February 20, 2007

Men's Basketball Team To Face Colgate On Senior Night

Feb. 20, 2007

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (20-8, 11-1 PL) vs. Colgate (9-17, 4-8 PL)
Date: February 21, 2007
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: WCUW 91.3 FM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play, Jeremy Lechan, color
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Colgate Radio: WKXZ 99.3 FM, Oneonta, N.Y.; Eric Malanoski, play-by-play
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 46-14
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 58, Colgate 55 (January 23, 2007; Hamilton, 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 COLGATE: This will be the 61st meeting between the Crusaders and the Raiders on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 46-14. The Crusaders have won six straight and eight of the last nine meetings, but hold only a 17-12 lead in the series over the last 13 years. Previously, Holy Cross had won 29 of the first 31 meetings between the schools. For games played in Worcester, Holy Cross holds a 25-4 advantage, with four straight victories and a 16-4 mark at the Hart Center. The schools first met on Feb. 11, 1947, with Holy Cross posting a 67-39 victory at the Boston Garden.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 46-14
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 25-4
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross leads, 16-4
Ralph Willard vs. Colgate: 11-5
Emmett Davis vs. Holy Cross: 7-11
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, six games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 2-0

CRUSADERS TO WRAP UP REGULAR SEASON THIS WEEK: Holy Cross will play its final two regular season games of the 2006-2007 campaign this week. The Crusaders play host to Colgate on Wednesday, February 21, at 7:00 p.m., before traveling to Lehigh on Sunday, February 25, at 1:00 p.m. Holy Cross enters the week tied with Bucknell for first place in the Patriot League at 11-1. If the Crusaders and the Bison both finish the regular season at 13-1, the top seed in the tournament will go to the team with the higher RPI according to Collegiate Basketball News. Through games of February 18, Holy Cross ranked 69th and Bucknell was 97th.

SIMMONS ENJOYING OUTSTANDING SENIOR YEAR: Senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) has been Holy Cross' top player this season, averaging 17.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 28 games played. He has scored in double figures in 39 straight games dating back to last year, and has led the team in scoring 15 times this season. During Saturday's contest at Hofstra, Simmons recorded 22 points, four rebounds and three assists. In the previous game at Navy, he totaled 10 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Simmons also had a big game at Bucknell, posting 15 points and three rebounds. Some of Simmons' other top performances this season have come against Lafayette (26 points, six rebounds, three steals), Army (26 points, six rebounds), 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 Colgate game, Simmons has scored 1,572 career points as a Crusader, while making 49.7 percent of his field goal attempts (535 of 1076) and 42.5 percent from three-point range (190 of 447).

HOLY CROSS IN THE RPI: Holy Cross is presently ranked 65th in the nation in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5741 through games of February 19. The Crusaders are currently the highest ranked team in the Patriot League, with the second-highest ranking belonging to Bucknell (99th, .5446). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 99th 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.

THOMAS SHINES IN SENIOR SEASON: Senior point guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) is once again among the top players in the Patriot League this season, averaging 12.9 points, 4.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.9 steals per contest. In Saturday's contest at Hofstra, Thomas totaled 16 points, six steals, four rebounds and four assists. During the previous game at Navy, he recorded seven points, six assists, five steals and three rebounds. 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 1,097 points, 483 rebounds, 443 assists and 253 steals.

SENIOR SALUTE: Four members of the Holy Cross basketball program will be taking part in their final regular season game at the Hart Center against Colgate. Team captains Keith Simmons and Torey Thomas will be honored before the game, along with managers Greg McKeever (Newtown, Pa.) and Ted Jarzynka (Oceanside, N.Y.). Over the last four years, the senior class has helped Holy Cross to an overall record of 78-42, a Patriot League regular season championship and an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament.

