Yale (16-13) at Holy Cross (20-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 22, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hart Center (3,600) -- Worcester, Massachusetts. Television: None. CIT Record: Yale 1-1, Holy Cross 1-0. Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 35-32.
GAME NOTES: After both teams won their first-ever CollegeInsider.com Tournament game earlier this week, the Yale Bulldogs and the Holy Cross Crusaders will meet up in second-round action on Saturday night at the Hart Center.
Yale had lost four of five heading into the first round of this event before moving to 16-13 in a thrilling 69-68 triumph over Quinnipiac on Wednesday. The Bulldogs trailed the tight game by two in the waning seconds before Justin Sears connected on the game-winning 3-pointer just prior to the buzzer sounding, capping off an impressive 10-of-24 showing from beyond the arc on the evening for the team. Javier Duren paced the winning effort with 17 points, Matt Townsend scored 12 and Sears stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals.
Holy Cross also came out victorious in a close matchup in the tournament's first round, as it outlasted Brown, 68-65, to improve to 20-13, the program's first 20-win campaign since qualifying for the NCAA Tournament as the Patriot League champions in 2007 (25-9). The Crusaders built a lead at large as 19 in their latest game, but while Brown clawed its way back to make it a one- possession game late, they held on for the three-point win by outshooting the Bears from the field, 42.2 percent to 38.4 percent. All five starters scored in double figures in the triumph, led by 15 points from Anthony Thompson. Eric Green added 14 points, while Malcolm Miller, Dave Dudzinski and Justin Burrell all netted 10.
These New England foes have met 67 times before, with Holy Cross holding to a 35-32 lead, although Yale has won four in a row.
In what has been largely an up-and-down season for Yale, it has shot a mere 41.7 percent from the field for 66.7 ppg, which has neutralized a impressive defensive effort (.435, 66.2 ppg). It is also hindered by a poor 3-point percentage (.319), although its +4.1 rebounding margin helps it earn a few more possessions per game. Sears was a First Team All-Ivy League selection and puts up 16.9 ppg (on 50.8 percent field goal shooting) and 7.2 rpg. Duren (12.6 ppg) is the only other player in double figures but does so on a mere 35.4 percent shooting.
Holy Cross is built in a similar mold as Yale. The Crusaders make field goals at a lackluster 42.9 percent efficiency for 67.0 ppg, but their scoring defense (65.1 ppg) has been strong enough to lead them to a winning record. Dudzinski is a mainstay in the frontcourt with 15.2 ppg and 7.5 rpg, while Miller (10.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg), Anthony Thompson (9.4 ppg) and Burrell (9.1 ppg) are also integral pieces of the puzzle.
Holy Cross and Yale are making the most of the postseason opportunity the CIT allows small-time programs and will both be eager to advance to the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs were able to survive the last round at home, but they'll have a tougher time in this bout considering their poor 6-9 road mark.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Holy Cross 66, Yale 63
03/22 10:16:48 ET