Crusaders Travel To American For Saturday Contest

Feb. 16, 2006

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  • The Teams: Holy Cross (15-11, 8-3 PL) vs. American (9-15, 5-6 PL)
  • Date: February 18, 2006
  • Time: 2:00 p.m.
  • Place: Bender Arena (4,500), Washington, D.C.
  • Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester;, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play
  • American Radio: WWRC 1260 AM, Washington, D.C.; Bram Weinstein, play-by-play; Mike Vallaincourt, color
  • Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 9-3
  • Last Meeting: Holy Cross 74, American 63 (January 21, 2006; Worcester, Mass.)

    Pos.  No.  Name               Ht.   Wt.   Cl.    PPG   RPG
    F      10  Keith Simmons      6-4   210   Jr.   13.2   4.7
    F      21  Alex Vander Baan   6-8   195   Fr.    6.5   5.2
    C      00  Tim Clifford      6-10   255   So.    7.4   3.9
    G       1  Torey Thomas      5-11   170   Jr.   11.7   5.3
    G      14  Kevin Hamilton     6-4   190   Sr.   17.6   6.4

    THE SERIES WITH AMERICAN: This will be the 13th meeting between the Crusaders and the Eagles on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 9-3. The Crusaders have won the last three games played between the schools, but in 2003-2004 American swept the season series. Prior to that, Holy Cross had won two straight and six of the first seven meetings. The schools have met in the Patriot League championship game twice in the last four years, with the Crusaders winning both those games (72-64 at the Hart Center on March 14, 2003; 58-54 at Bender Arena on March 8, 2002). Holy Cross and American first met on Dec. 21, 1967, with the Crusaders posting an 81-57 victory on the road.

    Overall: Holy Cross, 9-3
    In Washington: Holy Cross, 4-2
    At Bender Arena: Holy Cross, 3-2
    Ralph Willard vs. American: 8-3
    Jeff Jones vs. Holy Cross: 3-8
    Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, three games

    CRUSADERS RETURN TO THE ROAD: Following a three-game homestand, Holy Cross hits the road once again this week 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. The Crusaders currently stand in third place in the Patriot League with an 8-3 mark in conference games. If Holy Cross can win all three of its remaining regular season contests, the Crusaders have a good chance to finish in second place in the league standings, and play home games in the first two rounds of the conference tournament.

    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 Wednesday's win over Navy, he totaled 17 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Hamilton previously scored at least 20 points in four straight games from Jan. 25-Feb. 4, 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 19.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 4.2 steals 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 24 of the 25 games he has played this season. On the year, he is averaging 17.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 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 77 times during his Holy Cross career, including 67 times in his last 74 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 273 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 1,384 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 (213) and attempted (605). 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 Wednesday's victory over Navy, Simmons scored 16 points while making six of nine field goals and all three of his free throws. 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 home 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 at Lafayette (22 points, seven rebounds), at Siena (20 points, seven rebounds), at Vermont (18 points, five rebounds), against American (15 points, six rebounds), at Northeastern (15 points, five rebounds), against Harvard (15 points, four rebounds), against Brown (14 points, five assists) and at Navy (14 points). On the year, he is averaging 13.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, while shooting 46.6 percent (48 of 103) 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 American game with a career field goal percentage of 49.0 (332 of 678), while hitting 44.6 percent (131 of 294) 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 14 contests, allowing just 55.4 points per game, with the opposition shooting 37.4 percent from the floor and 26.6 percent from three-point range. Overall this season, Holy Cross is allowing 60.5 points per game, while holding its opponents to 40.6 percent shooting from the floor and 29.8 percent shooting from three-point range. Holy Cross has also forced its opponents to commit an average of 16.5 turnovers per game, including 25 by Fordham, 23 by Colgate and 22 by Harvard. In addition, the Crusaders are averaging 9.3 steals and 3.5 blocks per contest, while outrebounding the opposition by 4.0 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).

    NAVY RECAP: Kevin Hamilton totaled 17 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three steals, to lead Holy Cross to a 72-62 victory over Navy at the Hart Center on Feb. 15, 2006. The Crusaders scored the first five points of the game, and quickly increased their lead to 14 points (18-4) after eight minutes of play. The Midshipmen were able to get no closer than 12 points for the remainder of the half, and Holy Cross led by as many as 20 points before taking a 39-24 advantage into the locker room. The Crusaders held Navy to just 22.6 percent (seven of 31) shooting from the field in the first half. Early in the second half, Holy Cross went on a 9-2 run to build its lead back up to 19 points (53-34) with 13:05 left to play. The Midshipmen responded with an 11-2 run of their own, but were not able to get any closer than 10 points for the remainder of the game. Keith Simmons had 16 points and four rebounds for the Crusaders, while Torey Thomas added 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Alex Vander Baan also had a solid game, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds. Navy was led by Bryce Brigham with 13 points. Holy Cross shot 54.3 percent (25 of 46) from the field on the night, winning its 33rd straight game when making at least half of its shots.

