'Saders keep streak alive; 23rd straight win for HC at Hart.


Byline: Jennifer Toland

WORCESTER - In recent years, these Holy Cross-Boston University matchups certainly haven't lacked for late-game excitement. Last night's meeting between the in-state rivals goes in the down-to-the-wire category as well.

Junior point guard Pat Doherty and junior forward Colin Cunningham combined to score six points in the last 25 seconds and the Crusaders held on for a much-needed 65-62 win before a crowd of 2,112 at the Hart Center.

HC (8-3) has won five straight against the Terriers (3-9). Four of the last five meetings between the schools have been decided by three points or less, including last year's 73-70 overtime thriller at BU.

The win was HC's 23rd straight in this building - tied for the fifth-longest home court winning streak in the country - and the Crusaders were very happy to be home. They hadn't played here since a 60-39 win over Yale on Nov. 28.

"Guys were talking about it before the game," said Doherty, who led Holy Cross with 20 points. "It was good to see the white uniforms."

The Crusaders also snapped a two-game skid, which included disappointing losses at Siena and Sacred Heart. Holy Cross started the year with six consecutive wins and won at St. Joseph's in its last game before the break.

"Coming into this game, we weren't down, but we weren't doing things we did early in the season," Cunningham said. "We wanted to bounce back and get something going."

After Cunningham forced a turnover in front of the BU bench with 2:46 to play, Alex Vander Baan scored inside off a feed from Tim Clifford to give the Crusaders a 56-49 lead with 2:12 left.

The Terriers hung in, though, and after a layup by center Scott Brittain and a 3-pointer by Carlos Strong, it was a two-point game with 57 seconds to play.

Cunningham hit a jumper with 25 seconds left and Doherty made four straight free throws to help HC seal it.

Doherty scored 16 points in the second half, 12 in the last 7:39. He was 4 of 5 from the field, 10 of 11 from the free throw line. With HC up, 51-49, with 3:38 left, Doherty, the team's best free throw shooter, missed the front end of a one-and-one, but he made up for it on Holy Cross' next possession by nailing a 3-pointer.

Cunningham, who was 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and Clifford each added 16 points. Clifford had eight rebounds and six blocks.

The Crusaders led by a point at halftime and extended their advantage to eight on a Cunningham 3-pointer three minutes into the second. The Terriers stayed...

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