- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - Robert Champion scored 23 points and defending Patriot League champion Holy Cross won its final nonconference tuneup, beating Marist 68-59 on Friday.

Champion was 7-of-12 shooting, making three 3-pointers, and sank all six of his free throws to lead the Crusaders (6-7), winners of three of their last four games.

The Crusaders stepped up again on defense. They are ranked first in the Patriot League in scoring defense (64.8) and steals (8.6) and bettered those stats against the Red Foxes, who committed 18 turnovers, 12 on steals.

Brian Parker led the Red Foxes with 16 points and nine rebounds. Marist (4-9) has lost five straight.

Holy Cross led 36-31 at halftime and was ahead by 21, 61-40, after a Champion 3-pointer with 7:56 left. Marist cut the lead to 66-59 on an Obi Momah basket with 29 seconds left but Champion added two free throws.

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