WORCESTER, Mass. - The Holy Cross women's basketball team took a six-point lead into halftime but could not hold on as Lehigh outscored their opponents by 16 points in the second half, dropping the Crusaders by the final score of 65-55 at the Hart Center on Senior Day. With the loss, the Crusaders complete the regular season with a 9-20 overall record (5-9 Patriot League) while the Mountain Hawks close out their regular season with a 26-3 overall record (13-1 Patriot League). Junior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) led Holy Cross with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Senior Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) opened up the first half of action with a three-point shot made before Lehigh scored six unanswered points to take a 6-3 lead at 17:21. Holy Cross would take back a one-point lead, 7-6, two minutes later behind two points apiece from Fremeau and freshman Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Masss.). Three tie scores and three lead changes followed over the next 11 minutes of play, as the Crusaders and Mountain Hawks were knotted at 20-20 with 4:49 left to go in the first half. A free throw made by senior Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) sparked a 6-0 Holy Cross run, as the team took a 26-20 lead at 1:31. A three-point shot made by Lepley gave the team its largest lead of the half, 29-21, with under a minute to go. Lehigh would make one more shot before the buzzer giving Holy Cross a 29-23 lead after the first 20 minutes of play. The Crusaders made 11 of their 25 field goals in the first half, including a three-for-three performance from Lepley. Lehigh made nine of its 25 first half field goal attempts.
Lehigh would outscore Holy Cross 8-2 in the first two minutes of the second half, taking a 32-21 lead at 18:03. Five lead changes followed over the next two minutes as a jump shot from McFadden gave Holy Cross a one-point lead, 35-34 at 16:44. The Mountain Hawks would combine for a 14-0 run as the Crusaders did not notch a point in the next five minutes of play, falling behind by the score of 47-35 at 11:53. Junior Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) broke the scoring drought with two three-point shots made in 30 seconds, bringing her team within eight points, 49-41, at the midway point. The Crusaders would continue to outscore Lehigh 8-3 in the next three minutes as Lepley scored six points to mark the score at 53-49 at 7:33. The Mountain Hawks collected a 9-0 to follow, however, regaining a double-digit lead, 62-49 with under three minutes to play in the game. Holy Cross would rally for six additional points, including two jump shots made by Fremeau, but it was too late as Lehigh ended the game up by 10 points, 65-55.
Fremeau tallied 10 of her team-high 17 points in the second half and also brought down six rebounds in the second stanza to finish with nine boards. Lepley followed with 14 points on a 5-for-7 field goal outing, notching five rebounds as well. Lehigh was led by junior guard Erica Prosser's 14 points and eight assists.
With today's final, the Holy Cross women's basketball team ends the 2009-2010 regular season. After Bucknell and Army play tomorrow afternoon, starting at 2:00 p.m., the Patriot League Tournament field will be set. Check back to goholycross.com for the latest updates.