WORCESTER, Mass. - Holy Cross' duo of Justin Burrell and James Dudzinski combined for 60 points as the Crusaders topped the Columbia men's basketball team, 78-69, on Tuesday night. The Lions wrap up non-conference play with an 8-6 record and will open up the Ivy League portion of the schedule at Cornell on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Burrell finished with 29 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor, while Dudzinski posted 31 points, knocking down 10-of-14 of his attempts.
Both teams went back-and-forth in the first half that saw the lead change hands eight times before Burrell put on a show in the final minutes of the frame. The speedy point guard scored eight-straight, and finished the half with 17, to give Holy Cross a 34-25 advantage heading into the locker room.
Dudzinski did the majority of his work in the second half, registering 24 of his points after the intermission. Columbia tried to get back into the game on several occasions, drawing as close as 53-48 after a pair of Mullins free-throws at the 8:57 mark.
However, every time the Lions tried to rally, the Crusaders had an answer. Holy Cross quickly built the lead back up to double-figures less than a minute later, and after Brian Barbour scored five in a row to make it a two-possession game, Burrell and Dudzinski guided the Crusaders to an 8-3 spurt to balloon the lead back to 68-58 with 5:45 left.
Columbia would not go without a fight, knocking down shots down the stretch, but Holy Cross remained in front to claim the win.
The Crusaders finished the game shooting at a 51.0 percent clip and were 6-of-11 from downtown.
The Lions game against the Big Red is slated for a 3:00 p.m. start and will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.