WORCESTER, Mass. –The Holy Cross women's basketball team fell behind early and could not find a way to rally back against Navy, falling 73-56 at the Hart Center. With the final, the Crusaders drop to 13-11 (4-5 Patriot League) on the season while the Mids collect a record of 13-10 (6-3 PL). Three Crusaders tallied double-digits on the night as sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) led the squad with 12 points and four assists. Junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) added 10 scores while freshman Ashley Cooper (Colts Neck, N.J.) finished with a season-high 11 points.
Holy Cross missed all six of its first field goal attempts to start the first half as Navy climbed out to an easy 12-0 advantage. It took until the 12:47 mark before the Crusaders saw their first field goal fall as senior Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) sank a three-pointer to make it a 19-3 game. The teams accumulated more turnovers than points over the next four minutes of action, with Navy remaining ahead 21-5 at 8:20. Holy Cross continued to struggle both offensively and defensively as the Mids pulled ahead by 21 points, 30-9, with 3:29 to go in the half. Holy Cross added seven more points in the closing minutes, including a final jump shot by sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.), and headed into the break with a 37-16 deficit. The Crusaders shot 23.1 percent (6 of 26) from the floor over the first 20 minutes as Smith led all scorers with four points.
The Crusaders outscored the Mids 10-8 in the opening minutes of the second half, led by four points from Lepley. Two three point shots made by Cooper pulled the Crusaders within 16 points, 48-32, at 13:09. Navy rallied back for a 14-5 run, regaining a 62-37 lead with just under nine minutes left in the half. Lepley broke into the double-digit category with 6:39 to go, hitting her fifth field goal, but Navy kept up its offensive tempo, remaining ahead 68-45. Smith hit her second three-point shot in the game to give Holy Cross 50 points with three minutes to play. The 20-point deficit was too much for the Crusaders to overcome the rest of the way as Cooper hit one final three-point shot in the final minute, tallying the final score at 73-56.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 35.6 percent from the floor (21 of 59) while Navy shot 49.1 percent (26 of 53). The Mids won the rebounding battle, 38-33, as sophomore Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) led the Crusaders with five boards. Led by Cooper's 11 points, the Crusaders bench combined for 25 points on the night. Navy was led by sophomore forward Audrey Bauer with 16 points, six rebounds and five steals.
Holy Cross returns to the road for a Saturday afternoon contest at American on Feb. 11. The squad travels to Bender Arena in Washington, D.C. for a 2:00 p.m. showdown.