February 13, 2006

Holy Cross Set To Conclude Homestand Against Navy

Feb. 13, 2006

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (14-11, 7-3 PL) vs. Navy (10-13, 3-7 PL)
Date: February 15, 2006
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Jeremy Lechan, color
Navy Radio: WNAV 1430 AM, Annapolis, Md.; www.wnav.com, internet; Bob Socci, play-by-play
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 25-14
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 81, Navy 67 (February 1, 2006; Annapolis, Md.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name               Ht.   Wt.   Cl.    PPG   RPG
F      10  Keith Simmons      6-4   210   Jr.   13.0   4.8
F      21  Alex Vander Baan   6-8   195   Fr.    6.4   5.2
C      00  Tim Clifford      6-10   255   So.    7.4   4.0
G       1  Torey Thomas      5-11   170   Jr.   11.6   5.2
G      14  Kevin Hamilton     6-4   190   Sr.   17.6   6.2

THE SERIES WITH NAVY: This will be the 40th meeting between the Crusaders and the Midshipmen on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 25-14. Holy Cross has been victorious the last 13 meetings between the two schools, winning by an average margin of 15.4 points during that time. Prior to that, Navy had won eight straight and 13 out of 15 meetings with the Crusaders. For games played in Worcester, Holy Cross holds an 11-5 advantage, with six straight victories. The schools first met on March 20, 1947, with Holy Cross posting a 55-47 victory at Madison Square Garden in the NCAA Tournament East Regional Semifinals.

SERIES QUICK FACTS
Overall: Holy Cross, 25-14
In Worcester: Holy Cross, 11-5
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross, 11-5
Ralph Willard vs. Navy: 14-3
Billy Lange vs. Holy Cross: 0-3
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, 13 games

CRUSADERS SET TO CONCLUDE HOMESTAND AGAINST MIDSHIPMEN: Holy Cross will wrap up its current three-game homestand when it plays host to Navy on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders enter the Navy contest with a 7-2 record at the Hart Center so far this season, including a 4-1 mark against Patriot League foes. Following the game with the Midshipmen, Holy Cross hits the road to play at American on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 2:00 p.m. The Crusaders then stay away from home, next travelling to Colgate for a 7:00 p.m. contest on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Holy Cross concludes the season by returning home to face Lehigh at the Hart Center on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 1:00 p.m.

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. In last Wednesday's win over Army, he totaled 15 points, six steals, five assists and four rebounds. Hamilton also scored at least 20 points in each of the previous four contests, against Lafayette (22 points, career-high 13 rebounds), Navy (26 points, seven rebounds), Lehigh (20 points, seven rebounds, four steals) and Colgate (24 points, seven steals, four rebounds). Following the Lafayette and Navy games, he was named the Patriot League Player of the Week for the third time this season. Hamilton has also scored at least 12 points in every Patriot League game so far this season, and is averaging 29.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 3.9 assists in conference play. 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, and also 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 22 of the 23 games he has played this season. On the year, he is averaging 17.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.3 steals per contest. Last season, Hamilton was named Patriot League Player of the Year, first team All-Patriot League 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 76 times during his Holy Cross career, including 66 times in his last 73 games.

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. During the Colgate game, Hamilton recorded the 247th steal of his collegiate career to set all-time Holy Cross and Patriot League records. He now has 270 steals, after breaking the marks of Jave Meade (246 steals, 2000-2004). 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 1,367 points during his four-year career as a Crusader, to stand in 14th-place on the school's all-time scoring list. In addition, Hamilton is the Crusaders' all-time leader in career three-point field goals made (211) and attempted (598). Hamilton has also tied the school single game records for steals (seven against Harvard, Lafayette and Colgate) and three-point field goals (seven against Tennessee-Chattanooga) this season.

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 the victory at Lafayette, Simmons totaled 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He previously recorded 26 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals at Army, while posting 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in the first game with Lafayette. 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), American (15 points, six rebounds), Northeastern (15 points, five rebounds), Harvard (15 points, four rebounds), Brown (14 points, five assists) and Navy (14 points). On the year, he is averaging 13.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, while shooting 46.5 percent (47 of 101) 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 Navy game with a career field goal percentage of 48.7 (326 of 669), while hitting 44.5 percent (130 of 292) of his three-point attempts.