    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 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.6 steals per contest through the first 26 games of the year. Thomas has also been shooting well this season, making 26 of 63 attempts (41.3 percent) from three-point range over the Crusaders' last 17 contests. In Wednesday's victory over Navy, he totaled 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Previously, in the home victory over Army, Thomas led the team with 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds. He also had a strong game at Lafayette, totaling 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists. 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), William & Mary (15 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, four steals) and Navy (13 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds). Entering the American game, Thomas has career totals of 688 points, 326 rebounds, 284 assists and 164 steals.

    CLIFFORD PLAYING BIG IN THE POST: Sophomore center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) has moved into the starting lineup for the last eight 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 26 games played this season, Clifford has averaged 7.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots, while making 80 of 160 (50.0 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 AMERICAN: Tim Clifford scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 74-63 victory over American at the Hart Center on Jan. 21, 2006. Clifford made nine of 15 shots from the field and eight of nine attempts at the free throw line, in only the second start of his collegiate career. The Crusaders led by as many as 13 points (28-15) in the opening half, but the Eagles were able to cut the lead down to just four points heading into the locker room. American stayed close early in the second half, trimming the Holy Cross lead down to one point (42-41) at the 14:21 mark. The Crusaders then went on an 8-0 run, and were up by 11 points (56-45) with 10 minutes left to play. But the Eagles refused to go away, using a 6-0 run to claw their way back into the game. American would get as close as four points (63-59) with three minutes to go, before Clifford and Torey Thomas made back-to-back shots to push the lead back to eight points. Holy Cross then hit seven of eight free throw attempts in the final two minutes to secure the victory. Kevin Hamilton finished the game with 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals, while Keith Simmons added 15 points and six boards. American was led by Andre Ingram with 18 points and five rebounds.

    STEALING THE SHOW: In the first 26 games of the 2005-2006 season, the Crusaders have totaled 242 steals, for a Patriot League-best average of 9.3 steals per game. Holy Cross has reached double figures in steals 10 times this year, with highs of 16 against Harvard and 15 against Lafayette. Senior guard Kevin Hamilton currently leads the team with 83 steals on the year, while junior guard Torey Thomas has added 68 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). He needs only 10 more steals this year to break his own record, while needing 12 more to set a new Patriot League single season record (the mark is currently held by Mike Bright of Bucknell with 94 steals in 1992-1993).

    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 129-79 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 273-203. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.

    HOLY CROSS HAS FIVE DIFFERENT 20-POINT SCORERS: In 26 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.

    CRUSADERS KEEP WINNING AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross stands 8-2 at the Hart Center so far this season, and now owns an all-time record of 273-105 in the building. The Crusaders also have a 5-1 home mark against Patriot opponents so far in 2005-2006, and now stand 35-5 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 60-12 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.

    CRUSADERS HEAT UP ON OFFENSE: Holy Cross has turned some outstanding shooting performances in Patriot League play. In Wednesday's victory over Navy, the Crusaders made 25 of 46 field goal attempts (54.3 percent). A week earlier against Army, the Holy Cross hit 54.2 percent (32 of 59) of their field goals, and 52.4 percent (11 of 21) of its shots from three-point range. And in the contest at Navy, the Crusaders 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, Holy Cross 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, The Crusaders have won all seven games in which they have made at least half of their shots. Last year, Holy Cross had a perfect 12-0 record when shooting at least 50 percent from the floor. In fact, the Crusaders have now won their last 33 games when they hits at least half their 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. During Wednesday's victory over Navy, Vander Baan totaled 10 points and five rebounds. He was previously named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the third time this year on Feb. 6, following his performances at Navy (10 points, six rebounds, three assists) and Lafayette (six points, six boards, two assists). Vander Baan was also 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 26 games played this season, Vander Baan has averaged 6.5 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. 13. 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
                     28  Holy Cross         9.2
    Scoring Defense  29  Holy Cross        60.4
    Assists          45  Torey Thomas       5.0

    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 168 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 1219-788 (.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 132nd in the nation in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5163 through games of Feb. 15. The Crusaders are currently the second-highest rated team in the Patriot League, behind only Bucknell (40th, .5898). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 98th 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 35.5 rebounds per game, while outrebounding the opposition by 4.0 boards per contest.

    CRUSADERS SET NEW HART CENTER RECORD FOR VICTORY MARGIN: In the Feb. 8 win over 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 "", 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 EAGLES: American has an overall record of 9-15 on the season, including a 5-6 mark in the Patriot League. The Eagles have won their last two games, and are coming off a 68-55 victory at Army on Wednesday. The leading scorer for American is junior guard Andre Ingram, who has averaged 11.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Junior guard Arvydas Eitutavicius is also enjoying a fine season, averaging 10.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest, while junior forward Brayden Billbe has added 8.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. The Eagles are led by head coach Jeff Jones, who owns a 84-86 record in six seasons at American. Jones' career record stands at 240-190, including eight years as the head coach at the University of Virginia.

    DRIBBLES: The Crusaders' 88 points against Army on Feb. 8 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 begin 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.