WORCESTER, Mass. - The Holy Cross women's basketball team held a one-possession lead throughout the beginning of the second half but did not get far enough ahead as Army came back late to take a 60-54 win at the Hart Center. With the loss, the Crusaders now hold a 7-17 record overall (3-6 Patriot League) while the Black Knights collect a 10-13 overall record (4-5 Patriot League). Senior Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) led the team in scoring for the second time in three games with 11 points.
Army went up by four points early to start the first half. The Black Knights would continue to outscore the Crusaders 14-9 over the next five minutes of play, taking an 18-9 lead at 11:45. Carper then helped sparked a 6-0 run for Holy Cross, as the Crusaders pulled within three points, 18-15, at 10:05. Two back-to-back three point shots allowed Army to regain a nine-point advantage but Holy Cross followed with an 8-0 run, highlighted by five explosive points from Carper. The run brought the Crusaders within one-point, 24-23 with a little under seven minutes to play in the half. The teams traded baskets over the next three minutes, as Army reclaimed a two-possession lead, 32-28 at 3:02. Army held a seven-point lead before junior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) hit a jump shot with 36 seconds left in the half to notch the score at 35-30 after the first 20 minutes. Carper led the offensive front with seven points as Holy Cross shot 41 percent from the field. Army made 15 of its 31 shot attempts, marking a 48 percent first half field goal performance.
Holy Cross came out of the break on a fast 6-0 run as junior Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) and Carper combined for the six quick points, giving the Crusaders their first lead of the game, 36-35. Holy Cross would remain ahead by two points before Army united for a 5-0 run to retake a three-point lead, 46-43 at 9:02. Sophomore Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) would hit her first field goal of the night to tie the score and freshman Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) followed with two points to give Holy Cross back a 48-46 lead at 6:02. Three additional ties and two lead changes came after, as Fremeau made a jump shot at 3:18 to tie the score at 52-52. The Black Knights took the upper hand in the final two minutes, however, as they outscored the Crusaders 5-2 and sank three final free throws. Holy Cross could not recover as they fell by the final score of 60-54.
Carper and Fremeau combined for 21 points, 11 and 10 points respectively, to tally Holy Cross' two double-digit scorers. Fremeau also led the team defensively as she and Lepley notched six rebounds each. Army was led by junior captain Erin Anthony, who registered a double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Holy Cross will continue its three-game homestretch against Bucknell on Saturday, Feb. 10. Tip time is set for 3:30 p.m. at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. The game will serve as the team's Pink Zone Breast Cancer Awareness Day and features an auction of player practice jerseys after the game with the money being donated to support of the Zona Children's Fund, a trust fund set up for the children of Mary McInerney-Zona, beloved sister of women's basketball assistant coach Ann McInerney.