HC Women’s Basketball Continues Climb in Patriot League
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 16:02
Recently, the Holy Cross Women’s Basketball team continued its rise up to the Patriot League standings. In a difficult stretch of three games over seven days, the Crusaders came out with two wins and currently sit in fourth place in the conference. If they can hold on to that position over the final two weeks of the regular season, it would guarantee a first round home playoff game, the first Patriot League Tournament home game for Crusader fans since 2010.
The Crusaders kicked off the second phase of the Patriot League season on Sunday, February 10 at Lehigh in the aftermath of Blizzard Nemo. Seeking revenge for a heartbreaking two-point home loss in mid-January, the Lady Crusaders went on the road to a tough environment and prevailed by a score of 72-66. Sophomore guard Ashley Cooper’s career high 19 points helped snap a 10 game losing streak against the Mountain Hawks. Despite trailing by five at halftime, Holy Cross was able to prevail by tying a school record of made three-pointers in a game (13), and by outplaying Lehigh in several statistical categories including rebounds (42-33), assists (22-19), and second-chance points (16-11), and by demolishing the Mountain Hawks in points off the bench (35-12).
Three days later, Holy Cross returned to Annapolis, MD to take on first place Navy in a rematch of last season’s Patriot League championship game. Junior forward Christine Ganser, ‘14 led the team with nine points and four rebounds. Unfortunately, despite holding advantages in defensive categories including steals (11-4), blocks (4-1) and points off turnovers (10-5), offensive struggles kept the team from winning its fourthstraight game as the Crusaders fell to the Midshipmen by a final score of 59-35.
On Saturday, February 16, the Crusaders took on the American Eagles at the Hart Center. American began the day in second place just two games back of Navy for the top seed in the Patriot League. However, by the end of the afternoon they found themselves in third place with Holy Cross breathing down their necks. Holy Cross junior guard and co-captain Alex Smith, ‘14 earned the Reverend George L. O’Brien Award as the MVP of the Winter Homecoming game with 20 points, six assists, and four rebounds. Sophomore forward Emily Parker also played an excellent game tallying 16 points and four blocks. The Crusaders pulled off the upset on their annual “Think Pink” day by defeating the Eagles 73-63. They followed up their horrendous 25.5% shooting night against Navy with an incredible 62.7% against American. They also held advantages in assists (22-14), blocks (5-1), fast-break points (13-5) and points in the paint (44-24) while once again displaying the team’s depth by outscoring the Eagles 21-14 in points off the bench.
With an overall record of 13-12 and a Patriot League mark of 5-5, Coach Bill Gibbons’ squad has continued to show signs of improvement. They have won five of their last seven games and have demonstrated an ability to win both at home and on the road. With only two regular season home games remaining on February 23 at 2:00 PM vs. the hated conference rival Bucknell and on February 27 at 7:00 PM vs. current league leader Army, be sure to hike up to the Hart Center and cheer on the team as they look to bring some basketball glory back to Worcester.