Crusaders To Face Maine In Home Opener

Justin Burrell

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The Teams: Holy Cross (2-1, 0-0 PL) vs. Maine (0-1, 0-0 AEC)
Date: November 14, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 6-1
Last Meeting: Maine 72, Holy Cross 60; November 27, 2011; Orono, Maine

Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 13, Malcolm Miller, 6-6, 190, So.
F, 50, Dave Dudzinski, 6-9, 227, Jr.
C, 44, Phil Beans, 6-9, 233, Sr.
G, 3, Justin Burrell, 5-9, 165, So.
G, 32, Jordan Stevens, 6-5, 200, Sr.

CRUSADERS SET FOR HOME OPENER: Holy Cross will face Maine in its first home game of the 2012-2013 season at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Following the contest with the Black Bears, the Crusaders will take a week off before returning to action at St. John's on Wednesday, Nov. 21, in a game that will be shown live on SportsNet New York beginning at 7:30 p.m. Holy Cross will then be back at home on Saturday, Nov. 24, when it plays host to New Hampshire at 4:00 p.m.

THE SERIES WITH MAINE: This will be only the eighth meeting between the Crusaders and the Black Bears on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 6-1. Last season, Maine posted a 72-60 victory over the Crusaders at the Alfond Sports Arena. Prior to that, the schools had not met since Feb. 3, 1983, when Holy Cross won 85-78 in overtime at the Hart Center. For games played in Worcester, Holy Cross holds a 3-0 advantage. The teams first faced each other on March 1, 1906, with the Crusaders winning 35-13 at home.

Overall: Holy Cross leads, 6-1
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 3-0
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
Milan Brown vs. Maine: 1-2
Ted Woodward vs. Holy Cross: 1-0
Current Win Streak: Maine, one game
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0

HOLY CROSS IN HOME OPENERS: The Crusaders have an all-time record of 73-17 in their opening home contest of the season. Since moving into the Hart Center, Holy Cross has posted a 27-10 mark in its home opener, including an 8-4 mark over the last 12 years. The Crusaders have lost their opening home game of the year in each of the last three seasons, including a 73-64 setback against Harvard in 2011-2012.

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE: Against the nine schools which currently compete in the America East Conference, Holy Cross stands 100-40 all-time (51-12 vs. Boston University, 6-5 against Hartford, 6-1 vs. Maine, 21-10 against New Hampshire, 0-2 vs. Stony Brook and 16-10 against Vermont). The Crusaders played in the America East, then known as the ECAC North Atlantic, for four seasons from 1979-1983, posting a 9-7 record in conference play (the league played only a tournament and no regular season in the first two years). In 1980, Holy Cross won the ECAC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

BURRELL COMING OFF ROOKIE OF THE YEAR SEASON: Sophomore Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) is now in his second season as Holy Cross' starting point guard, after being selected as the 2011-2012 Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Through three games played this season, he has averaged 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest, while hitting 90.9 percent (10 of 11) of his free throws. Burrell earned All-Tournament honors at the Liberty Tax Classic, where he totaled 16 points and four assists in the victory over Morgan State. He also posted 17 points, three rebounds and two steals against Texas-San Antonio, while recording 15 points and six rebounds in the win over Old Dominion. Burrell started all 29 of the Crusaders' games last year, averaging 7.4 points, 3.7 assists and 2.0 rebounds per contest, and hitting 77.4 percent (65 of 84) of his free throw attempts. He really stepped up his play over the final seven games of the 2011-2012 campaign, averaging 11.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds during that time, while connecting on 47.4 percent of his three-point field goal attempts (nine of 19). A few of his top performances last season came at Navy (career-high 17 points, four rebounds, four assists), at Lafayette (16 points, three rebounds, two assists), at Providence (15 points, six assists, two rebounds, two steals), against Bucknell (15 points, three assists) and against New Hampshire (13 points). Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Burrell has now totaled 262 points, 111 assists, 68 rebounds and 24 steals, while making 78.9 percent (75 of 95) of his free throws.

