WORCESTER, Mass. – Army outscored the Holy Cross women's basketball team 8-0 in the final three minutes of play, dropping the Crusaders by the final 50-47 score in the first league game of 2011 at the Hart Center. With the decision, the Crusaders move to a record of 5-12 (1-1 PL) on the season, while the Black Knights go to 8-8 (2-0 PL). Freshman Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) scored a season and career-high 15 points to lead Holy Cross in scoring.
Malone hit both of her jump shots to lead Holy Cross on a 6-0 run to start the first half. The Crusaders held the Black Knights scoreless until 16:21, when sophomore guard Molly Yardley halved the score with a three-point shot. Army came back to take a one-point advantage, 11-10, at the 12:11 mark, earning the lead off of a Holy Cross turnover. Freshman Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) banged home her first three-point shot of the game to knot the score at 13-13 at 10:24. Malone continued to stay hot offensively, knocking down another jump shot with just over eight minutes left in the half and giving her team a 15-14 edge. The teams traded one-point leads throughout the next three minutes of play. Army then regained a 20-17 lead on a made three-point shot at 3:40. Senior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) drew a big three-point play at 1:13 to tie the score, 22-22, and followed with a three-point shot off of a turnover to give her team a 25-22 lead with less than one minute to go. Army made two free throws before the Crusaders could take the last shot, as Holy Cross went into the locker room up 25-24. Holy Cross shot 32.3 percent in the first 20 minutes, going 10-for-31 from the field. Army hit 33.3 percent of its shots (8-for-24). Fremeau led the team with eight first half points.
Malone started the second half the way she did the first, hitting two jump shots to boost her team on a 7-2 run, going ahead 32-26. The Crusaders maintained a two-possession lead, 39-33, at 11:24, as the defense held Army to just nine points through the first nine minutes of play. Each team hit just one basket over the next four minutes, as Holy Cross stayed ahead by six points, 41-35, at 7:08. Army's Yardley sank two three-point shots to come back and tie the score at 41 a piece, but sophomore Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) answered the run with a three-point shot of her own to regain a 44-41 Holy Cross edge at 5:35. Malone continued to add to her points total, drawing a three-point play at 3:57 to get the Crusaders back up by five points, 47-42. The Black Knights did not back down, however, following with two more unanswered three-point shots to take a 48-47 lead with 43 seconds to go in the game. Army held possession of the ball for the final 30 seconds, drawing a foul with 6.6 seconds and making it a three-point game, 50-47. Holy Cross had one more chance to come back with 4.9 seconds on the clock but was unable to answer, falling by the final 50-47 score.
Fremeau finished with 12 points and a season-best seven rebounds to round out Holy Cross' double-digit performers. In the game, the Crusaders shot 30.5 percent (18-for-59) while the Black Knights shot 32.1 percent (17-for-53). Holy Cross finished with the rebounding edge, 40-36. Army was led by senior guard Jessie Coiffard with 14 points. Army senior forward Erin Anthony broke the school's career blocks record as well, finishing with 10 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
Holy Cross continues its three-game home stand on Saturday, Jan. 15, hosting Bucknell. Tip off is set for 3:00 p.m. against the Bison (3-11, 0-2 PL) at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass.