'Saders out of comfort zone; HC defense still work in progress.

Byline: Chris A. Courogen

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Sean Kearney is not a zone defense kind of guy. But when he took the Holy Cross men's basketball job, he promised to keep the schematics of Ralph Willard's vaunted matchup in his desk drawer just in case.

For most of the season, those comments seemed to be little more than lip service to the coaching legend he was replacing. But as the losses piled up for the Crusaders, and continued to pile higher even when the schedule shifted to softer, Patriot League competition, Kearney got out those plans and dusted them off.

In a pair of wins last week, HC held a very good-shooting Lafayette team to 28 percent and just 46 points and held Army to 56 points on 32 percent shooting. The two wins came playing zone almost all 80 minutes. Things were looking up.

Or at least they were before Bucknell's Darryl Shazier buried four first-half 3-pointers to spark the Bison to a 68-63 win over the Crusaders (7-18, 4-6 Patriot League) yesterday at Sojka Pavilion.

"We knew Shazier was a threat from the 3-point line. We needed to tag him a little more in our zone defense" said Holy Cross sophomore Mike Cavataio. "It was definitely a sign (the zone) is a work in progress."

In the postgame, Shazier laughed when somebody asked if they should call him "zone-buster." Shazier finished with a career-high 27 points. In addition to hitting the four 3-pointers, he scored two other 3-point plays the old-fashioned way off dribble penetration.

"After I hit a couple shots in the beginning, it opened up driving lanes for me," said Shazier.

And it opened up shots for other Bison (11-15, 6-4), especially freshman forward Joe Willman, who finished with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Most of his points came on soft, mid-range baseline jumpers left open when the HC defense collapsed on Shazier's penetration.

"It helps when Darryl knocks shots down from out there," Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen said. "That stretches them out and opens up things for...

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