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Holy Cross Set for 11th Conference Title Game Appearance in Program History

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

 

Malachi Alexander

The Holy Cross Crusaders will battle the Lehigh in the Patriot League Championship game on Wednesday, March 9th at 7:30 p.m. The Crusaders went 5-13 in conference and did not win a conference road game all season. Now they have won three straight. 

"For a couple of games we had lost games that were close but were were playing decently. You could see it coming together a little bit and I told the guys that after a couple of losses, we had played well enough so I was happy with the progress even though we hadn't won too many games," said Head Coach Bill Carmody in his press conference. 

In the process, Holy Cross became the first number 9 seed in Patriot League Tournament history to advance to the semifinals. 

"Nobody expect this. Holy Cross went the entire season without winning a conference game on the road, now they have won 3 straight. They played a little better at the end of the season, but hard to have seen this coming," said Holy Cross radio play-by-play-man Dick Lutsk. 

Now the Crusaders are one more road win away from an NCAA Tournament appearance, their first since 2007. 

Holy Cross vs. Lehigh 

For what it is worth, Holy Cross lost both regular season games to Lehigh. The first was on January 16 when they fell at home 87-66 and the second was on February 15 when the Crusaders lost a close one, 64-59 on the road. 

Holy Cross also lost both games to Bucknell in the regular season but won the tournament game. 

"They talk about a new season, that's what this is, a playoff," Carmody said. 

Holy Cross on Defense 

In the last game against Army, Holy Cross' 1-3--1 zone defense was dominant forcing Army into 18 turnovers in the game. 

Expect to see the Crusaders in their zone the entire game  and force Lehigh to work against it. If Lehigh struggles half as much as Army did, the Crusaders will be in good shape. 

Robert Champion

The one area that Army was able to have success was in transition, when they were able to catch the Holy Cross defense out of position. 

Holy Cross on Offense 

The Crusaders were on fire in the last game, shooting 39 % from the field in the game, including 45% from the field  in the first half when they were able to blow the game open. 

The key for the the Holy Cross offense is to stay patient and look for the shots that they want. 

Malachi Alexander and Robert Champion will be key players once again for the Holy Cross offense. 

Holy Cross Game Night 

The Crusaders and Lehigh tip off at 7:30 Wednesday night on CBS Sports Network. The winner gets the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

On Holy Cross' chances, Lutsk says, "they have a shot at it, I wouldn't bet against them."

See the Projected Starting Lineup Below

 

Related Slideshow: Holy Cross 2015-16 Projected Starting Lineup

Prev Next

G - Cullen Hamilton

Cullen Hamilton has averaged 8 points and 2 rebounds this season for the Crusaders. 

Hamilton had 2 points against Army. 

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G - Anthony Thompson

Anthony Thompson controlled the last game for Holy Cross, nearly posting a triple-double. 

Thompson posted 12 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists and a steal in 36 minutes of action. 

Thompson has average 7 points per game and 2 rebounds this season. 

Prev Next

F - Malachi Alexander

Malachi Alexander comes into the game averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds on the season for Holy Cross. 

In the last game, Alexander had 13 points and 7 rebounds. 

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F - Karl Charles

Karl Charles is a 6'6" freshman forward from New Jersey who has averaged 11 points and 4 rebounds per game this season for Holy Cross. 

In the semi final game, Charles had 8 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. 

Photo courtesy of goholycross.com

Prev Next

F Eric Green

Eric Green has averaged 4 points and 2 rebounds so far this season but missed a little more than half of it due to injury. 

Green had 5 points against Army in the semi final game. 

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6th man- Robert Champion

Robert Champion has been a spark plug off the bench for Holy Cros off the bench in this post season. 

Champion had 15 points and 6 rebounds against Army and 10 points against Bucknell, including the game tying three with under a second to play in the game. 

Expect Champion to be in the game early and often. 

 
 

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