Holy Cross Set To Face Hofstra In ESPNU BracketBusters

Feb. 16, 2007

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (20-7, 11-1 PL) vs. Hofstra (19-8, 12-4 CAA)
Date: February 17, 2007
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Place: Mack Sports Complex (5,124), Hempstead, N.Y.
ESPNU Television: Quint Kessenich, play-by-play; Jack Armstrong, color
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Hofstra Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, Hempstead, N.Y.
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 4-0
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 73, Hofstra 63 (February 25, 1981; Hempstead, N.Y.)


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 HOFSTRA: This will be just the fifth meeting between the Crusaders and the Pride on the hardwood. Holy Cross won each of the four previous contests between the schools, although the teams have not met since the 1980-1981 season. The Crusaders posted a pair of victories over Hofstra at the Hart Center (100-88 on Feb. 4, 1978; 97-84 on Dec. 29, 1979), while winning once at Nassau Coliseum (64-62 on Jan. 22, 1979) and once at the Hofstra Physical Fitness Center (73-63 on Feb. 25, 1981). Against current members of the Colonial Athletic Association, Holy Cross has an all-time record of 22-6 (0-2 vs. George Mason, 1-0 against Georgia State, 4-0 vs. Hofstra, 12-4 against Northeastern and 5-0 vs. William & Mary).

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 4-0
In Hempstead: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
At the Mack Sports Complex: First Meeting
Ralph Willard vs. Hofstra: 0-0
Tom Pecora vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, four games
In Overtime: n/a

CRUSADERS TO FACE PRIDE IN BRACKETBUSTERS: The game between Holy Cross and Hofstra is part of the 2007 O'Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters. The Crusaders and the Pride will meet in one of 14 televised contests in the event, on ESPNU at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17. Overall, a total of 102 teams are taking part in this year's BracketBusters. In addition to Holy Cross, two other Patriot League schools are participating in the event. Bucknell will play a home game against Towson, while Colgate has a road contest at Marist.

CLIFFORD PLAYS BIG IN THE POST: Junior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) has established himself as one of the top big men in the Patriot League this season. During Thursday afternoon's victory at Navy, he scored a career-high 33 points to go along with four rebounds and four blocked shots. Clifford made 12 of 19 field goal attempts against the Midshipmen, in addition to hitting all eight of his free throws. Previously in the victory at Army, he totaled 11 points, eight rebounds and a season-best six blocked shots. Clifford also had a strong game against Lafayette, posting 11 points, five assists and three rebounds. 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), American (19 points, nine rebounds), Colgate (18 points, four rebounds), Boston University (16 points, three blocks, three assists), Bucknell (13 points, eight rebounds), William & Mary (13 points, six rebounds), Lehigh (12 points, nine rebounds), George Mason (12 points, four rebounds), Lafayette (11 points) and Army (10 points, three rebounds). Through the first 27 games of the year, he is averaging 11.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per contest. Clifford has been even more impressive against Patriot League opponents, averaging 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per contest. Last year, he 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. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Clifford has now totaled 633 points, 321 rebounds and 127 blocked shots.

STEALING THE SHOW: Through the first 27 games of the 2006-2007 season, Holy Cross has averaged 9.7 steals per game. The Crusaders have reached double-figures in steals 12 times this year, including highs of 16 steals against Fairfield, and 15 steals against American, Lafayette and Navy. Senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) leads the team with 74 steals on the season, while senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) has totaled 65 steals. Both Thomas and Simmons have also tied the school single-game record with seven steals (Simmons vs. William & Mary, Thomas against Lehigh). Sophomore guard Pat Doherty (Scranton, Pa.) has chipped in with 27 steals on the year, while junior guard Kyle Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.) and freshman forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) have both added 21 steals. In 32 games played last season, the Crusaders totaled 290 steals, for a Patriot League-best average of 9.1 steals per game. Kevin Hamilton led the team with a Holy Cross and Patriot League single season record 102 steals last year, while Thomas added 77 steals last season.

SIMMONS ENJOYING OUTSTANDING SENIOR YEAR: Senior guard Keith Simmons has been Holy Cross' top player this season, averaging 17.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 27 games played. He has scored in double figures in 38 straight games dating back to last year, and has led the team in scoring 14 times this season. During Thursday's victory at Navy, Simmons recorded 10 points, nine rebounds and three assists. In the previous game at Bucknell, he totaled 15 points and three rebounds. Simmons also had a big game at Army, posting 26 points, six rebounds and two steals. 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 Hofstra game, Simmons has scored 1,550 career points as a Crusader, while making 49.7 percent of his field goal attempts (525 of 1057) and 42.9 percent from three-point range (190 of 443).

