Crusaders Drop 75-50 Decision At Massachusetts

Whitney Fremeau

AMHERST, Mass. – Massachusetts proved to be too much for the Holy Cross women's basketball team, leading by as much as 27 points in the second half, dropping the Crusaders by 25 points, 75-50, at the Curry Hicks Cage. With the final, the Crusaders drop to a record of 4-11 on the season, while the Minutewomen go to 4-11. Senior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) led Holy Cross in scoring for the second straight game, notching 13 points on 6-for-15 shooting.

Holy Cross found itself down, 10-4, after five minutes of play in the first half as Fremeau hit both of her jump shots to tally the points for the Crusaders. The Minutewomen maintained their six-point lead over the Crusaders, 16-10, at the 11:27 mark after sophomore Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) and Fremeau added the team's next six points. Freshman Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) then scored four points, including a steal and a lay-up, in two minutes to lead Holy Cross on a short-lived 6-2 run to bring the score to 21-16 at 8:05. The Crusaders were held scoreless for the next four minutes as Massachusetts took back a 25-16 lead at 4:23. Sophomore Kaitlin Cole (Springfield, Pa.) hit one free throw at 4:16 to break the drought, but the Minutewomen then outscored Holy Cross 6-0 to take their largest lead of the half, 31-20, at 1:29. Lepley scored the team's final five points, including a jumper right before the buzzer, to get the Crusaders back within eight, 33-25, at the halftime break. Holy Cross shot 35.5 percent in the first stanza, sinking 11 of its 31 attempts. Massachusetts shot 42.3 percent, also making 11 field goals in 26 attempts. Lepley led the team with nine points.

Holy Cross came out of the halftime slow, collecting just two points next two Massachusetts' nine, dropping behind, 42-27 at 16:48. The Crusaders' scoring woes continued as the Minutewomen pulled ahead by 25 points, 52-27, with 14:14 on the clock. At the midway point of the half, Holy Cross made just one more field goal and added four made free throws, remaining down, 57-34. The squad combined for eight more points over the next four minutes as junior Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) hit her first shot of the game. Massachusetts would not relinquish its 20-point advantage, however, staying up 66-42 with just over six minutes to play. The Crusaders could not get back in to the game the rest of the way, as the Minutewomen cruised to the final 75-50 victory.

Fremeau was the only Crusader to finish in double-digits as Ward and Lepley followed with nine points each. In the game, the Crusaders shot 28.6 percent (18-for-63) while the Minutewomen shot 41.0 percent (25-for-61). The Minutewomen also took the rebounding edge, 45-38 and were led by sophomore center Jasmine Watson with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Holy Cross begins Patriot League play on Saturday, Jan. 8, as it travels to Easton, Pa., to take on Lafayette. Tip off is set for 1:00 p.m. at the Kirby Sports Center.