NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Freshman forward Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) scored 17 points off the bench and had a team-high 10 rebounds in her first career game as the Holy Cross women's basketball team dropped a 77-71 decision in the season opener at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Parker scored her 17 points in 20 minutes played and notched her first career double-double.
Yale took a five-point advantage early on, outscoring Holy Cross 9-4 after the first five minutes of play. After the Bulldogs went up 12-6, the Crusaders came back to tie the score, 14-14, at 9:28 as sophomore guard Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) hit a layup. Parker followed with a layup, giving the squad its first lead in the half, 16-14. Holy Cross went up by as much as three points, 22-19, with just over seven minutes to go in the half, but a final Yale surge put the Bulldogs up 32-29 at the break. Parker led all scorers with eight points as Holy Cross shot a combined 50 percent from the floor.
Holy Cross found itself down by two possessions throughout the first five minutes of the second half and fell to its largest deficit of 11 points, 49-38, at 15:12. The Crusaders would get within four points with 8:05 on the clock as junior forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) sank two free throws. Sophomore guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) made it a one possession ball game with two free throws at 4:08 but Holy Cross could never fully take the lead. Yale went back up by eight points at 2:22 before another run by the Crusaders, highlighted by a three-point shot made by Malone with nine seconds left, made it a one possession game once again. Yale made two free throws with six seconds to end the Crusaders' run and escaped with a 76-71 win.
Holy Cross shot a final 54.2 percent from the field (26 of 48) and posted a 33-28 advantage on the boards. Malone, Lepley and sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) all hit double digits in the game, scoring 13, 12 and 11 points respectively. Yale was led by Megan Vasquez, who scored 23 points.
The Crusaders will play at the fourth-ranked UConn Huskies next, traveling to Storrs, Conn. on Sunday, Nov. 13. Tip off is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Gampel Pavilion.