FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Karl Charles scored 23 points, Patrick Benzan made two free throws with 4.8 seconds left and Holy Cross beat Sacred Heart 69-64 on Friday night in a season opener for both teams.

Holy Cross has won six of the last seven meetings in the series.

Charles hit a 3-pointer to extend Holy Cross' lead to 67-57. But Sean Hoehn answered with a 3, and scored on Sacred Heart's next two possessions to cut it to 67-64 with 44 seconds left.

Holy Cross passed it around the perimeter but Caleb Green missed a layup with the shot clock winding down. Hoehn missed a 3-pointer and Joseph Lopez got the rebound but turned it over while falling out of bounds. Benzan sealed it at the line after his steal.

Benzan added 14 points for Holy Cross, which is coming off a 15-17 season. Holy Cross' home opener will be against Harvard on Thursday.

Holy Cross led 36-25 at halftime as Sacred Heart turned it over 13 times.

Hoehn scored 18 points for Sacred Heart, which finished eighth in the Northeast Conference last season and returned six of its top eight scorers. The Pioneers opened their season at home for the first time since 2004.

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