WORCESTER, Mass. – Lehigh guard Mackey McKnight totaled 22 points, five rebounds and four assists, to lead the Mountain Hawks to a 68-61 victory over the Holy Cross men's basketball team at the Hart Center. Following the game, McKnight received the Martin J. O'Malley Award as the most valuable player of the Crusaders' Winter Homecoming game. Holy Cross falls to 10-13 overall and 2-6 in the Patriot League with the loss, while the Mountain Hawks improve to 17-5 on the season and 7-1 in the conference.
Junior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) led Holy Cross with 13 points, five rebounds and two steals, while sophomore forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.) added 10 points, nine rebounds and three assists. The Crusaders outrebounded the Mountain Hawks 37-30 in the game, but also committed 15 turnovers and hit only 41.7 percent of their field goal attempts (25 of 60).
The score was close early on, and Holy Cross held an 8-6 lead after the first four minutes of play. Lehigh then used a 9-0 run to pull in front, and would go up by nine points (19-10) with 11:27 to go before the break. The Crusaders were able to trim the margin down to three points (27-24) late in the half, before the Mountain Hawks took a 33-27 lead into the locker room.
Lehigh was still up by six points (37-31) with 16:21 remaining in regulation, when Holy Cross used an 8-0 run to pull back in front. Senior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) scored five of the Crusaders' points during that spurt. Holy Cross was later clinging to a three-point lead (47-44) with 10 minutes left to play, when the Mountain Hawks used a 15-4 run to pull back in front for good. McKnight would then hit seven of eight free throws in the final minute as Lehigh held on for the victory.
The Crusaders return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 12, when they play host to Navy at 7:00 p.m.