Crusaders Set To Close Out Regular Season At Lehigh
Feb. 22, 2007
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (21-8, 12-1 PL) vs. Lehigh (12-17, 7-6 PL)
Date: February 25, 2007
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Stabler Arena (5,600), Bethlehem, Pa.
Television: Service Electric Cable, Bethlehem, Pa.; Mike Zambelli, play-by-play; Rich Baksa, 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
Lehigh Radio: WEEX 1230 AM, Easton, Pa.; WTKZ 1320 AM, Allentown, Pa.; Matt Kerr, play-by-play; Greg Falkenbach, color
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 29-10
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 64, Lehigh 53 (January 26, 2007; Worcester, Mass.)
PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. F 10 Keith Simmons 6-5 205 Sr. F 21 Alex Vander Baan 6-8 205 So. C 00 Tim Clifford 6-10 270 Jr. G 1 Torey Thomas 5-11 185 Sr. G 2 Kyle Cruze 6-2 175 Jr.
THE SERIES WITH LEHIGH: This will be the 40th meeting between the Crusaders and the Mountain Hawks on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 29-10. The Crusaders have won three straight games against Lehigh, and have now taken 15 out of the last 17 meetings between the schools. For all games played in Bethlehem, Holy Cross holds a 9-7 advantage, including wins in four of the last six years. The schools first met on Jan. 16, 1976, with Holy Cross posting an 84-60 victory at the Hart Center.
SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 29-10
In Bethlehem: Holy Cross leads, 9-7
At Stabler Arena: Holy Cross leads, 9-7
Ralph Willard vs. Lehigh: 15-3
Billy Taylor vs. Holy Cross: 2-9
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, three games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 4-0
CRUSADERS TO WRAP UP REGULAR SEASON ON SUNDAY: Holy Cross will play its final regular season game of the 2006-2007 campaign at Lehigh on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 1:00 p.m. Holy Cross enters the weekend tied with Bucknell for first place in the Patriot League at 12-1. If the Crusaders and the Bison both win this weekend, the top seed in the tournament will go to the team with the higher RPI according to Collegiate Basketball News (through games of Feb. 18, Holy Cross ranked 69th and Bucknell was 97th). If the Crusaders and the Bison both lose this weekend, Bucknell would earn the top seed based on its 2-0 record against the third place team (Lehigh).
CRUSADERS LOOK TO CAPTURE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: With a victory over Lehigh on Sunday, Holy Cross can wrap up at least a share of the fifth Patriot League regular season championship in school history. If they do defeat the Mountain Hawks, the Crusaders will play all of their games in this year's Patriot League Tournament at the Hart Center. Prior to this season, Holy Cross won outright Patriot League regular season titles in 2001, 2003 and 2005, while sharing the regular season championship in 1994. The Crusaders are the only team in league history to win more than two outright titles, while their four total championships are second only to Navy with five (one outright, four shared).
SIMMONS ENJOYING OUTSTANDING SENIOR YEAR: Senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) has been Holy Cross' top player this season, averaging 17.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 29 games played. He has scored in double figures in 40 straight games dating back to last year, and has led the team in scoring 16 times this season. During Wednesday's victory over Colgate, Simmons recorded 18 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. In the previous game at Hofstra, he totaled 22 points, four rebounds and three assists. Simmons also had a solid game at Navy, posting 10 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 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. This season, Simmons can become just the seventh played in Patriot League history to earn first team all-conference honors three straight 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 Lehigh game, Simmons has scored 1,590 career points as a Crusader, while making 49.7 percent of his field goal attempts (541 of 1088) and 42.1 percent from three-point range (190 of 451).
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 12.8 points, 4.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 steals per contest. In Wednesday's victory over Colgate, Thomas totaled 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. During the previous game at Hofstra, he recorded 16 points, six steals, four rebounds and four assists. Earlier this year, Thomas had 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals against Siena, while posting 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals against Fairfield, including a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining in overtime to win the game. Some of his other top performances this season have come against 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 1,108 points, 488 rebounds, 446 assists and 256 steals.
HOLY CROSS IN THE RPI: Holy Cross is presently ranked 70th in the nation in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5696 through games of February 21. The Crusaders are currently the highest ranked team in the Patriot League, with the second-highest ranking belonging to Bucknell (97th, .5463). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 97th 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.
COLGATE RECAP: Keith Simmons recorded 18 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists, to lead Holy Cross to a 68-57 victory over Colgate at the Hart Center on Feb. 21, 2007. With the win, Holy Cross posted its 15th straight victory at the Hart Center, to tie the longest winning streak in the building's history. The score was close throughout most of the first half, which featured five ties and four lead changes. After the score was deadlocked at 23-23 with four minutes left to play before the break, the Crusaders closed out the half with a 10-1 run to take a 33-24 advantage into the locker room. Holy Cross then came out of the locker room with a 7-2 run, increasing its lead to 14 points. Moments later, the Crusaders would use an 8-0 spurt to build their lead up to 20 points (48-28 with 13 minutes remaining), putting the game away. Holy Cross would eventually go up by as many as 23 points with six minutes left to play, but Colgate closed the game with a 9-0 run to make the final score look respectable. Torey Thomas totaled 11 points, five rebounds three assists and three steals on the night for the Crusaders. Tim Clifford added 14 points, four steals and three rebounds, while Alex Vander Baan chipped in with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Raiders were led by Jon Simon with 17 points, while Kendall Chones scored 14 points.
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 155-88 during his time in Worcester. He is currently tied for second place on the all-time school list for career victories with Lester "Buster" Sheary (155-36 / 1948-1955), behind only George Blaney (357-276 / 1972-1994). 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 299-212. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.
