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Holy Cross Falls to Top Seeded Oregon, Ending Improbable Run

Saturday, March 19, 2016


The 16th seeded Holy Cross Crusaders fell 91-52 to the top seeded Oregon Ducks in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night in Spokane, Washington.

"Well, we're all disappointed that we didn't give a better account of ourselves this evening. Oregon had something to do with that. There's a reason why they're a No. 1 seed.

We really were not effective offensively and it seemed like we played pretty tight. And then as I told Coach Altman afterwards, it's a very good passing team, and they share the ball very nicely. We really didn't have any answers to stop them.

We have been sort of running guys, trying not to allow three-point shots in most of our conference towards -- in the playoffs and it was effective. We told the team, this team, we're more concerned with them driving and penetrating and so we -- you want to close out and contain them, and we weren't able to do that. Maybe it was because we didn't play a certain way now for about three weeks now and when we went out on guys pretty hard, they were able to get into the seems and either score themselves or find guys around the basket,.

So, we're disappointed. Again, I think that's a very good Oregon team, but we feel like we had a nice run here, and we have something to build on for the future," said Holy Cross Head Coach Bill Carmody after the game. 

Oregon Shows Why They Are a Top Seed

Oregon opened the game on a 14-4 run before Holy Cross cut it to eight, 19-11, with 9:48 to go in the first half. 

The Ducks then went on an 8-3 run to go up 27-14 and would extend it to 33-16 with 6:12 to play in the half. Oregon would take a 43-25 lead at the half. 

In the second half, it was more of the same. The Ducks began the half on an 11-2 run to go up 54-27 with 15:35 to play in the game. 

The Ducks would cruise to a 91-52 victory. 

The Leaders 

Holy Cross was led by Robert Champion who poured in 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting from the field. 

Malachi Alexander added 10 points on 3 of 9 shooting from the field. 

Holy Cross' Improbable Run 

The Crusaders finished the regular season with a record of 15-19 overall and 5-13 in conference play, getting the 9th seed in the Patriot League tournament. 

What followed is an improbable run that no one could see coming. 

The Crusaders beat Loyola in the first round, top seeded Bucknell in the second round in double overtime, Army in the semifinals and then Lehigh in the Patriot League Championship. 

Holy Cross won all 4 of those games on the road after not winning one conference road game in the regular season. 

The Crusaders were given a First Four play in game in which they faced Southern on Wednesday in Dayton. 

Holy Cross built a big lead early on and then held on in the second half for a 59-55 victory.

The victory was their first tournament win since 1953. 

"We learned a lot. It's something that we look forward to building off of. We got the majority of our team coming back next year. So, like we said in the locker room, we need to take a couple weeks off and get back in the gym and keep working.

It can only be positive, the stuff that you take away, you learn from the negatives, and you've realized what you've done and what you've accomplished and you move forward and try and do it again," said Robert Champion after the game. 


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