HOFSTRA RECAP: Keith Simmons totaled 22 points, four rebounds and three assists, but it was not enough as Holy Cross was defeated by Hofstra 65-64 at the Mack Sports Center in the O'Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters on Feb. 17, 2007. The score was close throughout the early part of the game, and the Crusaders held a 22-18 advantage after 11 minutes of play. But Hofstra then went on a 15-2 run to go in front by nine (33-24) with four minutes left before the break. Holy Cross responded with an 8-1 run of its own to get back into the game, before the Pride's Antoine Agudio hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer to make the score 37-32 at halftime. Hofstra was able to extend its lead to eight points (56-48) with just under nine minutes remaining in the second half, before the Crusaders went on an 11-3 run to tie up the score at 59-59 with 3:39 left on an old-fashioned three-point play by Torey Thomas. Hofstra was back in front by one point with under two minutes to play, when Eric Meister tipped the ball in the basket on an offensive rebound to put Holy Cross up 64-63. The score remained the same until the final seconds, when Thomas was called for foul when the Pride's Carlos Rivera threw up an off-balanced jump shot with 1.7 seconds left to play. Rivera then hit both free throws to give Hofstra the victory. Thomas finished the game with 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and six steals, while Tim Clifford added 11 points and five rebounds. Rivera had 19 points and four rebounds for Hofstra, while Agudio added 19 points.

STEALING THE SHOW: Through 28 games played in the 2006-2007 season, Holy Cross has recorded 274 steals for an average of 9.8 steals per game. The Crusaders have reached double-figures in steals 13 times this year, including highs of 16 steals against Fairfield, and 15 steals against American, Lafayette and Navy. Senior guard Torey Thomas leads the team with 80 steals on the season, while senior guard Keith Simmons has totaled 66 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 28 steals on the year, while junior guard Kyle Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.) has added 23 steals and freshman forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) has 22 steals. In 32 games played last season, the Crusaders totaled 290 steals, for a Patriot League-best average of 9.1 steals per game. The school single season record for steals was set during the 2004-2005 campaign, when Holy Cross totaled 329 steals in 32 games.

CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Holy Cross is once again among the top defensive teams in the nation in 2006-2007. Through the first 28 games of the year, the Crusaders have held their opponents to 57.6 points per game and 41.6 percent shooting from the floor. Holy Cross has also averaged 9.8 steals and 3.5 blocks per contest, while forcing the opposition to commit 17.2 turnovers per game and outrebounding its opponents by 3.9 boards per contest. In addition, the Crusaders have held 19 of their 28 opponents to under 60 points during regulation. Holy Cross has been particularly strong over the last 12 contests, holding its opponents to 51.8 points per game on 39.0 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 58.7 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).

THE LAST MEETING WITH COLGATE: Keith Simmons totaled 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals, to lead Holy Cross to a 58-55 victory over Colgate at Cotterell Court on Jan. 23, 2007. Colgate started the game hot, jumping out to a quick 15-4 lead after eight minutes of play, with 11 of those points coming from Jon Simon. But Holy Cross came right back with a 12-0 run of its own, including seven points by Simmons, to claim a 16-15 lead with six minutes left before the break. The score remained close for the rest of the first half, before the Crusaders took a 29-28 lead into the locker room. Tim Clifford scored the first four points of the second half to put Holy Cross up by five, before the Raiders responded with a 17-2 run to take their biggest lead of the day, 45-35 with 11:40 left to play. Colgate was still up by 10 points (47-37) with 10:50 remaining, when the Crusaders clamped down on the defensive end of the court, holding the Raiders without a point for over six minutes. During that time, Holy Cross went on a 12-0 run to regain the lead. The score stayed close during the closing minutes of the game, and was tied at 55-55 with less than 30 seconds to play. Simmons then hit a three-point field goal with 20.6 seconds on the clock to put the Crusaders up 58-55. Colgate had one last chance to tie the score, but Kyle Chones came up short on a three-point attempt, and Alex Vander Baan grabbed the rebound to secure the win. Clifford finished the game with 18 points and four rebounds, while Torey Thomas added 11 points and three rebounds. Simon led the Raiders with 22 points.

CRUSADERS LOOK TO TIE HART CENTER WINNING STREAK: Holy Cross stands 10-0 at the Hart Center so far this season, and has won 14 consecutive games in the building. If the Crusaders defeat Colgate tonight, they will tie the longest winning streak in Hart Center history. The current mark of 15 games was set from Jan. 9, 1993-Jan. 12, 1994. Since the building opened on Dec. 1, 1975, Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 28 out of 32 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 15 times. The Crusaders stand 286-105 all-time at the Hart Center, including a 74-12 mark since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season. Here is a look at the longest winning streaks in Hart Center history.

