WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) poured in a career-best 26 points, hitting a career-high nine field goals to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a 62-59 victory over Army at the Hart Center. With the final, the Crusaders move to 13-8 (4-2 Patriot League) on the season while the Black Knights collect a record of 9-12(3-3 PL). Freshman forward Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) added 15 points and two blocks as the two combined to score 41 of the team's 62 total points.
The Crusaders hit their first three shots from the field, including two baskets by Smith, earning an early 7-4 lead. Two made layups by Parker and Smith's second made three-pointer pushed the Holy Cross advantage to 14-6 at 12:39. Army would take advantage of three Holy Cross turnovers, going on a 9-0 run to take a 15-14 lead at 9:40. Three lead changes and one tie followed before Parker put together a big three-point play, putting Holy Cross back up by a 23-18 score with just over seven minutes to play in the half. Sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) gave the squad a nine-point edge, 30-21, sinking her first layup of the game as Smith followed with another three-point shot at 2:06 to give the Crusaders a 12-point, 33-21 lead. Army closed out the half on a 6-0 run, marking the halftime score at 33-27. The Crusaders shot 48.3 percent (14 of 29) from the floor over the first 20 minutes as Smith led all scorers with 16 points.
Parker and Smith combined for seven of the team's 11 points scored in the first five minutes of action in the second half as Holy Cross maintained a 44-33 advantage. Army quietly put together a 6-2 run to pull within seven points, 46-39, but a three-pointer made by junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) and a layup from Smith kept the Crusaders ahead 51-39 at 9:23. The team continued to hits its stride, holding on to a two-possession lead through the next four minutes as Smith added three free throws to put her past her career-high in points scored. The Black Knights hung around down the stretch, going on an 8-0 run to get within three points, 58-55, at 2:14. Army missed a chance to tie the game with 26 seconds to play and was forced to foul the Crusaders in the final 12 seconds. Ganser made the team's final two free throws as Holy Cross went 10 of 11 from the free throw line in the game, escaping with a 62-59 win.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 46.9 percent from the floor (23 of 49) while Army shot 37.1 percent (23 of 62). The Black Knights won the rebounding battle, 36-26, as Lepley and Ganser led the Crusaders with six boards apiece. Army was led by sophomore Jen Hazlett with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Holy Cross returns to the road for a Saturday afternoon contest at Colgate on Saturday, Jan. 28. The game will be broadcast live on local television and begins at 4:00 p.m. in Hamilton, N.Y.