DURHAM, N.H. - After two weeks off from action, the Holy Cross women's basketball team's second-half scoring troubles persisted as they gave up a 37-33 half-time lead, falling against New Hampshire 80-72 at Lundholm Gymnasium. With the loss, the Crusaders move to 3-8 while the Wildcats register a 4-5 overall record. Senior Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) led the team with a 20-point performance, including six three-point shots to tie her season-high.
New Hampshire junior Jill McDonald scored six straight points in the paint to boost the Wildcats to an 8-3 early lead to begin the first half. At 14:26, O'Dell became the Patriot League's all-time career leader in three-point shots made as she tallied two consecutive three-point shots to tie the score at 10-10. Senior Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) followed with a layup to give the Crusaders their first lead, 12-10 at 13:33. Holy Cross maintained its lead as O'Dell hit two more three-point shots and fellow senior Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) made her second basket of the game, earning their team a 20-15 lead at 9:08. An entire team effort allowed Holy Cross to continue its offensive production, including a 7-for-8 free throw performance to take a 37-33 lead in to the locker room. The Crusaders shot 44.4 percent from the field behind O'Dell's 5-for-6 three-point performance while the Wildcats shot 48.4 percent to round out the half.
In the second half, Holy Cross took an eight-point lead at 15:38, its largest lead of the game, before allowing the Wildcats to go on a damaging 10-0 run to regain a 47-45 advantage at 12:44. New Hampshire continued to pull ahead, earning a 57-51 advantage at 9:21. The Wildcats went ahead by their largest lead of 13 points with four minutes to go in the game after Holy Cross made just three baskets after the half-way mark. The Crusaders climbed within eight points, but could not come back fully, dropping an 80-72 decision to the Wildcats.
Four players scored in double-figures for the Crusaders, including O'Dell (20), junior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) (16), McFadden (12) and freshman Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) who scored a career-high 12 points. The team finished with a 23-for-55 shooting performance, with just 11 field goals made in the second half. The Wildcats went 31-for-57. New Hampshire was led by sophomore Denise Beliveau who notched 20 points on 6-for-14 shooting.
Holy Cross will enjoy the holiday week off before traveling to West Long Branch, N.J. to play in the Hawk Holiday Classic, hosted by Monmouth. The Crusaders play La Salle in the first day of action, Dec. 29, with tip time set for 4:00 p.m.