LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Holy Cross women's basketball team fell behind by 20 points and could not recover against Bucknell, dropping a 68-52 decision at Sojka Pavilion. With the result, the Crusaders drop to a record of 9-16 (5-5 PL) on the season, while the Bison improve to 7-15 (4-6 PL). Senior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) reached the 20-point plateau for the third time in four games, finishing with a team-high 21 points and sinking a career-best 10 field goals.
Bucknell took an early 9-3 lead as Holy Cross made just one field goal in four attempts. The Crusaders continued to struggle offensively, falling back by a score of 16-5 at 12:54. Fremeau, the only Crusader to make a field goal, collected two straight baskets to bring the score to 20-11 at the midway point in the half. A three-point shot from freshman Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) at 6:20 got the team within six points of Bucknell, 25-19. The Bison would remain hot offensively, taking back an 11-point lead, 33-22, after going on an 8-2 run with just over three minutes to play in the first stanza. Holy Cross found itself down by as much as 15 points through the final minutes of the half, scoring two final baskets, including a lay-up at the buzzer by sophomore Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.). With the basket, the Crusaders went in to the locker room behind, 40-26. Holy Cross made 10 of its 27 shot attempts in the half (37 percent) while Bucknell sank 60.7 percent of its shots (17 of 28). Fremeau led all scorers with 11 points.
Holy Cross continued to be outscored in the opening minutes of the second half, falling behind by 19 points, 49-30. At 15:40, the Crusaders dropped back by 21 points, 51-30, finding themselves in a two minute scoring drought. Fremeau ended the drought, leading Holy Cross on a 10-0 run, as the team pulled back within 11 points, 51-40, at 12:13. Bucknell netted the lone basket over the next four minutes of play, staying up 53-40. Two consecutive three pointers made by Smith got Holy Cross within striking distance, 57-48, at 6:38 but Bucknell answered with five unanswered points to regain a 52-48 lead two minutes later. Bucknell maintained at least a 10-point throughout the final three minutes of play as the Crusaders finished with just four additional free throws, falling by the final 68-52 score.
Smith followed Fremeau's 21-point performance with 11 points, making three three-point shots in all. In the game, the Crusaders shot 30.9 percent (17-for-55) while the Bison shot 56.9 percent (29-for-51). Bucknell took the rebounding edge, 38-22 and was led by sophomore forward Rachel Voss with 14 points.
Holy Cross wraps its three-game road stretch on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at Navy. The Crusaders and Midshipmen will face off for the second time this season at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md., beginning at 7:00 p.m.