Tag: Holy Cross Crusaders

Holy Cross Makes History, Rallies To Beat Sacred Heart, 13-10

Matthew Sluka threw the game-winning touchdown pass on Saturday to send Holy Cross past Sacred Heart in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA FCS Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger Photography/Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Saturday was a historical day for the Holy Cross football team.

The Crusaders won their first-ever postseason contest by rallying to defeat Sacred Heart University, 13-10, in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA FCS Tournament.

With the win, Holy Cross snapped a five-game losing streak in the “second season,” which includes a trio of first-round setbacks to secure a date with Villanova University on Friday, December 3 in the second round. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Holy Cross erased a 10-3 deficit during its final two series with a 38-yard field goal by Derek Ng and a 35-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Sluka to Jalen Coker, which provided the hosts with their first and only lead. Sluka’s touchdown was reviewed, but not reversed — the go-ahead score occurred with 14 seconds remaining in the final session.

Sluka concluded the contest with 171 passing yards on 13 of 19 attempts to go with a game-high 90 yards on 23 carries. Peter Oliver added 15 yards on three carries while Coker led all receivers with five receptions for 103 yards.

Sacred Heart’s Rob McCoy provided the Pioneers with a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter when he capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a five-yard score. Holy Cross would counter late in the second with a 23-yard field goal by Ng before Sacred Heart added to its lead with a 33-yard field goal from Noah Gettman with 12:09 remaining in the final stanza.

McCoy led the Pioneers’ rushing attack with seven carries for 62 yards while quarterback Marquez McCray registered 137 yards of total offense, including 78 passing yards.

Holy Cross accumulated 288 total yards of offense on 56 plays compared to Sacred Heart, which finished with 236 yards on 56 plays.

Like Holy Cross, Sacred Heart was seeking its first-ever playoff victory, but today’s loss sends the Pioneers to 0-4 in the postseason, including 0-3 against teams from the Patriot League (Fordham University beat the Red and White in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014).

Sacred Heart concludes its 2021 campaign with eight wins while Holy Cross scored its 10th victory, which is the most a Purple and White squad has accumulated since posting an 11-0 record in 1991.

Holy Cross has never competed in the second round of the FCS Tournament but did appear in the quarterfinals in 1983 when they lost to Western Carolina.

Villanova has won 13 of 22 meetings with Holy Cross, including a first-round matchup in 2009 when the Wildcats defeated the Crusaders, 38-28. The Purple and White’s last win over the Wildcats occurred in 1989.  

Holy Cross, Sacred Heart Seek First Postseason Victory

Quarterback Matthew Sluka has guided the Holy Cross football team to a 9-2 overall record this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger Photography/Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Saturday will be a special day for either Holy Cross or Sacred Heart University.

The two teams secured a date in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA FCS Playoffs with the winner advancing to the second round next Saturday, December 4 against Villanova University.

Neither team has won a postseason contest, but this is certainly not the first time either school has competed in the playoffs.

Holy Cross, which is making its sixth appearance in the postseason, has lost three first-round matchups, a quarterfinal meeting with Western Carolina, and their first and only trip to the Orange Bowl in 1946 to the University of Miami.  

Sacred Heart has made three trips to the playoffs and dropped a pair of first-round contests to Fordham University in 2013 and 2014. This past spring, the University of Delaware outlasted the Pioneers, 19-10.

Both teams captured their respective conference title this fall – the Patriot League for Holy Cross and Northeast Conference (NEC) for Sacred Heart – and boast identical six-game winning streaks, which began last month.

Holy Cross appears to be the “favorite” in this matchup – currently, the Crusaders are ranked 24th in the latest FCS Coaches Poll with the 10th best rushing attack (the team is averaging 217.7 yards per game). Additionally, their defense is very good. The Purple and White have forced 24 turnovers, including 18 interceptions, which is the second-most in the FCS behind Austin Peay with 19 and held opponents to 76.6 rushing yards per game.

Linebacker Jacob Dobbs was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, while coach Bob Chesney earned the conference’s Dick Biddle Coach of the Year award (Dick Biddle was previously an assistant and coach of the Colgate University football team). Both are also being considered for national awards.

Holy Cross quarterback Matthew Sluka, who was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year this past spring, has tallied 23 touchdowns this fall, including a team-high 13 scores on the ground. He will certainly be a player to watch, along with halfback Peter Oliver and linebacker Liam Anderson.

The most intriguing matchup to watch on Saturday is the Holy Cross rushing defense against Sacred Heart’s Malik Grant, who led the Northeast Conference with 1,288 yards on 226 carries and nine touchdowns. He is currently averaging 117.09 yards per game and one of 12 FCS halfbacks to rush for 1,000 yards or more this season.

In addition to Grant, fans should keep an eye on halfback Julius Chestnut, who only played four times this fall, but is gaining attention from NFL scouts. The Bowie, Maryland native has rushed for 100 yards or more in three contests while locating the end zone three times.

Holy Cross has won a pair of meetings against Sacred Heart with their last win coming in 2009 when the Crusaders won nine games like they did this fall.

Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. with the game being streamed on ESPN+.

BU Women’s Basketball Remains Perfect, Tops Holy Cross, 72-56

Katie Nelson netted a game-high 20 points on Tuesday as Boston University topped Holy Cross for its second-straight win. (PHOTO COURTESY: The Daily Free Press/HANNAH YOSHINAGA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF)

By Matt Noonan

Make it two-straight for the Boston University women’s basketball team, which secured its first home-and-home sweep of the 2020-21 season this afternoon with a 72-56 victory over Holy Cross in Worcester.

