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Holy Cross Vs. Boston College: Eagles Host In-State Rival Crusaders

History hasn't always been kind to Boston College when it comes to match-ups against Holy Cross.

The Eagles trail the all-time series record 52-57 dating back to the first meeting in the 1905-06 season. However, recent history is on the Eagles' side after they won the last game against the Crusaders Jan. 17, 2006 in Worcester, MA.

Boston College will look to build on that recent success when it hosts Holy Cross at Conte Forum Monday night (7 p.m. ET, WRKO).

It was a milestone game for the Eagles back in 2006, as Craig Smith scored his 2,000th career point in the first half and finished with 19 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to lead No. 21 Boston College past Holy Cross.

Boston College led 31-27 entering halftime, and the Eagles went on a 9-0 run to start the second half and never looked back. Sean Williams had 13 points and five rebounds and Jared Dudley added 12 points, five rebounds and two steals in the win.

Three players scored in double-digits for the Crusaders. Kevin Hamilton Jr. led the team with 17 points, seven rebound and six steals while Torey Thomas scored 16 points. The Eagles held the Crusaders' leading scorer, Keith Simmons, to two points in 23 minutes. However, Simmons was dealing with cramps all throughout the game.

But that's all a memory now, and Holy Cross will look to avenge that loss tonight. 

The Crusaders (0-3) have been off to a very slow start, falling short in each of their first three games. In its season opener, Holy Cross lost to the College of Charleston 93-84. The Cougars shot an impressive 63.6% from the field (35-of-55) and held the Crusaders to 51.6% shooting (33-of-64).

Mike Cavataio and R.J. Evans led Holy Cross with 16 points a piece. Andrew Keister added 15 points and 10 rebounds in the season-opening loss.

Holy Cross didn't fare any better in its second game against Harvard, losing 72-49 in Cambridge. Harvard's Keith Wright scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half to lead the Crimson past the Crusaders.

Evans had 12 points to lead Holy Cross, which shot an abysmal 25% (6-of-24) in the loss. Without surprise, Evans was the only Crusader to reach the double-digit scoring mark in the game.

The Crusaders made progress in their last game, but ultimately fell 55-52 against New Hampshire in Durham. Holy Cross led 52-51 with 33 seconds left, but UNH's Tyrone Conley buried a three-pointer to give the Wildcats the lead for good.

Holy Cross had two opportunity to knot the score. With 18 seconds left, Devin Brown (team-high 16 points) missed a potential game-tying lay up. Mike Cavataio grabbed Brown's miss but also missed his lay up, dooming the Crusaders.

After calling a timeout with nine seconds remaining, Holy Cross' Andrew Beinert missed the game-tying three pointer, giving the Wildcats the hard-earned victory.

It's certainly been a rough start for Holy Cross, which was the Patriot League's most disappointing team a season ago. The poor finish resulted in the firing of head coach Sean Kearney.

Milan Brown was brought in as Kearney's replacement. Brown led Mount St. Mary to the NCAA  two years ago.

Andrew Keister was expected to pace the Crusaders entering the 2010-11 season after averaging 10.2 points and 8.9 rebounds last year. He led the Patriot league in rebounding a year ago and was also the league's third-best shooter.

So far, Keister has not lived up to the expectation this year, averaging 8.3 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds. He is fourth on the team in scoring behind Devin Brown (12.7 PPG), R.J. Evans (11.0 PPG) and Mike Cavataio (9.7 PPG).

Boston College (1-1), which won its season opener 79-49 against St. Francis but lost to Yale 75-67, has been working out the kinks under new head coach Steve Donahue.

The Eagles looked energetic and moved like a well-oiled machine in their season opening win against the Terriers but appeared lethargic and uninterested at point in their loss to the Bulldogs last Thursday. Needless to say, Donahue hopes that they will return to their season-opening form on Monday night.

Boston College's star trio of senior Joe Trapani, senior Corey Raji and junior Reggie Jackson have proven to be the Eagles' go-to group once again.

Jackson leads the team in scoring (23.5 PPG) and is shooting 50% on the season. Trapani is second in scoring with 15 points per game and leads the Eagles in rebounding with seven boards per game. Raji also has seven rebounds per game and has proven to be a versatile swingman, averaging 14.5 points on 66.7% shooting.

Freshman Danny Rubin has been a bright spot for Boston College early in the season, averaging nine points and two rebounds in the Eagles first two game.

With two games under their belt, the Eagles should be able to take care of business against Holy Cross, but only if they get into the game early and maintain the pace.

Performances like the one against Yale will not cut it.