American came into their contest with Holy Cross having split their last four Patriot League games. Both the Eagles and Crusaders shared a 2-6 conference record coming in. In what proved to be an exciting game, the Crusaders would outlast American, 60-57. Holy Cross’ Jehyve Floyd would finish with a career high in points (22) and blocks (6).
The first half saw a couple of good runs one by each team. The Crusaders started off by going on a 7-0 run led by Floyd. The 6′ 8″ junior scored 4 points during the run with a couple of baskets in the lane as he finished with 13 points in the half. The Crusaders lead grew to as big as 6 points. But, the Eagles would storm back to close the half. An 11-3 run led by Sam Iorio’s 5 points put the Eagles up 25-23 at the intermission.
Iorio finished the half with 12 points and all everything sophomore, Sa’eed Nelson, dished out 6 assists in the first 20 minutes.
But, despite being down at the half, the Crusaders had shot an impressive 60% from the floor and had outrebounded the Eagles 15-7 but 13 first half turnovers had turned into 14 American points.
The second half was much like the first, a pressure filled possession by possession battle. American jumped out to a seven point lead behind as Larry Motuzis scored six quick points in the half but Holy Cross stormed back as Floyd staged his on personal block party. As he was controlling the paint on the defensive end, the Crusaders started warming up on offense.
Caleb Green’s 7 points keyed a 14-3 run, as the Crusaders hit 8 of their first 10 shots of the half. Green would shoot 5-5 in the second half scoring 13 points in the half. The hot start gave the Crusaders a 44-40 lead. It was American’s turn to go on a run. An 8-2 run put the Eagles back in the lead and it stayed a single possession game for both teams for the rest of the way.
Up one, Holy Cross’ Karl Charles missed a three pointer and American called a timeout with 27.1 seconds left. Out of the timeout, Nelson would drive and kick the ball out to Motuzis, who was hot from the corner all night, but this time his shot was long. After a scramble for the rebound, it was Holy Cross’ ball.
With 13.4 seconds left Holy Cross’ Jacob Grandison would go to the line for a one and one. He would make both to put the Crusaders up by three. American had one more chance but James Washington’s 3 would be off the mark as the Crusaders came away with a 60-57 win.