Game #9-462: Holy Cross Crusaders at American EaglesFebruary 17, 2013 12:00 pm
One of the things I've noticed about the games that I've been to this season that is many of them have not been very competitive. Part of this is simply the teams that I'm watching. While there have been a couple of exceptions, many of the teams that I'm watching are between two teams that are on opposite ends of their respective league's standings. This wasn't something that I planned, just something that happened as the season went on. Even the one game that I thought would be competitive (Lehigh and Lafayette) was a blowout. However, with the previous days Army-Navy game coming down to the last possession, I had some hope that I would get to see some competitive games throughout the rest of the season.
This brings me to the game between American University and Holy Cross. Both teams were coming to the end of struggling seasons. Coach Jeff Jones is in the middle of his worst season since taking over at American, and will have to play on the road in the first round of the Patriot League tournament for the first time in school history. Holy Cross, on the other hand, was picked to finish in the top half of the Patriot League standings, but entered the game losers of five of their last six.
While the game was picked up on national television, the atmosphere inside Bender Arena was par for two mediocre teams. The student section was maybe half-full, and while a station was set up for students to make their own signs to try to get on TV, staff members ended up making signs and tried to get students to hold them. I was sitting behind one of the baskets, and the same staff members unsuccessfully tried to get students that were sitting there to move to the student section behind the AU bench (hate to say it, but there just isn't a lot of excitement about the Eagles this year.) In addition, the crowd seemed very quiet to me.
I will give the two teams credit, the game was close. The two teams went back and forth in the first half, with American taking a three point lead into the locker room. American took an eight-point lead in the second half, but Holy Cross went of a 9-0 run to take the lead. However, the Eagles came back and tied the game at 53. Both teams had chances at the end to win the game, but neither was able to convert, forcing overtime. Through it all, the crowd was relatively quiet, with the exception of when the band's bagpipe player started playing. I think it was some sort of strategy to save him for a crucial part of the game to get people cheering.
In the extra session, Holy Cross scored first on a basket by Eric Obeysekere. However, the Eagles' Daniel Munoz responded, tying the game back up. Munoz then hit a #superhoop, but back to back Crusader buckets gave them a one point lead. The two teams were tied at 61 when Cullen Hamilton was fouled going for a rebound with five seconds left, giving the Crusaders a chance to win. However, he missed the shot, and a Daniel Munoz superhoop at the buzzer game the Eagles the walk-off 64-61 victory. With that shot, Bender Arena finally got loud. It was the first buzzer-beater I've witnessed live, although a part of me would have preferred it to be in a different environment.
at AMERICAN 64, HOLY CROSS 61
HOLY CROSS 11-14 (3-7) -- J. Burrell 3-18 2-2 8; C. Hamilton 3-5 0-1 8; D. Dudzinski 9-21 1-1 19; M. Miller 1-2 1-2 3; E. Obeysekere 2-2 2-4 6; P. Beans 4-7 0-0 10; J. Stevens 1-1 1-2 4; D. Goens 1-2 0-0 3; C. Morgan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-59 7-12 61.
AMERICAN 10-15 (5-5) -- J. Schoof 5-10 1-1 15; D. Munoz 6-17 0-1 14; S. Lumpkins 8-17 1-4 17; B. Jolivette 2-4 0-0 4; T. Wroblicky 3-4 0-2 6; M. Bersch 1-3 0-0 3; K. Kager 1-2 0-0 3; J. Reed 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 26-59 4-10 64.
Three-point goals: HC 6-13 (D. Goens 1-1; J. Stevens 1-1; P. Beans 2-4; J. Burrell 0-2; M. Miller 0-1; C. Hamilton 2-4), AMER 8-19 (M. Bersch 1-3; D. Munoz 2-7; K. Kager 1-1; J. Schoof 4-7; J. Reed 0-1); Rebounds: HC 33 (M. Miller 9), AMER 36 (S. Lumpkins 12); Assists: HC 15 (J. Burrell 9), AMER 16 (D. Munoz 5); Total Fouls -- HC 17, AMER 12; Fouled Out: HC-None; AMER-None.
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