Hartford (2-4) vs. Holy Cross (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 24, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mohegan Sun Arena (10,000) -- Uncasville, Connecticut. Television: None. Home Record: Hartford 1-0, Holy Cross 1-0. Away Record: Hartford 1-2, Holy Cross 1-1. Neutral Record: Hartford 0-2, Holy Cross 0-2. Conference Record: Hartford 0-0, Holy Cross 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 6-6.
GAME NOTES: The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip Off draws to a close today in Connecticut, with one of the four games featuring a matchup between Hartford and Holy Cross.
The Hawks won their first game of this event at Fairfield on Nov. 13 by a score of 65-53, but the squad was crushed by Louisville in the second game of the tourney, 87-48, in Kentucky, and then came up short in an 81-78 final versus Hofstra on Saturday.
As for the Crusaders, they too took down the Stags earlier in this tourney, 63-49, but yesterday against Belmont the team was handed an 81-70 setback, the third in five games overall for Holy Cross.
According to Hartford sources, the all-time series between these teams is split, 6-6, with the latest meeting taking place last season as Hartford captured a 48-45 win to snap a four-game slide versus the Crusaders.
Hartford actually led Hofstra by five midway through the second half yesterday, the Hawks shooting an impressive 60.0 percent from the field, but the team was outscored at the free-throw line in the frame, 18-6. Taylor Dyson led five players in double figures with his 16 points, followed by Mark Nwakamma with 15, Evan Cooper and Yolonzo Moore with 13 points apiece and Oren Faulk 10 to go along with eight rebounds.
Through the first five games of the season, Nwakamma is the only player scoring in double figures for the Hawks with his 18.2 ppg, his 7.2 rpg also pacing the program. However, the other category in which Nwakamma has more than anyone else is in the turnover department where he fumbled the ball away 18 times. Prior to the Hofstra meeting, the Hawks were scoring just 62.6 ppg as they shot 63.0 percent at the free-throw line.
Holy Cross may have led by four over Belmont in the opening minute of action on Saturday, but it wasn't long before the Crusaders found themselves floundering with just 33.3 percent shooting from the floor in the opening frame and permitting 62.1 percent to the Bruins. Overall, the Holy Cross defense allowed 56.9 percent from the floor by Belmont, including 9-of-17 beyond the arc.
Cullen Hamilton scored a team-best 16 points, Dave Dudzinski and Anthony Thompson stepped up with 15 apiece and reserve Malachi Alexander 10 points, but the latter also accounted for six of the unit's 16 turnovers, without benefit of even a single assist.
Dudzinski and Hamilton are generating 16.8 and 16.2 ppg, respectively, at the moment, the former also pulling down 7.4 rpg to pace the group. However, Dudzinski has also been charged with 14 turnovers and handed out only four assists, so having the ball in his hand is not always the best option for Holy Cross.
With a much more balanced scoring attack, this is a game that should suit the Crusaders, barring any unforeseen obstacles at Mohegan Sun Arena this evening.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Holy Cross 69, Hartford 62
11/24 10:33:34 ET