Feb. 23, 2014
WORCESTER, Mass. -
Senior forward Dave Dudzinski scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds to lead Holy Cross (17-11, 11-5 PL) past visiting Navy (9-18, 4-12), 74-57, at the Hart Center on Sunday afternoon. Holy Cross built up a 21-point lead midway through the second half and was able to hold off a late Navy rally.
Navy outshot Holy Cross (41% to 40%) but the Crusaders converted 25-of-31 free throws (18-of-20 in the second half) and never allowed the Mids within 10 after taking an 18-7 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half. Holy Cross also had 19 points off of Navy's 12 turnovers to go along with 14 second-chance points off of 14 offensive rebounds.
"In the first half we just gave them so many points off our turnovers," head coach Ed DeChellis said. "They scored 34 in the first half and 15 were off our turnovers. We did not do a good job taking care of the ball in the first half and it was really hard for us to score."
Senior Thurgood Wynn scored a team-high 14 points for Navy, all of which came in the second half. Junior forward Worth Smith tallied 12 points and eight rebounds and junior guard Kevin Alter added eight points and four assists.
Smith scored four of Navy's first six points in the contest as Navy led 6-5, but Holy Cross then went on a 13-1 run over the next 8:30 before Smith scored again to break the spurt. The Crusaders then expanded its lead even more with a 14-3 run over the next five minutes to go ahead by 20 at 32-12 with 4:38 to play in the first half.
Navy got a layup by Smith, a 3-pointer by junior guard Brandon Venturini and then a layup by freshman center Edward Alade for a 7-0 run before Eric Green stole an inbounds pass at half court and went ahead for a fast-break dunk to give the Crusaders a 34-19 halftime lead.
Holy Cross built up its lead in the second half to as much as 21 at 50-29 with 10:46 remaining before the efforts of Wynn brought the game back within reach.
Wynn started a 14-4 run with a 3-pointer from the corner and then had a steal and a fast-break layup on the next possession. Following two made free throws by Green, Wynn knocked down another 3-pointer. Then after a Dudzinski layup, Wynn converted an and-one play after being fouled on a made layup to score 11 straight points for the Midshipmen. Freshman Zach Fong then hit a triple as Navy cut the decifit to 11 at 54-43.
Holy Cross would push the lead back to 14, but Fong and Alter nailed 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to cut the lead to 10 at 60-50. Both teams made a pair of free throws as the margin remained at 10 at 62-52 and then Fong's 3-pointer from the corner that would have cut the margin to seven just rimmed out.
Anthony Thompson answered on the other end with a 3-pointer from 23 feet, which ignited an 8-0 Holy Cross run that grew the margin to 18 at 70-52 with three minutes left, effectively putting the game out of reach.
"We played better in the last eight minutes and that was positive," said DeChellis. "The guys started to attack the basket and we got the game down to 10. Thurgood and Kevin Alter came off the bench and they were able to get us back into the game."
Dudzinski's double-double was aided by going 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Thompson finished with 17 points and Green had 14.
Navy will play its final two games of the regular season at Alumni Hall next week. The Mids will host American on Wednesday at 7:00 PM and Loyola on Saturday at 2:00 PM.