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 13 contests, allowing just 54.8 points per game, with the opposition shooting 37.5 percent from the floor and 25.4 percent from three-point range. Overall this season, Holy Cross is allowing 60.4 points per game, while holding its opponents to 40.8 percent shooting from the floor and 29.3 percent shooting from three-point range. Holy Cross has also forced its opponents to commit an average of 16.4 turnovers per game, including 25 by Fordham, 23 by Colgate and 22 by Harvard. In addition, the Crusaders are averaging 9.2 steals and 3.4 blocks per contest, while outrebounding the opposition by 3.6 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 58.8 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).

BUCKNELL RECAP: Bucknell's Charles Lee totaled 24 points, seven rebounds and four steals, to lead the Bison to a 57-52 victory over Holy Cross at the Hart Center on Feb. 11, 2006. Holy Cross started the game hot, jumping out to an 8-2 lead after the first three minutes of play. The Crusaders would increase their advantage to as many as 11 points on three occasions in the opening half, before Bucknell rallied to make the score 33-25 at the break. Coming out of the locker room, Holy Cross used a 7-0 run to expand its lead to 15 points (40-25) with 16 minutes left. The Crusaders were still up by 12 (43-31) at the 11:47 mark, when the Bison went on a 7-0 run to make it a five-point game. Bucknell tied the score at 48-48 with 4:05 left on a three-pointer by Abe Badmus, before Kevin Hamilton hit a three-pointer of his own to put Holy Cross back in front. But Lee then made a layup, and Kevin Bettencourt followed with a three-pointer to give the Bison their first lead of the day, 53-51 with two minutes remaining. Bucknell then hit four of five free throws down the stretch to clinch the victory. Hamilton finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds, while Keith Simmons added 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Tim Clifford also had a solid game for Holy Cross, finishing with 10 points and three rebounds.

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, 5.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.6 steals per contest through the first 25 games of the year. Thomas has also been shooting well this season, making 26 of 60 attempts (43.3 percent) from three-point range over the Crusaders' last 16 contests. In last Wednesday's victory over Army, he led the team with 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds. In the previous contest at Lafayette, Thomas totaled 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists. He also had an excellent all-around game at Navy with 13 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals. Earlier this year, 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), Lafayette (18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists), Boston College (16 points), George Mason (16 points, six rebounds), Army (16 points, seven assists, five rebounds) and William & Mary (15 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, four steals). Entering the Navy game, Thomas has career totals of 674 points, 318 rebounds, 280 assists and 160 steals.

CLIFFORD PLAYING BIG IN THE POST: Sophomore center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) has moved into the starting lineup for the last seven games, and has responded with some excellent performances. During the victory over Army, he scored 13 points and pulled down four rebounds. Previously at Navy, Clifford recorded 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. He also had a huge game against American, totaling 27 points, four rebounds and four blocks, while hitting nine of 15 shots from the floor and eight of nine attempts from the foul line. Earlier in the season against Brown, Clifford totaled 21 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, while hitting nine of 12 field goal attempts. Some of his other top performances this year have come against Lehigh (19 points, seven rebounds), Boston College (11 points, two rebounds), Lafayette (10 points, four rebounds) and Bucknell (10 points, three rebounds). Through 25 games played this season, Clifford has averaged 7.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots, while making 77 of 155 (49.7 percent) field goal attempts. In 28 games played last season, he averaged 2.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per contest.

