Friday night results

(Updated: 9:55 a.m.)

Holy Cross 81, Lafayette 60: Ten in a row for the Crusaders, behind sophomore sixth-man extraordinaire Keith Simmons and Kevin Hamilton's twin 16-points nights.

Ever read a story and wonder if the person who wrote it knows what the hell they are talking about? Maybe, if you are a Holy Cross fan, and you already read Matt Kalman's piece in the Herald about last night's Lafayette game, you know what I am talking about. Here's the lead paragraph:
Out on the fast break, where Holy Cross thrives better than Popeye on a case of spinach, Keith Simmons can provide a healthy combination of power and finesse for the Crusaders.
Holy Cross thrives on the fast break? Well maybe. But if they do, they sure have hid it well in the five games I have seen them. I pulled the box scores from the last two weekends. At Lafayette, they didn't keep track, but I promise it was no run-and-gun show for the Crusaders. At Lehigh they scored 2 points on the break. At Navy, 7; at American 8 (with the benefit of overtime). Also saw them at Bucknell, no numbers on the final box, but trust me, neither team did much running.

From the sound of things, Keith Simmons threw down a couple times in transition against Lafayette last night. But that does not make Holy Cross a team that thrives like "Popeye on a case of spinach." Matter of fact, if you look at the box score, Holy Cross had 10 fast break points out of the 81 it scored.

What Holy Cross did thrive on was what it always thrives on: Defense. Lafayette was held under 30 percent from the floor the first half, and was only slightly better (20-for-60, 33.3 percent) for the game.

I don't blame fans if they get a little excited when they see a dunk or two, but Kalman's gushing over Simmons having a pair of slams, while ignoring the real keys to Holy Cross' win, sure makes you wonder if he really understands the game.

Personally, we much prefer Jen Toland's story in the Telegram&Gazette (which apparently you can get with no subscription since they redesigned the site). Showing her knowledge of the game and the team, Toland gives context to what happened, spending morew time on how HC reacted to the injuries and illnesses that plagued them all week to avoid a letdown against Lafayette.
Box score | AP wrap | HC recap | Lafayette recap

Bucknell 65, American 52: Defense, baby, defense. BU held Andre Ingram and Jason Thomas to a combined 4-for-21 and 9 points.

We hate to say we told you so. Err ... OK, no we don't. Actually, we get a big kick out of it.

From Tom Housenick's Daily Item story on Bucknell's win over American:
Andre Ingram, the Patriot League's leading scorer, managed just four points for the second game this season against Bucknell.

In two games against the Bison, the sophomore-- last season's PL rookie of the year-- is a combined 3 of 25 shooting.

"We've pulled him from some practices because he's played a lot of minutes," Jones said. "We're trying to do some things differently to keep him fresh."
Back on Dec. 9, after AU's win over Towson, we first made the argument that depth was going to be a problem for AU down the stretch:
Late in the season, when the starters begin to get worn down from all the minutes they are playing, this could be a problem for the Eagles.
In other posts we specifically mentioned the number of minutes Ingram was piling up. AU fans jumped all over us earlier this week when we suggested he did not deserve Player of the Week honors for last week because despite nice numbers against Holy Cross, he disappeared for long stretches of the second half, missed the free throw that could have won it in regulation (drew front iron, sign of tired legs) and spent OT on the side of a milk carton.

But Jones now confirms it: Ingram's legs are weary. That is not a good sign for American.

David Jones of the Patriot-News made another visit to Sojka, and filed his usual fine report. Jones called it the "prototypical Flannery game":
Jump on the opponent from the tip, get into them on defense, remove what they want to do most. Then grind through 25-34 seconds of pattern at the other end and wait for precisely the shots they want.

Box score | AP wrap | Bucknell recap | AU recap

Colgate 72, Navy 67: Andrew Zidar's 10-point, 13-rebound double-double pulls the 'Gate within a game of American for fourth place, with the Eagles headed to Hamilton Sunday.
Box score | AP wrap | Colgate recap | Navy recap

Lehigh 69, Army 64: One Joe Knight tops five Black Knights, hitting two free throws with 2.1 to go to seal the much-closer-than-anyone-could-have-imagined win for Lehigh.
Box score | AP wrap | Army recap | Lehigh recap

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