HOLY CROSS IN THE RPI: Holy Cross is presently ranked 61st in the nation in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5759 through games of February 15. The Crusaders are currently the highest ranked team in the Patriot League, with the second-highest ranking belonging to Bucknell (100th, .5428). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 111th 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.

NAVY RECAP: Tim Clifford scored a career-high 33 points to go along with four rebounds and four blocked shots, while leading Holy Cross to a 68-40 victory over Navy at Alumni Hall on Feb. 15, 2007. Clifford hit 12 of 19 shots from the field on the afternoon, while scoring 21 of his points in the first half when Holy Cross put the game away. The Crusaders started the game hot, jumping out to a quick 9-0 lead by the 16:55-mark. A few minutes later, Holy Cross would go on another 9-0 run to extend its lead to 19 points (23-4) with nine minutes to play before halftime. Clifford scored all nine of the team's points during that spurt, as part of a stretch in which he scored 13 consecutive points for the Crusaders. The Holy Cross lead would eventually grow to as many as 22 points prior to the break, before the Crusaders eventually took a 36-18 advantage into the locker room. In the second half, Holy Cross continued to dominate play. The Crusaders never led by fewer than 17 points, with their lead expanding to as many as 31. In the end, Holy Cross eventually won by 28 points, 68-40. Keith Simmons finished the game with 10 points and nine rebounds, while Torey Thomas added seven points, six assists and five steals. Navy was led by T.J. Topercer with eight points. The Crusaders held the Midshipmen to 25.0 percent shooting from the field, while using 15 steals to force 24 Navy turnovers.

CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Holy Cross is once again among the top defensive teams in the nation in 2006-2007. Through the first 27 games of the year, the Crusaders have held their opponents to 57.4 points per game and 41.2 percent shooting from the floor. Holy Cross has also averaged 9.7 steals and 3.6 blocks per contest, while forcing the opposition to commit 17.1 turnovers per game and outrebounding its opponents by 3.9 boards per contest. In addition, the Crusaders have held 19 of their 27 opponents to under 60 points during regulation. Holy Cross has been particularly strong over the last seven contests, holding its opponents to 49.9 points per game on 35.6 percent shooting during that span. Last season, the Crusaders allowed just 60.5 points per game, while holding their opponents to 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 30.3 percent shooting from three-point range. Holy Cross also forced its 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 58.6 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).

THOMAS SHINES IN SENIOR SEASON: Senior point guard Torey Thomas is once again among the top players in the Patriot League this season, averaging 12.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.7 steals per contest. In Thursday's victory at Navy, Thomas totaled seven points, six assists, five steals and three rebounds. During the previous game at Bucknell, he recorded 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. 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 Lafayette (19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals), Lehigh (18 points, eight assists, seven steals, six rebounds), Lafayette (18 points, six assists, five rebounds), American (16 points, four rebounds, four assists), Army (16 points, three assists, two steals), Boston University (16 points, three assists), Niagara (15 points, seven assists, six rebounds), Army (14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, five steals), La Salle (14 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals), Providence (13 points, four rebounds, four steals) and Bucknell (13 points, five rebounds, five assists). 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. 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 1,081 points, 479 rebounds, 439 assists and 247 steals.

CRUSADERS GET OFF TO FAST START IN LEAGUE PLAY: Holy Cross opened Patriot League play with 10 victories in its first 10 conference games. That was good for 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 one other team has ever started the conference season with at least nine straight victories. That came in 2005-2006, when Bucknell won all 14 of its league games. The next best start prior to this season belongs to Navy, which posted nine straight conference wins to open up the 1997-1998 campaign.

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 (190), second in three-point field goal attempts (443), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (42.9 percent), fifth in steals (179), fifth in games played (119) and seventh in minutes played (3,284). He also ranks among the Patriot League's all-time leaders in three-point field goal percentage (42.9 percent, 1st), field goal percentage (49.7 percent, 7th), steals (179, 10th) and points scored (1,550, 13th). In addition, Simmons currently ranks sixth on the school single season list for average minutes played (35.3) and ninth on the single season list for steals (65). Senior guard Torey Thomas currently stands second all-time at Holy Cross in steals (247), fifth in assists (439), fifth in minutes played (3,365) and eighth in games played (118). On the school single season lists, he stands first for average minutes played (37.6), sixth for steals (74) and ninth for minutes played (1,016). Thomas also ranks second all-time in the Patriot League in career steals and seventh in career 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 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 (127). He also stands fifth on the school single season list with his 48 blocked shots this year.

