LEWISBURG, Pa. – Junior Amy Lepley's (Norfolk, Mass.) 20 points was just the offensive spark the Crusaders needed as the Holy Cross women's basketball team topped Patriot League opponent Bucknell, 49-38, at the Sojka Pavilion. With the final, the Crusaders register a season record of 15-12 (6-6 PL) while the Bison move to 5-22 (3-9 PL). Freshman Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) posted 11 rebounds to aid the team defensively.
The Crusaders hit three of their first five field goals, including three-point shots from sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) and Lepley to take a 10-6 lead in the opening minutes of the game. After going ahead 12-8 at 14:40, both teams could not hit a field goal for five minutes as the score read the same at the 9:30 mark. Lepley broke the drought at 8:34, but Bucknell scored the next two baskets, pulling within two points, 14-12, at 7:52. It took another five minutes before another basket fell as Lepley hit her second three-pointer to make it a 17-12 game with three minutes to go. Sophomore Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) scored the final basket in the half as Bucknell did not score again, giving the Crusaders a 19-12 halftime edge. Both teams shot 20 percent in the half with the Crusaders going seven-of-35. Lepley led all scorers with 10 points.
Lepley scored two baskets as Holy Cross opened up the second half on a 6-0 run, pulling out to a 25-12 lead. The Crusaders remained ahead by 15 points, 31-18, just under the 14 minute mark, as sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) put together a big three-point play to keep up the momentum. Bucknell stepped up its defensive pressure over the next six minutes, causing turnovers and converting them into points to pull within eight points, 35-27, at 7:44. The Holy Cross lead continued to shrink as a Bucknell three-point play made it a 39-34 game at 4:14. Senior Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) then sank a clutch three-pointer with one second on the shot clock to give the Crusaders back an 11 point edge, 47-36, at 1:45. The three-pointer gave the Crusaders enough breathing room the rest of the way as the squad finished ahead by the final 49-38 score.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 33.9 percent from the floor (20 of 59) while Bucknell shot 27 percent (17 of 63). The Crusaders won the rebounding battle, 43-40, as Lepley added seven rebounds to Parker's team-high of 11. Bucknell was led by junior Lindsay Horbatuck with a 12 point, 12 rebound double-double.
Holy Cross goes on its final road trip of the regular season, traveling to Army on Wednesday, Feb. 22. The Crusaders and Black Knights will tip off at 7:00 p.m. at the Christl Arena in West Point, N.Y.