Crusaders Outlast Bucknell 65-60

Whitney Fremeau

WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) hit eight of her 13 shot attempts to tally a team-high 16 points as the Holy Cross women's basketball team rallied past Bucknell 65-60 at the Hart Center. With the win, the Crusaders now stand at 8-17 overall (4-6 Patriot League) while the Bison move to a 7-16 overall record (3-7 Patriot League). Because of her top performance, Fremeau earned the Rev. George L. Brien Award, presented to the most valuable player in the Holy Cross Winter Homecoming game.

Sophomore Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) got the offense going for Holy Cross, knocking down a three-point shot after seven seconds of play to give the team an early 3-0 lead. The Crusaders continued to play well, going ahead 7-2 at the 17:03 mark. The Bison would then mount a 5-0 run to tie the score at 7-7 at 15:48. The tie score did not last long, however, as Holy Cross pumped up the offense, taking its largest lead of nine points, 23-14, after outscoring Bucknell 15-7 over the next eight minutes of play. Senior Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) aided the team in its climb, tallying back-to-back field goals for five points. The Crusaders would maintain a two-possession advantage until the 1:50 mark of the first half (30-26), before an 8-1 run by the Bison in the final minute of play knotted the score at 31-31 as both teams headed into their locker rooms. Fremeau led the way with 10 points as she sank five of her seven shots from the field. Holy Cross finished the half making 41 percent of its shot attempts while Bucknell hit 39 percent of its field goal attempts.

A free throw shot by freshman Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) broke a two-minute scoring drought, giving Holy Cross a 32-31 lead at 18:02. The Crusaders would go up by four points twice over the next five minutes of play, earning two points from Fremeau, senior Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.), and junior Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) respectively.  The Bison then knotted the score at 39-39 at 12:49 after making two consecutive jump shots. Holy Cross managed to stay ahead by at least one-point before Carper and Fremeau combined for six unanswered points as the Crusaders retook a seven-point advantage, 53-46 at 6:25. Bucknell would collect one more run, bringing the game back within one-point, 56-55, with just over two minutes left to play in the final stanza. Senior Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) proved her significance, however, as she scored three-consecutive baskets for six points to close out the Bison, boosting her team to the final 65-60 victory.

Three starters scored in double-figures to lead the Holy Cross squad. After Fremeau's high of 16 points, McFadden followed with 12 points, nine coming in the second half. O'Dell returned to form as she scored 11 points in 20 minutes of playing time to round out the top three scoring performances. The Crusaders finished with a .490 field goal percentage, marking their second-highest shooting percentage this season. Bucknell was led by junior forward Cosima Higham who notched 11 points and eight rebounds, both team-highs.

Holy Cross will continue its complete three-game homestretch against Navy on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Tip time is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. The game will serve as the 24th meeting between the Crusaders and Midshipmen on the Hart Center hardwood. Holy Cross currently holds a 20-2 advantage when playing at home against Navy.