WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) scored a season-high 14 points and sparked a few rallies but could not lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to win over Fordham as the squad fell 54-43 at the Hart Center. With the final, the Crusaders collect a record of 1-3 on the season while the Rams move to 2-1. Senior Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I) followed Lepley with 12 points, sinking five of her 16 field goal attempts.
Holy Cross opened the game with a 6-5 lead before Fordham put together an 11-0 run, taking a 16-6 lead at 14:24. Sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) broke the Crusaders' drought with a lay-up a little over one minute later, pulling the team within eight points. The Rams continued to control the game's tempo, earning a 20-8 lead before Lepley hit a three-point shot at 9:16 to make it a 20-11 game. Lepley, Ward and sophomore Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) combined for the Crusaders' next four baskets as Holy Cross closed out the half on a 10-4 run, going into the locker room down 25-21. The squad shot 35.7 percent in the front half, hitting 10 of its 28 shot attempts while Fordham shot 31 percent, making nine of its 29 attempts. Lepley led all scorers with nine points.
Sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) made it a one-possession game, 28-25, with two free throws four minutes into the second half. The Crusaders had two chances to tie it but missed both opportunities as Fordham regained a 33-27 lead at the 14 minute mark. The Rams continued their run, going back ahead by 11 points, 40-29, halfway through the final period. Lepley put together a three-point play with just over eight minutes left, sparking a 6-0 run for Holy Cross, as the Crusaders stayed in the game down eight points, 43-35. Holy Cross would get as close as five points with four minutes to go, 48-43, earning a three-pointer from Smith and a Lepley layup. Foul trouble allowed Fordham to make free throws down the stretch as Holy Cross could never take over the lead, falling by a final 54-43 score.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 31 percent from the floor (18 of 58) while Fordham shot 39.6 percent (19 of 48). The Crusaders won the rebounding battle, 38-35 as Smith led the Crusaders with seven boards. Fordham was led by sophomore guard Abigail Corning with 14 points.
Holy Cross wraps up its three-game homestand against UMass on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass.