansfield, Mass.) scored a career-high 11 points on four of five shooting from the field in the Feb. 3 victory over Lafayette ... Senior guard Keith Simmons and senior guard Torey Thomas were both named preseason All-Patriot League this year, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors ... Freshman forward Eric Meister has started his collegiate career strong, averaging 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. He pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds at Harvard, and had nine rebounds at Boston University ... With a pair of victories to open the conference season, Holy Cross now stands 12-5 all-time in Patriot League openers, 12-5 in conference home openers, and 11-6 in league road openers ... The Crusaders are ranked 17th in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 Poll from CollegeInsider.com, released on Jan. 29.