CRUSADERS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2012-2013 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in fourth place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 55 total points in the conference preseason poll, to tie with Lafayette for fourth place. Lehigh placed first in the poll with 96 total points and 12 first-place votes, followed by Bucknell in second with 88 points and four first-place votes, and American in third with 66 points. The preseason rankings were rounded out by Army (sixth, 47 points), Colgate (seventh, 26 points) and Navy (eighth, 15 points).

DUDZINSKI PLAYS BIG DOWN LOW: Junior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) is once again a key player for the Crusaders in the low post positions this year. In three games played, he has averaged 11.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per contest, while connecting on 80.0 percent (8 of 10) of his free throw attempts. During the victory over Morgan State, Dudzinski led the team with 20 points and eight rebounds, including a pair of free throws to give Holy Cross the lead with 17 seconds remaining. He also totaled eight points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots against Texas-San Antonio, while posting six points and six boards in the win over Old Dominion. In 29 games played last season, Dudzinski averaged 9.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks, while making 48.7 percent (97 of 199) of his field goal attempts and 83.1 percent of his free throws (69 of 83). During last year's victory over Lehigh, he led the team with career highs of 23 points and five blocked shots, in addition to pulling down eight rebounds and hitting nine of 11 field goal attempts. A few of Dudzinski's other top performances last year came at Providence (21 points, career-high 11 rebounds), against San Francisco (20 points, six rebounds), at Maine (20 points, five rebounds, two steals), at Dartmouth (14 points, eight rebounds, two blocks) and at the College of Charleston (14 points, five rebounds, two steals). During the 2010-2011 season, he was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie team, after averaging 4.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 27 games played, while hitting 54.8 percent (51 of 93) of his field goal attempts. Over the course of his collegiate career, Dudzinski has now totaled 430 points, 274 rebounds and 45 blocked shots, while connecting on 49.1 percent (161 of 328) of his field goal attempts and 78.2 percent (93 of 119) of his free throws.

MORGAN STATE RECAP: Dave Dudzinski hit a pair of free throws with 17.0 seconds remaining, to break a 70-70 tie and lift Holy Cross to a 74-73 victory over Morgan State on the final day of the Liberty Tax Classic at the Ted Constant Convention Center on Nov. 11, 2012. Dudzinski finished with a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds, while hitting seven of 14 field goal attempts and all six of his free throws. Holy Cross led 70-59 with four minutes to go, when Morgan State scored 11 straight points to tie the game up at 70-70 with 1:34 remaining.  The score stayed the same, until Dudzinski was fouled on an in-bounds pass with 17.0 seconds left and hit both ends of a one-and-one. On the Bears' next possession, Malcolm Miller blocked a shot attempted by Anthony Hubbard, and Justin Burrell then hit two free throws with 4.8 seconds remaining to put the Crusaders up 74-70. A three-pointer by Morgan State's DeWayne Jackson at the buzzer concluded the scoring. Phil Beans totaled 17 points and six rebounds in the game, while Burrell added 16 points and four assists. Holy Cross held a 36-30 advantage on the boards and hit 91.7 percent of its free throw attempts as a team (22 of 24), while the Bears connected only just 60.0 percent of their foul shots (15 of 25). Hubbard led Morgan State with 17 points and eight rebounds. The Crusaders led by as many as 15 points in the first half, and were up 37-28 at the break. Holy Cross' biggest advantage was 17 points (53-36) with 12:51 to go, and the Crusaders would lead by at least eight points until the Bears rallied to tie up the score in the final four minutes.

