WORCESTER, Mass. - Malcolm Miller made two free throws with 24.8 seconds left to give College of the Holy Cross the lead, and Denzel Brito drew contact on his drive to the basket, but his layup with under three seconds left rimmed out, and the Crusaders held off Loyola University Maryland for a 63-60 Patriot League victory at the Hart Center.
Miller, who tied Loyola's Tyler Hubbard for game-high honors with 17 points, drove the right side of the lane and was fouled with 24.8 seconds left. He knocked down both free throws to give Holy Cross (12-15 overall, 7-10 Patriot League) the lead it had lost on the previous possession.
Franz Rassman, who had 12 points for the Greyhounds (11-17, 7-10), was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound and going to the rim with 37.2 seconds left, and he knocked down both from the stripe. His second free throw put Loyola in front for the first time since a Miller three put the Crusaders in front with 6:43 left in the first half.
Holy Cross led by six, 38-32, at halftime, and although a Rassman layup cut the deficit to two, 41-39, with 15:32 left in regulation, the Crusaders went on a 10-3 run to lead by nine, 51-42, with 9:12 on the clock.
Loyola held Holy Cross without a field goal, and to just four points from the free-throw line from that point until a transition basket by Robert Champion with 2:03 left pushed the Crusaders up 57-53.
Hubbard made an and-one layup with 1:40 left, making it a one-point Holy Cross lead, but Malachi Alexander made two free throws after drawing a foul outside the paint on the baseline, giving the Crusaders a three-point cushion.
Andre Walker hit a pull-up jumper inside the free-throw line on the Greyhounds' next possession, making it 59-58 Crusaders with 54.7 seconds left.
Justin Burrell went to the free-throw line four seconds later, but he missed the front of one-and-one, and Brito came down with the rebound for Loyola.
Rassman grabbed the rebound off a Walker missed shot in the paint, and he was fouled going back up with the ball. He made both free throws to put Loyola in front, 60-59, with 37.2 seconds left.
After a Holy Cross timeout, Miller worked the ball down the right side of the lane into two Loyola defenders, drawing a foul. He made both at the line, putting Holy Cross in front by one with just under 25 ticks left.
Brito's contested layup with with less than three seconds went astray, and Miller got the loose ball before being fouled. The officials put seven-tenths of a second left, and he made both foul shots to pad the margin.
Holy Cross converted on 20-of-27 foul shots in the game, while Loyola was 11-of-17.
Loyola allowed the Crusaders just six field goals in the second half, but they added 12 points from the line. The Greyhounds also did not allow a Holy Cross offensive rebound in the second half and just three in the game.
The Greyhounds close the regular-season at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, with a home game against the U.S. Naval Academy in Reitz Arena.