Katie Nelson netted double-figures for the second-straight day, finishing with a game-high 20 points on 7 of 10 shooting to go with six assists, two steals, and one block. Maggie Pina chipped in 11 points while Kelsi Mingo added eight points, two assists, and one steal off the bench.

Cara McCormack led the Crusaders with 18 points on 6 of 14 shooting while Oluchi Ezemma led all players with 10 rebounds.

The Terriers led by five points after one quarter before securing a 35-17 lead at the break, but the Crusaders would reduce the deficit during the final two sessions, as well as outscore the visitors, 24-17, during the final frame. Boston University limited Holy Cross to just seven points in the second quarter, which was the lowest amount of points the Purple and White have produced in eight quarters this winter.

As of this evening, Boston University is one of three teams in the Patriot League without a setback – the Terriers will look to continue their early season momentum on Saturday, January 9 when they visit Colgate for a 1 p.m. tip-off.

Holy Cross is scheduled to compete in a home-and-home series with Army this weekend – the two teams will begin the series in New York on Saturday, January 9 with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m.

Tate’s Double-Double Highlights BU’s Win Over Holy Cross

By Matt Noonan

Roxbury, Massachusetts’ Daman Tate recorded a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds in BU’s opening-day win. (PHOTO COURTESY: Boston University Athletics/Erin Locascio)

Daman Tate produced his first double-double of the season with 26 points and 10 rebounds to go with four steals and one assist as the Boston University men’s basketball team tipped-off its 2020-21 campaign with an 83-76 win over Holy Cross on Monday afternoon in Worcester.

“He was terrific and obviously did a lot of things well,” Boston University men’s basketball coach Joe Jones said of Tate, via Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald.

Monday’s contest marked the beginning of an abridged season for both teams – initially, the Terriers and Crusaders were scheduled to compete two days earlier, but the home-and-home series was delayed “due to Boston University’s testing schedule and cadence resulting from the holiday break.”

The Terriers, who were picked to capture the Patriot League crown for the second-straight season, received 10 points and seven rebounds from Sukhmail Mathon, along with 17 points off the bench from Javante McCoy. Jack Hemphill provided 12 points off the bench to go with five rebounds, one steal, and one block.

Holy Cross led Boston University, 44-39, at the break, but the Terriers stormed back during the final 20 minutes, outscoring the hosts, 44-32.

Austin Butler paced the Crusaders with 24 points and eight rebounds while Gerrale Gates added 19 points and eight boards.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Boston University wore masks, not just on the sidelines, but also on the court.

Both teams will compete tomorrow in Boston with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m.

WACBA Honor Roll: Men’s Basketball Week Four (Dec. 4th)

WACBABy WACBA Hoops | @WACBAHoops 

WORCESTER  Another busy week of college basketball in the Worcester area is in the books, which means its time to unveil our fourth Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Men’s Basketball Honor Roll, including our Player and Rookie of the Week honors.

Make sure to stay connected with @WACBAHoops today on Twitter for game results, news and more.


Morrow WEB

WACBA Men’s Player of the Week: Matt Morrow (Nichols College | Soph. | Leicester, Mass.):Morrow averaged a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds while shooting 74 percent from the floor in a pair of conference wins for the Bison last week. He dropped in 18 points and pulled down seven boards in a win over Salve Regina on Wednesday, then posted 18 points and pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds in a win over arch rival Endicott. Morrow is averaging 14.5 points and 11.2 rebounds in six games this season.

Hassell WEB WACBA WACBA Men’s Rookie of the Week: Eddie Hassell (Worcester State | Fr. | Milton, Mass.): The two-time reigning MASCAC Rookie of the Week helped the Lancers score back-to-back wins over Lasell College and Connecticut College by averaging seven points and four rebounds. Against the Lasers, Hassell netted eight points on 3 of 7 shooting, while adding two points at the free throw line. Additionally, he recorded four rebounds and one block in the win, too. Against the Camels, he stuffed the stat sheet with six points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and one assist.

Men’s Basketball Honor Roll

Kareem Davis (Becker College | Sr.| Lowell, Mass.): Davis averaged 24.3 points per game over three games this past week, with 5.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals. The senior team captain shot 45 percent from the floor and 32 percent from behind the arc. Unquestionably the highlight of his season so far came on Tuesday as the Hawks hosted Springfield College, who had been ranked #7 in the country the week before. Davis scored a career-high 34 points to lead Becker to the upset victory, their first of the season.

Jacob Grandison (Holy Cross | Soph.|Oakland, Calif.): Led the team with 21 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals at Harvard. He also made all five of his three-point attempts at Harvard, to tie the school single-game record for three-point percentage. He then totaled 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in the victory over Fairleigh Dickinson. For the week, Grandison averaged 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals on the week, while hitting 54.5 percent from three-point range.

Jake Wisniewski (WPI | Jr.|West Brookfield, Mass.): Wisniewski narrowly missed a double-double with 9.5 points and 10.5 rebounds as the 6-0 Engineers went 2-0 last week. He began with 11 points and a game-best 10 rebounds at Tufts on Tuesday. The local product then scored eight points and hauled in 11 boards in a WACBA showdown Saturday at Fitchburg State.

Shaun McCarthy (Worcester State | Jr.|Oxford, Mass.): McCarthy averaged 15 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as the Lancers went 2-0 on the week. McCarthy opened the week with a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double in a win over Lasell College on Thursday, before putting up 14 points in a win over Connecticut College on Saturday. McCarthy currently ranks second on the Lancers with 13.1 points per game.


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