HOLY CROSS SHINES ON THE DEFENSIVE END: The Crusaders look to be strong on the defensive end of the court this season. Through three games played, Holy Cross has given up only 59.3 points per contest, while holding the opposition to 41.8 percent shooting from the field and 25.6 percent shooting from three-point range. Last year, the Crusaders ranked first in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.5 percent) and blocked shots (4.4 blocks per game), while holding their opponents to 66.8 points per game and 42.1 percent field goal shooting overall. Holy Cross was even more impressive during conference regular season play in 2011-2012, where it improved on all of those numbers. In league games, Holy Cross allowed just 62.9 points per game, 40.2 percent field goal shooting and 29.2 percent three-point shooting, while averaging 4.6 blocked shots per contest.

BEANS PLAYS KEY MINUTES IN THE POST: Senior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) is once again playing a key role for Holy Cross in the paint this season. In three games played, he has averaged 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest, while making 42.9 percent (6 of 14) of his shots from three-point range. Beans earned All-Tournament honors at the Liberty Tax Classic, after recording a career-high 17 points and six rebounds in the victory over Morgan State. He also posted three points and seven rebounds against Texas-San Antonio, while totaling six points, four rebounds and two steals in the win over Old Dominion. In 28 games last year, Beans averaged 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest, while making 36.8 percent (21 of 57) of his three-point field goal attempts. His top game in 2011-2012 came against Colgate, when he scored a season-high 16 points to go along with five rebounds and two blocks. Some of Beans' other top performances last season came against Navy (14 points), against Fairfield (14 points), at American (11 points, nine rebounds) and at Navy (10 points, three rebounds, two blocked shots). Over the course of his Holy Cross career, he has now recorded 245 points, 156 rebounds and 19 blocked shots.

CRUSADERS LOOKING FOR SIXTH PATRIOT LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: During the 2012-2013 campaign, Holy Cross will attempt to win the Patriot League regular season title for the sixth time in school history. The last championship for the Crusaders came in 2006-2007, when they tied for first place in the conference with Bucknell, as both teams posted 13-1 records in league play. Prior to that, Holy Cross won outright Patriot League regular season titles in 2001, 2003 and 2005, while sharing the regular season championship in 1994. The Crusaders' three outright titles are the second-most in league history, and Holy Cross' five total championships are tied for the second-most in conference history with Navy (one outright, four shared), behind only Bucknell (four outright, three shared).

THE LAST MEETING WITH MAINE: Dave Dudzinski scored a career-high 20 points, but Holy Cross was defeated by Maine 72-60 at the Alfond Sports Arena on Nov. 27, 2011. Dudzinski hit seven of 12 field goal attempts and five of six free throws on the day, in addition to posting five rebounds and two steals. Jordan Stevens was the only other Holy Cross player to score in double figures, finishing the game with 11 points. Justin Edwards led Maine with 22 points, seven rebounds and six steals, while Gerald McLemore added 18 points and three rebounds. The game was close early on, and the Crusaders held a 13-9 advantage with 12:30 left in the first half. Holy Cross then went on a 9-0 run over the next four minutes to extend its lead to 13 points (22-9). The Crusaders were still up by 10 (29-19) with four minutes left in the half, before the Black Bears used a 12-2 spurt to tie the game at 31-31 heading into the locker room. Maine stayed hot to start the second half, scoring the first five points and eventually taking a 49-41 lead with 14:28 left to play. The Black Bears were still up by eight (51-43), when Holy Cross used a 9-2 run to get back into the game. Maine was clinging to a one-point lead (55-54) with nine minutes to play, before back-to-back three-pointers by Andrew Rogers and Edwards extended the margin to seven points. That started a run in which the Black Bears closed out the game by outscoring Holy Cross 17-6 to earn a 12-point victory. The Crusaders shot 44.0 percent from the field and outrebounded the Black Bears 38-33, but were unable to overcome a 17-8 disadvantage in turnovers.