STEALING THE SHOW: Through 29 games played in the 2006-2007 season, Holy Cross has recorded 287 steals for an average of 9.9 steals per game. The Crusaders have reached double-figures in steals 14 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 83 steals on the season, while senior guard Keith Simmons has totaled 70 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 29 steals on the year, while junior guard Kyle Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.) and junior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) have both added 23 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.
THE LAST MEETING WITH LEHIGH: Torey Thomas totaled 18 points, eight assists, seven steals and six rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to a 64-53 victory over Lehigh at the Hart Center on Jan. 26, 2007. Thomas scored the 1,000th point of his collegiate career with a layup at the 11:51-mark of the first half, to become the 43rd 1,000-point scorer in school history. Lehigh held a 10-9 lead after 12 minutes of play, before Holy Cross went on a 14-3 run over the next two and a half minutes to go up by 10 points (23-13). The Crusaders would eventually lead by as many as 13 points late in the half (32-19 with 2:55 remaining), but the Mountain Hawks closed out the half with a 7-0 run to trail by just six points (32-26) at the break. The score stayed close early on in the second half, before Holy Cross used a 7-0 run to build its lead back up to 11 points, 46-35 at the 12-minute mark. But Lehigh refused to go away, and trimmed the margin down to three points (54-51) with four minutes remaining. Tim Clifford then hit a jumper on the Crusaders next possession to push the lead back to five points, and Holy Cross held the Mountain Hawks without a field goal the rest of the way to clinch the victory. The Crusaders would make all four of their free throws in the final minute of play, to eventually win by 11. Clifford finished the night with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Keith Simmons added 16 points and six rebounds. Lehigh was led by Jose Olivero with 18 points, three rebounds and three assists.
CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Holy Cross is once again among the top defensive teams in the nation in 2006-2007. Through 29 games this year, the Crusaders have held their opponents to 57.6 points per game and 42.0 percent shooting from the floor. Holy Cross has also averaged 9.9 steals and 3.5 blocks per contest, while forcing the opposition to commit 17.3 turnovers per game and outrebounding its opponents by 4.1 boards per contest. In addition, the Crusaders have held 20 of their 29 opponents to under 60 points during regulation. Holy Cross has been particularly strong over the last 13 contests, holding its opponents to 52.2 points per game on 39.9 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).
CLIFFORD PLAYS BIG IN THE POST: Junior center Tim Clifford has established himself as one of the top big men in the Patriot League this season. During the Feb. 15 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 Wednesday's victory over Colgate, totaling 14 points, four steals and three rebounds. Previously in the contest at Hofstra, Clifford posted 11 points and five 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), Army (11 points, eight rebounds, six blocked shots) and Lafayette (11 points, five assists, three rebounds). Through the first 29 games of the year, he is averaging 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest. Clifford has been even more impressive against Patriot League opponents, averaging 13.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 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 658 points, 329 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 (451), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (42.1 percent), fifth in steals (184), fourth in games played (121) and sixth in minutes played (3,358). He also ranks among the Patriot League's all-time leaders in three-point field goal percentage (42.1 percent, 2nd), field goal percentage (49.7 percent, 7th), points scored (1,590, 10th) and steals (184, 10th). 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 (70). Senior guard Torey Thomas currently stands second all-time at Holy Cross in steals (256), fourth in minutes played (3,442), fifth in assists (446) and sixth in games played (120). On the school single season lists, he stands first for average minutes played (37.7), third for steals (83) and sixth for minutes played (1,093). 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.
CRUSADERS TIE HART CENTER WINNING STREAK: Holy Cross stands 11-0 at the Hart Center so far this season, and has won 15 consecutive games in the building. With the Feb. 21 victory over Colgate tonight, the Crusaders tied the longest winning streak in Hart Center history. The original 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 287-105 all-time at the Hart Center, including a 75-12 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 Feb. 15, 2006-present 15 games Jan. 9, 1993-Jan. 12, 1994 3. 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
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 Wednesday's victory over Colgate, Vander Baan totaled 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. Earlier this year in the home victory over American, he recorded 10 points and seven rebounds. Some of Vander Baan's other top performances this season have come against Navy (13 points, six rebounds, three assists), 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 29 games played so far this season, Vander Baan is averaging 6.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest, while making 45.7 percent of his field goal attempts (63 of 138). 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 REACH DOUBLE-FIGURES IN LEAGUE WINS: Holy Cross currently has a record of 12-1 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 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 1,093 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
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 23 games played this season, he is now averaging 5.5 points, 1.9 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 1245-797 (.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 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 4.1 boards per game. Holy Cross has really stepped things up in Patriot League play, outrebounding the opposition by 7.8 boards per game, while allowing opponents to average just 25.0 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 (4.5 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 (Boalsburg, Pa.) is chipping in with 3.4 boards per game.
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 33rd on the all-time Crusader scoring list with 1,108 points in 120 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 1,590 points, needing 21 more points to move into the top 10 in school history.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAIN HAWKS: Lehigh has an overall record of 12-17 on the season, including a 7-6 mark in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks have lost five of their last eight games, but stand 9-3 on the season in games played at Stabler Arena. The leading scorer for Lehigh is senior guard Jose Olivero, who has averaged 16.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Senior guard Kyle Neptune has added 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest, while freshman guard Marquis Hall is chipping in with 11.2 points and 4.2 assists per game. The Mountain Hawks are led by head coach Billy Taylor, who owns a 81-67 record in five seasons at Lehigh. A 1995 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Taylor was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2004.
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, Jeremyaa 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 3.0 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. 19.