Rank     Streak   Dates
  1.   15 games   Jan. 9, 1993-Jan. 12, 1994
  2.   14 games   Feb. 15, 2006-present
       14 games   Nov. 23, 2002-Nov. 25, 2003
       14 games   Dec. 22, 1980-Jan. 9, 1982
  5.   11 games   Dec. 28, 2000-Nov. 20, 2001
  6.   10 games   Jan. 5, 2005-March 6, 2005
       10 games   Dec. 1, 1975-Jan. 22, 1976

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 last Thursday'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. He also played well in Saturday's contest at Hofstra, totaling 11 points and five rebounds. Previously in the victory at Army, Clifford posted 11 points, eight rebounds and a season-best six blocked shots. 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) and Lafayette (11 points, five assists, three rebounds). Through the first 28 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 644 points, 326 rebounds and 128 blocked shots.

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 (447), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (42.5 percent), fifth in steals (180), fifth in games played (120) and seventh in minutes played (3,322). He also ranks among the Patriot League's all-time leaders in three-point field goal percentage (42.5 percent, 1st), field goal percentage (49.7 percent, 7th), steals (180, 10th) and points scored (1,572, 13th). In addition, Simmons currently ranks seventh on the school single season list for average minutes played (35.4) and ninth on the single season list for steals (66). Senior guard Torey Thomas currently stands second all-time at Holy Cross in steals (253), fifth in assists (443), fifth in minutes played (3,404) and sixth in games played (119). On the school single season lists, he stands first for average minutes played (37.7), third for steals (80) and seventh for minutes played (1,055). 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 (128). He also stands fifth on the school single season list with his 49 blocked shots this year.

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 154-88 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 298-212. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.

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.

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 44.6 percent of his field goal attempts (58 of 130). 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.

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 10 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.

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 22 games played this season, he is now averaging 5.5 points, 2.0 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.

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 35th on the all-time Crusader scoring list with 1,097 points in 119 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 1,572 points, needing 39 more points to move into the top 10 in school history.

HOLY CROSS HAVING GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders have averaged 32.1 rebounds per game during 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 3.5 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 (4.6 rebounds per game) are also enjoying fine seasons on the glass, while freshman forward Eric Meister is chipping in with 3.5 boards per game.

THOMAS LOOKS TO BREAK OWN RECORDS FOR MINUTES PLAYED: Senior guard Torey Thomas currently leads the team and the Patriot League in playing time this season, having played 1,055 minutes on the year. He is currently on pace to break his own school record, which he set last season with 1,166 minutes played. Thomas has also averaged 37.7 minutes per contest this season, and is on pace to break his Holy Cross single season record for average minutes played. He also set that record last season with an average of 36.4 minutes per contest

SCOUTING THE RAIDERS: Colgate has an overall record of 9-17 on the season, including a 4-8 mark in the Patriot League. The Raiders have lost three straight and nine of their last 12 games, although two of their last three losses have come in overtime. Colgate's leading scorer is senior guard Jon Simon, who has averaged 13.1 points per contest while hitting 38.5 percent (62 of 161) of his three-point attempts. Junior forward Kendall Chones has added 9.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, while junior guard Daniel Waddy is averaging 5.8 points per contest. Colgate is led by head coach Emmett Davis, who owns a 119-134 record during his nine seasons with the Raiders. Prior to his time at Colgate, Davis served as an assistant coach at Navy and St. Lawrence for 16 years.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 88th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1244-797 (.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 IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in three statistical categories, through games of Feb. 18. 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                 5  Torey Thomas     2.9
                      10  Holy Cross       9.8
                      26  Keith Simmons    2.4
Scoring Defense       10  Holy Cross      57.6
Winning Percentage    48  Holy Cross      71.4

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 ... Holy Cross won 14 straight Patriot League regular season contests from Feb. 15, 2006-Feb. 6, 2007, good for the fourth-longest conference winning streak in league history ... From Dec. 30-Feb. 6, Holy Cross won 12 consecutive games, tying for the sixth-longest winning streak in school history ... 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 3.1 points and 3.5 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. 19.