WORCESTER, Mass. — Justin Crosgile recorded career highs in points (19) and three-pointers (five) as Saint Joseph's beat Holy Cross, 65-54, in a nonconference game last night at the Hart Center.
The victory snapped a six-game losing streak and enabled the Hawks to avoid their longest slump since they lost seven straight in the 2008-09 season.
C.J. Aiken chipped in with 10 points while Mike Cavataio was the only Crusader to reach double figures with 12 points.
Aiken also led both teams with five blocked shots while Langston Galloway topped the Hawks with nine rebounds.
The Hawks (4-8) were able to build on their halftime lead as the second half progressed due in large part to the shooting of Crosgile.
During one sequence, for example, he buried consecutive three-point shots, which gave the Hawks their largest lead of the game – 53-36 with 9:12 left on the clock.
The Crusaders (1-10) slapped on a full-court press in the final 4 minutes, producing three Hawk turnovers.
Those miscues fueled a 6-0 run, which enabled the Crusaders to pull within 62-51 with 1:40 remaining.
Saint Joseph's blunted that rally when Galloway and Crosgile each sank both ends of a one-and-one foul opportunity.
The Hawks almost gave new meaning to the phrase "deep freeze" because they began the game by missing their first nine shots and 12 of their first 13. But due to a combination of their man-to-man defense, shot-blocking (five, to be precise) and Holy Cross' errant shooting (32.1 percent on 9-for-28) the Hawks led 31-23 at the half.
Holy Cross led 12-10 after Eric Obeysekere nailed a jumper, but C. J. Aiken countered with a shot from the right base line, igniting an 11-0 run for St. Joe's.
Aiken scored the first five points during that run while Carl Jones accounted for the last five, which gave Saint Joseph's a 23-10 advantage.
Jones scored nine consecutive Saint Joseph's points including a three-point shot that increased the Hawks' lead to 26-12.
The Hawks came within inches of having a double-digit lead at the break, but Andrew Keister tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer, which sliced the Crusaders' deficit to eight points.
Saint Joseph's shot a much-improved 50 percent (13-for-26) in the second half.