November 27, 2011

Women's Basketball Grinds Out 73-68 Victory Over Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) tallied a career-best day, notching a 22-point, 11 assist double-double as the Holy Cross women's basketball team topped Ivy League foe Harvard, 73-68, at the Lavietes Pavilion. With the final, the Crusaders improve to a record of 3-3 on the season while the Crimson drop to 1-4. The squad rallied back from a four-point halftime deficit and shot 52 percent in the second half to secure the win.

The Crusaders started the game on an 11-3 run, earning baskets from all five starters. Harvard answered back with an 11-2 run, taking a 14-13 lead at 11:50. The teams entered into a back-and-forth battle over the next four minutes, with Harvard holding a 21-20 lead at 8:13. Sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) gave the team a short-lived 26-25 lead at 3:50, also changing the lead for the seventh time in the game. She was followed by two consecutive baskets from junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) and Smith, boosting the Crusaders to a 31-27 edge with two minutes to go in the half. Harvard closed out the first 20 minutes on an 8-0 run, sinking two three-point shots to take a 35-31 lead into the halftime break. Holy Cross shot 43.8 percent in the half (14 of 32) and was led by Smith with 10 points.  

Harvard outscored the Crusaders 12-4 in the opening minutes of the second half, taking the first double-digit advantage of the game, 47-36. Holy Cross chipped away at the lead, putting together a 8-2 run to make it a 55-52 game at 8:14, highlighted by a three-pointer made by Ganser. Lepley then hit her first three-point shot of the game at 6:59 to give the Crusaders back a 58-57 edge. Ganser scored four of the team's next six points on free throws, giving the team a two-possession, 64-60 lead with a little less than five minutes to go. Smith then put through her fourth three-point shot of the game at 2:42 as Holy Cross held on to a 69-64 advantage. Harvard pulled within three points but was forced to foul the rest of the way as Smith went 4-for-4 from the line to close out the 73-68 win over the Crimson.

In the game, Holy Cross shot 47.4 percent from the floor (27 of 57) while Harvard shot 45.5 percent (30 of 66). The Crimson won the rebounding battle, 40-28 as Lepley led the Crusaders with five rebounds. A total of four players hit double-figures in scoring as Lepley, Ganser and sophomore Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) added 15, 14 and 13 points respectively. The Crimson were led by sophomore guard Christine Clark with 17 points.  

Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at Central Connecticut. Start time is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Detrick Gymnasium in New Britain, Conn.