THE LAST MEETING WITH NAVY: Kevin Hamilton totaled 26 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals to lead Holy Cross to an 81-67 victory over Navy at Alumni Hall on Feb. 1, 2006. Hamilton hit nine of 18 shots from the field and four of seven attempts from three-point range. The Crusaders opened the game with a 9-0 run over the first three and a half minutes of play, and would quickly expand their lead to double figures. After leading by 10 (22-12) with 4:15 left before the break, Holy Cross used a 13-0 run to expand its lead to 23 points at the one-minute mark. The Crusaders held a 20-point lead (35-15) at halftime. The Holy Cross lead would grow as large as 27 points on two occasions in the second half (56-29 and 58-31), before Navy rallied in the closing minutes to make the final score look respectable. Hamilton was one of five Crusaders with at least 10 points in the game, as the entire Holy Cross starting five scored in double digits. Keith Simmons had 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Torey Thomas added 13 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals. Tim Clifford finished the game with 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, and Alex Vander Baan chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. Navy was led by Greg Sprink and Kaleo Kina with 19 points each.

CRUSADERS KEEP WINNING AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross stands 7-2 at the Hart Center so far this season, and now owns an all-time record of 272-105 in the building. The Crusaders also have a 4-1 home mark against Patriot opponents so far in 2005-2006, and now stand 34-5 in Patriot League regular season home games over the last six seasons. In 2004-2005, 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 59-12 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.

HOLY CROSS HAS FIVE DIFFERENT 20-POINT SCORERS: In 25 games played this season, Holy Cross has had five different players score 20 or more points in a single contest. Senior guard Kevin Hamilton leads the way with eight 20-point games this season, while junior guard Keith Simmons has five 20-point efforts. Hamilton broke the 20-point barrier against Tennessee-Chattanooga (38 points), Mississippi State (27 points), Navy (26 points), Colgate (24 points), High Point (22 points), Lafayette (22 points), Army (21 points) and Lehigh (20 points), while Simmons scored 20 points against Lafayette (twice -- 26 points and 22 points), Army (26 points), High Point (21 points) and Siena (20 points). Junior guard Torey Thomas has added three 20-point performances, and sophomore center Tim Clifford has a pair of 20-point games this year. Thomas totaled 23 points against Fordham, 21 points against Army and 20 points against High Point, while Clifford had 27 points against American and 21 points against Brown. In addition, 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 six times, Damion Ezell three times, John Hightower twice, Jon Kerr twice and Carlos Clark once). Also, the 19 total 20-point games by Crusaders this season are the most since the 1995-1996 season, when Holy Cross players had 20-point performances on 20 occasions.

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 128-79 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 272-203. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.

STEALING THE SHOW: In the first 25 games of the 2005-2006 season, the Crusaders have totaled 231 steals, for a Patriot League-best average of 9.2 steals per game. Holy Cross has reached double figures in steals nine times this year, with highs of 16 against Harvard and 15 against Lafayette. Senior guard Kevin Hamilton currently leads the team with 80 steals on the year, while junior guard Torey Thomas has added 64 steals this season. 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.

CRUSADERS HEAT UP ON OFFENSE: Holy Cross has turned some outstanding shooting performances in Patriot League play. In last Wednesday's victory over Army, the Crusaders hit 54.2 percent (32 of 59) of their field goals, and 52.4 percent (11 of 21) of their shots from three-point range. One week earlier at Navy, Holy Cross made 28 of 51 shots from the floor (54.9 percent) and seven of 14 from three-point range (50.0 percent). Earlier in the season, the Crusaders made 27 of 47 field goals (57.4 percent) against Army on Jan. 11, and hit 34 of 61 shots (55.7 percent) against Lafayette on Jan. 7. Overall this season, Holy Cross has won all six games in which it has made 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 32 games when it hits at least half its shots from the field, since a 75-73 loss to Bucknell on Feb. 20, 2002.