CRUSADERS REACH DOUBLE-FIGURES IN LEAGUE WINS: Holy Cross currently has a record of 11-1 in Patriot League play. This marks the seventh time the Crusaders have reached double-figures in conference victories, since the Patriot League began play in the 1990-1991 season. The school record for most conference wins is held by the 2002-2003 and 2004-2005 teams, which both posted 13-1 marks in the Patriot League. In addition, the 1992-1993 team went 12-2, the 2005-2006 squad went 11-3, the 2000-2001 team was 10-2, and the 1991-1992 team had a 10-4 record. Holy Cross' seven seasons with double-figure victories are the most in Patriot League history, as no other school has accomplished the feat more than six times.

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 36th on the all-time Crusader scoring list with 1,081 points in 118 games, good for an average of 9.2 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 1,550 points, needing 61 more points to move into the top 10 in school history.

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 154-87 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 298-211. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.

HOLY CROSS WINS 12 STRAIGHT: From Dec. 30-Feb. 6, Holy Cross won 12 consecutive games, which was good for the second-longest winning streak in the nation at the time. That also marked the seventh time the Crusaders won at least 12 consecutive games in school history. The last time Holy Cross had a double-figure winning streak came in 2004-2005, when it won 16 games in a row. During their 12-game streak, the Crusaders averaged 65.9 points per game, while shooting 45.0 percent from the floor, 40.2 percent from three-point range and outscoring the opposition by 10.9 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  Dec. 30, 2006-Feb. 6, 2007
      12 games  Jan. 31, 2003-March 14, 2003
  8.  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

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.

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 the Jan. 31 victory over American, Vander Baan totaled 10 points and seven rebounds. Earlier this year in the home 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 27 games played so far this season, Vander Baan is averaging 6.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest, while making 44.1 percent of his field goal attempts (56 of 127). 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.

DOHERTY PROVIDES DEPTH IN BACKCOURT: Sophomore guard Pat Doherty has been the first guard off the bench for the Crusaders this season. In the Jan. 31 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 21 games played this season, he is now averaging 5.6 points, 2.1 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 1.3 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.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 88th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1244-796 (.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 on to coach professionally, and had 15 players who have coached in college, including current Crusader coach Ralph Willard.

HOLY CROSS HAVING GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders have averaged 32.1 rebounds through the first 27 games of the 2006-2007 season, and are currently outrebounding their opponents by an average of 3.9 boards per game. Holy Cross has really stepped things up in Patriot League play, outrebounding the opposition by 7.4 boards per game, while allowing opponents to average just 25.4 rebounds per contest. The Crusaders' top rebounding game so far this year came against Siena, when they 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 5.1 boards per contest. Junior center Tim Clifford (4.6 rebounds per game) and senior guard Torey Thomas (4.7 rebounds per game) are also enjoying fine seasons on the glass, while freshman forward Eric Meister is chipping in with 3.4 boards per game.

HOLY CROSS HAS LEAGUE WINNING STREAK SNAPPED: From Feb. 15, 2006-Feb. 6, 2007, the Crusaders won 14 straight Patriot League regular season contests, good for the fourth-longest conference winning streak in league history. Holy Cross has 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.     14  Holy Cross  Feb. 15, 2006-Feb. 6, 2007
  5.     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

SCOUTING THE PRIDE: Hofstra has an overall record of 19-8 on the season, including a 12-4 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Pride has lost two of its last three games, but does have an 8-1 record at home this year. The leading scorer for Hofstra is senior guard Loren Stokes, who has averaged 21.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game this season. Junior guard Antoine Agudio has chipped in with 20.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest, while senior guard Carlos Rivera is averaging 11.7 points, 4.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. Hofstra is led by head coach Tom Pecora, who has a 100-80 mark in his six seasons with the Pride. Pecora's career record stands at 162-104, including three seasons at the State University of New York at Farmingdale.

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. 11. 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               12  Torey Thomas     2.7
                     16  Holy Cross       9.5
                     21  Keith Simmons    2.4
Scoring Defense      13  Holy Cross      58.0
Winning Percentage   40  Holy Cross      73.1

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 11 games shown on live television during the 2006-2007 season, with other television appearances possible during the postseason. 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. 17  Hofstra             ESPNU
Feb. 25  Lehigh              Service Electric

DRIBBLES: The Crusaders stand 4-0 in overtime games this season, and have now won their last seven overtime contests ... Senior guard Keith Simmons and senior guard Torey Thomas are the Crusaders' captains for the 2006-2007 season ... 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 ... Freshman forward Eric Meister has started his collegiate career strong, averaging 3.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. He pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds at Harvard, and had nine rebounds at Boston University ... Holy Cross was picked to finish second in this year's Patriot League preseason poll, behind Bucknell ... 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 ... The Crusaders are ranked 17th in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 Poll from CollegeInsider.com, released on Feb. 12.