Women’s Basketball Prepares for Patriot League Tourney
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 14:03
It has been another successful week for the Holy Cross Crusaders’ Women’s Basketball team. After starting off 1-4 in Patriot League play, head coach Bill Gibbons has found a way to motivate his team as they have now won 6 of their last 7 matchups. Last week, the Crusaders fought two tough battles against the Lafayette Leopards and the Bucknell Bison to climb up into sole possession of third place in the Patriot League standings while nearly clinching the highly coveted first round playoff home game.
On Wednesday, February 20, the Crusaders traveled to Easton, Pennsylvania to take on the Lafayette Leopards. Senior forward and co-captain Amy Lepley led the team with a game-high 23 points to go along with 6 rebounds to come away with the victory. It was a much needed win as the Crusaders led the Leopards by only one game in the Patriot League prior to the start of the contest. Lafayette fought tough right up to the final buzzer, but Holy Cross prevailed by a score of 69-58 after leading for the entire game by as many as 17 points.
In addition to Lepley’s outstanding performance, junior guards Brisje Malone and Alex Smith contributed some solid minutes of play. Malone scored 15 points to accompany her game-high eight assists while Smith accounted for 13 points and six rebounds. Sophomore forward Emily Parker led the squad with nine rebounds. As a team, the Crusaders held advantages over the Leopards in points in the paint (34-24), points off turnovers (14-11), fast break points (8-0), and blocks (5-0) as well as small, but critical advantages in rebounds (39-38) and assists (17-16).
Three days later, Holy Cross
hosted the hated rival Bucknell Bison. Seeking revenge for a tough three-point loss in late January, the Crusaders got out to a quick start and never looked back. Head coach Bill Gibbons displayed a lot of class by starting all three of the team’s seniors on Senior Day. Kaitlin Cole, Amy Lepley, and Alexis Nicholas have all contributed a great deal to the team over the past four years. For the second consecutive game, Holy Cross did not trail and led by as many as 21 points before settling in to a final score of 57-49.
On the day set aside for the seniors, it was freshman center Molly Hourigan who had the biggest day. She led the team with 16 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Brisje Malone recorded her second career double-double by recording 11 points and 10 assists. Alex Smith was another major contributor with a 14-point effort. Holy Cross once again held advantages in numerous statistical categories defeating Bucknell in points in the paint (38-20), points off turnovers (19-12), fast break points (20-4), bench points (21-5), assists (20-9), blocks (4-3), and second chance points (7-6).
With these two wins, Holy Cross now has an overall record of 15-12 and 7-5 in the Patriot League, three games back of Navy for first-place. Additionally, the team has the best scoring offense in the league with 61.2 points per game. With the final regular season matchup at Colgate right around the corner, the Crusaders will likely host a home playoff game on Thursday, March 7. While this game falls over Spring Break, anyone that is staying on campus or is in the area should attempt to be there as the team looks to make its 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.