STEVENS STEPS INTO STARTING ROLE: Senior guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.) has taken over as a starter for the Crusaders on the wing this year, after serving as a key reserve last season. In three games played this year, he has averaged 7.0 points 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals per contest. Stevens posted 14 points, four rebounds and four steals against Texas-San Antonio, while recording seven points and two rebounds in the victory over Morgan State. In 28 games played in 2011-2012, he averaged 5.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists, while making 44.0 percent (22 of 50) of his three-point field goal attempts. During last year's victory over Lehigh, Stevens scored 17 points while hitting seven of 10 field goal attempts and three of five shots from three-point range. A few of his other top games last season were against Hartford (17 points, four rebounds, three assists), San Francisco (16 points, seven assists), Dartmouth (11 points) and Maine (11 points). As a sophomore in 2010-2011, Stevens averaged 7.1 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, scoring a season-high 15 points against both Army and Navy. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 367 points, 146 rebounds and 79 assists, while connecting on 34.4 percent (54 of 157) of his three-point field goal attempts.

BROWN NOW IN THIRD YEAR WITH CRUSADERS: Milan Brown is in his third season as the head coach at Holy Cross in 2012-2013, with an overall record of 23-35 and a 16-12 mark in Patriot League regular season games. With the win over Army on Feb. 9, 2011, he recorded the 100th victory of his collegiate head coaching career. Brown's overall career record now stands at 118-155 (.432). The 16th head coach in the history of the program, he came to Holy Cross after spending the previous seven seasons as head coach at Mount St. Mary's. During his final three years at Mount St. Mary's, Brown led the Mountaineers to three straight winning seasons and a pair of postseason appearances. His teams posted a 54-44 record (.551) during those three years, including a 35-19 mark (.648) in Northeast Conference play. During the 2007-2008 campaign, Brown led Mount St. Mary's to the first NCAA Division I Tournament victory in school history (69-60 over Coppin State).

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders finished the 2011-2012 season ranked among the top 125 in NCAA Division I leaders for two statistical categories. In addition, several players ended the year among the top 250 in the nation in individual statistics. The rankings:

Category Rank   Player / Team Avg.
Three-Point Percent Defense 24   Holy Cross 30.5
Blocked Shots 52   Holy Cross 4.4
  73   Eric Obeysekere 1.7
  207   Dave Dudzinski 1.1
Free Throw Percent 76   Holy Cross 72.1
Steals 88   R.J. Evans 1.8
Field Goal Percent Defense 121   Holy Cross 42.1
Assist-Turnover Ratio 145   Justin Burrell 1.7
Assists 193   Justin Burrell 3.7
Scoring 216   Devin Brown 14.6
Three-Pointers Made 248   Devin Brown 1.9

HOLY CROSS LOOKS TO POST ANOTHER WINNING RECORD IN LEAGUE PLAY: With a 9-5 mark in conference games last year, the Crusaders once again finished the regular season with a winning record in Patriot League play. That marked the 14th time Holy Cross has posted a winning record against conference opponents in the league's 22-year history. The Crusaders previously finished with winning records in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Holy Cross' 14 winning seasons in conference play are the second-most in the history of the Patriot League, behind only Bucknell with 17.

CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 330-132 at the Hart Center, including a 10-3 mark last year. The Crusaders posted their 300th win in the building against Sacred Heart on Nov. 14, 2008. Holy Cross had a 23-game winning streak at the Hart Center from Feb. 15, 2006-Jan. 2, 2008, which was the longest streak in the history of the building and the sixth-longest home court winning streak in the nation at the time. In 2006-2007 the Crusaders posted a perfect 14-0 mark at the Hart Center, setting a school record for the most home victories since they moved into the building. During the Hart Center's history, Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 31 out of 37 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 17 times. The Crusaders stand 117-40 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 76-20 record against Patriot League foes.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year will mark the 94th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1316-885 (.598), while making 24 postseason tournament appearances — 12 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.

HOLY CROSS NAMES CAPTAINS: Senior center Phil Beans, sophomore guard Justin Burrell and junior forward Dave Dudzinski have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2012-2013 season. These three players will take over the leadership role from Devin Brown and R.J. Evans, who served as the Crusaders' captains during the 2011-2012 season.

CRUSADERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Two current Holy Cross players have already earned spots in the school's all-time record book. Senior forward Eric Obeysekere (Orinda, Calif.) currently ranks seventh all-time at Holy Cross in career blocked shots (98). In addition, senior guard Jordan Stevens tied the all-time school single-game record for three-point field goal percentage when he hit all four of his attempts from behind the arc against Hartford on Nov. 23, 2011.

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Most of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2012-2013 season will be carried live over the internet. The games will be streamed by Stretch Internet free of charge, with links to the broadcasts available by clicking here. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre will be in his 26th season calling the play-by-play for Crusader basketball on the radio. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their ninth year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. WCHC 88.1 FM, the Holy Cross student station, will also carry a number of games this year.

CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross will have at least seven games shown on live television during the 2012-2013 season. The Crusaders had seven television appearances last year, while appearing on television eight times in 2010-2011, nine times in 2009-2010, 10 times in 2008-2009, eight times in 2007-2008, 13 times in 2006-2007, 10 times in 2005-2006 and 10 times in 2004-2005. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2012-2013 season:

Nov. 24 at St. John's: SportsNet New York
Nov. 27 at Providence: Cox Sports
Jan. 12 at Lehigh: CBS Sports Network
Jan. 23 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
Jan. 26 vs. Bucknell: CBS Sports Network
Jan. 30 vs. Army: Charter TV3
Feb. 17 at American: CBS Sports Network

PATRIOT LEAGUE ALL-ACCESS: Live video streaming of most Patriot League regular season games during the 2012-2013 season will be available over the internet through Patriot League All-Access. The package, done in association with CBS College Sports Online, is available for a monthly subscription. For details on how to sign up for Patriot League All-Access, click here.

CRUSADER VISION: Live video streaming of all 2012-2013 Holy Cross home non-conference games will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available for $8.95 per game. Season packages are also available for men's basketball only ($29.95) or all Holy Cross sports ($99.95). For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.

E-MAIL ALERTS: Get all the latest news and results on the Holy Cross men's basketball team sent directly to your e-mail. To sign up for e-mail alerts, click here.

SCOUTING THE BLACK BEARS: Maine enters the contest with an overall record of 0-1 on the season, after falling to Dartmouth 67-54 in their season opener. Senior forward Mike Allison led the Black Bears with 17 points and 11 rebounds against the Big Green. Sophomore guard Justin Edwards added 12 points, four rebounds and three steals, while sophomore guard Xavier Pollard posted 10 points, four rebounds and four steals. Maine is led by Ted Woodward, who is 100-137 in nine seasons as the Black Bears' head coach. Woodward previously served as an assistant coach at Central Connecticut State, Connecticut, Harvard and Maine.

DRIBBLES: Freshman guard Cullen Hamilton (Washington, D.C.) totaled 15 points and four rebounds in the season opener at Old Dominion, including the game-winning free throw with 8.9 seconds remaining. His 15 points were the most by a Holy Cross player in his collegiate debut since R.J. Evans scored 15 points against Sacred Heart in 2008. Hamilton is now averaging 7.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game ... Sophomore forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.) has averaged 6.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game so far this year, including a career-high 10 points against Texas-San Antonio ... Senior guard Dee Goens (Alpharetta, Ga.) is currently leading the team with an average of 3.0 assists per game this season ... Last season, Holy Cross assistant coach Dan Engelstad took part in Shots from the Heart, a project created by to help raise awareness for the growing problem of heart disease ... Holy Cross' six-game winning streak in 2012 (from Feb. 8-25) was its longest since winning six consecutive contests in 2007 (from Nov. 10-28) ... Holy Cross' victory over Boston College on Nov. 18, 2011, snapped a 14-game losing streak against Atlantic Coast Conference schools, since a 63-61 win at North Carolina State during the Dixie Classic on Dec. 29, 1959. The Crusaders' next most previous win over Boston College came on Dec. 1, 2002, when the Eagles were members of the Big East Conference.