NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Sophomores Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) and Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) finished in double-figures but could not lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team's charge against Central Connecticut, falling 63-54 at the Detrick Gymnasium. With the final, the Crusaders move to a record of 3-4 on the season while the Blue Devils combine for a record of 4-1. Smith led the team with 15 points while Malone added 11 scores.
The teams played to an 8-8 tie over the first five minutes as junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) sank two jump shots. Defense continued to rule both sides of the court as the Crusaders and Blue Devils remained in a tie, 14-14, with nine minutes left in the half. Central Connecticut took advantage of a six minute Holy Cross scoring drought, earning the first two-possession lead of the game, 18-14, at 6:03. The Crusaders rallied back with two unanswered shots and finished the half outscoring the Blue Devils 9-7, heading into halftime down by just two points, 25-23. Holy Cross shot 28 percent in the half (9 of 32) and was led by Lepley and Smith with six points apiece.
The Crusaders opened up with two unanswered shots in the start of the second, gaining back their largest lead of four points before the Blue Devils answered with a 10-0 run. Junior Jaclyn Babe accounted for all of the points as Central Connecticut took back a 38-29 advantage at 15:57. Holy Cross continued to make shots as Smith hit her first three-pointer of the night at 13:36, but the Blue Devils continued to answer back and climbed to a 10-point edge, 47-37, with just over 10 minutes to go in the game. Central Connecticut continued to hold the three-possession lead, going ahead 55-44 at the four minute mark. Malone hit a three-pointer with 50 seconds to go to get the team within six points, 60-54, but Central Connecticut hit its free throws the rest of the way as the Crusaders fell by the final 63-54 score.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 32 percent from the floor (21 of 66) while Central Connecticut shot 52 percent (26 of 50). The Blue Devils won the rebounding battle, 44-32, as sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) led the Crusaders with a season-best seven rebounds. The Blue Devils were led by Babe with 24 points.
Holy Cross wraps up its three-game road trip with a contest against New Hampshire on Saturday, Dec. 3. Tip time is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Lundholm Gymnasium in Durham, N.H.