VANDER BAAN ENJOYING STRONG FRESHMAN YEAR: Freshman forward Alex Vander Baan has been a key part of the Holy Cross starting lineup throughout the 2005-2006 season. He was recently named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the third time this year, following his performances at Navy (10 points, six rebounds, three assists) and Lafayette (six points, six boards, two assists). Vander Baan was previously named the league Rookie of the Week following the San Juan Shootout (Dec. 27) and the William & Mary Tip-Off Classic (Nov. 21). Over the three games at the San Juan Shootout, he averaged 15.7 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting 55.6 percent from the floor. Vander Baan had a career-high 21 points and nine rebounds against Mississippi State, while totaling 15 points and seven rebounds against Clemson, and scoring 11 points against Tennessee-Chattanooga. He averaged 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds at the Tip-Off Classic, while shooting 60.0 percent from the field. His top game came against High Point, when he totaled 11 points and five rebounds. Through 25 games played this season, Vander Baan has averaged 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. 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 IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in two statistical categories, through games of Feb. 6. 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            4  Kevin Hamilton     3.3
                 21  Torey Thomas       2.6
                 27  Holy Cross         9.2
Scoring Defense  38  Holy Cross        61.6

HOLY CROSS BREAKS THREE-POINT SHOOTING MARK: In the Jan. 11 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). In addition, the Crusaders have made 164 three-point field goals on the year, and are on pace to break the school single season record (198 in 2004-2005).

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 87th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1218-788 (.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 RPI: Holy Cross is currently ranked 134th in the nation in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5153 through games of Feb. 12. The Crusaders are currently the second-highest rated team in the Patriot League, behind only Bucknell (39th, .5929). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 105th 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.

CRUSADERS HAVE HUGE GAME ON THE BOARDS: Holy Cross turned in its top rebounding performance of the 2005-2006 season in the victory at Lafayette. The Crusaders pulled down a season-best 50 rebounds, while allowing the Leopards only 24 boards, for a +26 rebound margin. Holy Cross pulled down its most rebounds in a single game since Feb. 28, 2003, when it totaled 50 rebounds against Bucknell. The Crusaders also had their biggest rebound margin since Feb. 13, 2002, when they outrebounded Lehigh 48-21 (+27). Overall this year, Holy Cross is averaging 35.4 rebounds per game, while outrebounding the opposition by 3.6 boards per contest.

CRUSADERS SET NEW HART CENTER RECORD FOR VICTORY MARGIN: In Wednesday night's game against Army, Holy Cross set a new record for the largest-ever margin of victory for a game played at the Hart Center. The Crusaders defeated the Black Knights by 50 points (88-38) to break the record. The old mark of 49 points had stood for nearly 30 years, since Holy Cross defeated Canisius 113-64 on Jan. 13, 1977. The 50-point margin of victory was also the largest for the Crusaders in any game since they defeated St. Michael's by 70 points (138-68) on Dec. 3, 1970.

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             Service Electric
Feb. 4   Lafayette          Lafayette Sports Network
Feb. 8   Army               WCTR-TV3
Feb. 26  Lehigh             College Sports Television / WLVI-TV56

SCOUTING THE MIDSHIPMEN: Navy has an overall record of 10-13 on the season, including a 3-7 mark in the Patriot League. The Midshipmen have won two of their last three games, and are coming off an 89-69 victory over Lafayette on Saturday. The leading scorer for the Midshipmen is sophomore guard Greg Sprink, who has averaged 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game so far this year. Senior forward Matt Fannin has chipped in with 10.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest, while freshman guard Kaleo Kina has averaged 10.4 points and 3.3 assists per game. Navy is led by head coach Billy Lange, who has a 19-32 mark in his two seasons with the Midshipmen. Lange's career record stands at 58-51, including two seasons at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

DRIBBLES: Following last Saturday's Winter Homecoming contest against Bucknell, Bison guard Charles Lee received the Martin J. O'Malley Award as the game's MVP ... The Crusaders' 88 points against Army last Wednesday were their most since an 88-54 victory over Navy on Jan. 23, 2004 ... Holy Cross played the 2,000th game in the history of its men's basketball program against American on Jan. 21 ... Senior guard Kevin Hamilton is the Crusaders' captain for the 2005-2006 season, while senior forward Kevin Hyland (White Plains, N.Y.) is serving as Holy Cross' co-captain ... From Jan. 12, 2005-Jan. 11, 2006, the Crusaders had a 15-game winning streak in Patriot League regular season contests, the second longest streak in conference history ... With a pair of victories to open the conference season, 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.