Crusaders Catching Fire, Winning 9 of last 10
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 21:02
Over the past ten contests dating back to January 15th against Army, the Men’s Basketball team has won nine Patriot League Contests, and lost only one game, a close loss at American University. To put into other words, the Crusaders are the hottest team in the Patriot League since January 15th. This past week the Crusaders again defeated Army in a close contest at the Hart Center with a score of 66-63. The day after Valentine’s Day the Saders knocked out the Lehigh Mountain Hawks, earning a hard fought victory 72-67. Holy Cross has not been overpowering teams but, rather, the Saders have consistently found ways to win basketball games with stellar leadership and a deep bench.
The captains, Dave Dudzinksi and Justin Burrell, combined for 36 points in the Army victory, which was more than 50% of the scoring for Holy Cross. Dudzinski carried the scoring load for the Crusaders by cutting the Army defense up for 26 points. Dudzinksi sprinkled a few three’s and slam dunks with his trademark post-moves that have frustrated many Patriot League foes. Justin Burrell, or “JB” as his teammates, coaches, and fans affectionately call him, stowed away the victory for the Crusaders nailing a timely three to put Holy Cross up 60-56 with less than two minutes to go. Then, JB, played the role of closer by drilling one-and-one free throws to secure the team’s 9th Patriot League victory and satisfy the Sader Faithful at the Hart. Also, Burrell narrowly missed a double-double as he doled out nine assists.
In customary Valentine’s Day spirit, the Crusaders dumped a barrage of three’s upon the Mountain Hawks shooting 9-14 (64.3%) from downtown in the first half on February 15th. Although the Crusaders’ hot hands cooled down, underclassmen Eric Green and Anthony Thompson played outstanding games. Green led the Crusaders in scoring with 14 points, shooting an impressive 70% from the field. Junior Malcom Miller swatted five Lehigh shots and added 12 points. Thompson nailed three three’s in the first half to boost the Crusaders’ early lead and continued to handle running the point guard position with the poise of a four year starter.
The Crusaders fought toe-to-toe with Lehigh until JB, “the closer”, again put the game out reach with his sharp free throw shooting, hitting six out of seven attempts. Thompson also added two free throw makes with only seven seconds left to solidify the road victory for the Crusaders. Five players (Dudzinkski, Burrell, Miller, Green, Thompson) finished with double digit scoring signaling the consistent collective effort that has propelled Holy Cross to the top of the Patriot League standings.
Holy Cross looks to take down Lafayette again this past Wednesday, February 19th, at the Hart Center to increase their current win streak to five games. Fans can also catch the Streaking Saders in action this Sunday, February 23rd, at the Hart Center when Holy Cross goes to battle again the Navy Midshipmen.
With only three games left on the schedule (at the time of print), the Crusaders have positioned themselves with a 10-4 PL record to earn a first-round home game. The Men’s Basketball team is on a tear due to their well-roundness and high energy efforts that put the team ahead of the individual.
Consequently, the Crusaders squeak out tough victories by playing hard and mentally astute as a team. The word is out – the Crusaders are a dangerous team that can, and will, beat you in several ways. Come support your Crusaders as they continue to dazzle and win their way to the Patriot League playoffs, and beyond.