Women's Basketball Triumphant Over Rhode Island, 80-71

Bethany O'Dell

WORCESTER, Mass. - The dynamic duo of senior captains Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) and Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) combined to score 51 points, leading the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a victory against Rhode Island, 80-71, at the Hart Center. The Crusaders move to a 4-11 record while Rhode Island posts a 7-8 record on the season. McFadden tallied a season-high 27 points on a season-best 8-for-16 field goal performance to top all scorers. O'Dell went 8-for-11, including six-of-seven from three-point range to add 24 points.

Rhode Island looked to be in control to start the first half, taking a seven-point lead, 17-10, at the 13:05 mark. That lead diminished as Holy Cross went on an 8-0 run, including two back-to-back three-point shots by O'Dell and sophomore Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) to earn back a 18-17 advantage at 11:44. The Crusaders continued to excel, outscoring the Rams 16-7 to take their largest lead of 13 points with a little under five minutes to play in the half. Rhode Island brought the lead down to six points, but two final shots; a jumper by junior Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) and McFadden's second three-point shot of the game, gave the team a 42-31 lead heading into the locker room. Holy Cross collected a 58 percent (15-for-26) field goal showing in the first half behind McFadden and O'Dell's 13 respective points. Rhode Island hit 14 of 33 shots for a 42 percent field goal performance.

The Rams began the second half on a 7-0 run, bringing the score to 42-38 at the 18 minute mark. The Crusaders came back with a 12-0 run behind two three-point shots by freshman Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) and McFadden. Holy Cross earned its largest lead of 17 points, 60-43, at 11:50. Rhode Island would chip away at the deficit, getting within six points two times in the final 10 minutes. Holy Cross held on to the lead tightly, however, finishing the game with six consecutive free throws to come away with the 80-71 home victory.

The team finished with its best overall field goal performance of the season, making 51 percent of its shots. The team also marked its top three-point performance, 13 of 22 three-point shots (59 percent), behind McFadden's top three-point showing of the season (five-of-seven total). The team combined to make 17-of-18 free throws (94 percent), another season-high. Rhode Island was led by senior guard Lindsay Harris who notched a 22-point, 12 rebound outing.

Holy Cross wraps up its home stand with the first Patriot League match-up for the team this season. On Saturday, Jan. 9, the Crusaders will host the Lafayette Leopards for the 23rd time in program history. Tip time is set for 1:00 p.m. at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass.