WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) scored a game-high 26 points, but the Holy Cross men's basketball team was defeated by Bucknell 65-58 at the Hart Center. The Crusaders fall to 10-10 overall and 2-3 in the Patriot League with the loss, while the Bison improve to 17-4 on the season and 4-1 in the conference.
The Crusaders made 85.0 percent on their free throws on the afternoon (17 of 20), and held a 31-29 rebounding advantage. But Holy Cross was able to hit only 34.0 percent of its shots from the floor (18 of 53), while the Bison connected on 46.5 percent of their field goal attempts (20 of 43).
Dudzinski started the game by hitting his first four shots on the Crusaders' first four possessions, as Holy Cross jumped out to a quick 8-4 lead. But the Crusaders then went cold from the field, and Bucknell used a 10-0 run over the next seven minutes to pull in front. The Bison would extend their lead to eight points (26-18) with 5:19 left in the half, before Holy Cross scored the next six points to make it a two-point game (26-24). Bucknell eventually took a 32-28 advantage into the locker room.
Senior guard Jordan Stevens (Gansevoort, N.Y.) hit a three-pointer to open the second half, trimming the Bison lead down to one point (32-31). But Bucknell responded with a 9-1 run expand the margin to nine points (41-32) with 16 minutes remaining. The Bison lead would stay between five and nine points for the next several minutes, until a three-point play by Dudzinski made the score 53-49 with 4:41 on the clock. But that was as close as the Crusaders would get, as Bucknell drained 10 of 12 free throws in the final three minutes to hold on for the win.
Sophomore guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) finished the game with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists for Holy Cross. The Bison were led by Joe Willman with 16 points and six rebounds, while Bryson Johnson added 16 points and three assists.
The Crusaders return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 30, when they play host to Army at 7:00 p.m.