WORCESTER, Mass. – Three of the five Holy Cross women's basketball starters scored in double figures but the Holy Cross women's basketball team could not comeback from a halftime deficit, losing to Manhattan, 78-63, in the quarterfinal round of the WBI tournament. With the final, the Crusaders complete the 2011-2012 season with a record of 19-15 while the Jaspers move on the semifinal round with a record of 18-15. Junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) led the Crusaders with 17 points, sinking seven of her 14 shot attempts.
Manhattan held the early advantage, pulling out to 11-6 lead after the first five minutes. Scoring became scarce as the Crusaders fell silent from field goal range, allowing the Jaspers to pull ahead 16-6 at the 11:15 mark. Sophomore Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) broke the scoring drought at 9:28, sinking a layup to mark the score at 18-10. The Jaspers continued to pull away, however, moving ahead by a half-high 15 points, 26-11 at 7:02. The Crusaders would get as close as 10 points, 33-23, as junior Alexis Nicholas (Jamaica, N.Y.) sank two free throws with 3:11 to go. Manhattan would keep its double-digit lead the rest of the way with Holy Cross finding itself down, 38-27, at the halftime break. Holy Cross shot 41.7 percent (10 of 24) over the first 20 minutes of action as Lepley led all scorers with eight points.
The Crusaders pulled within eight points, 40-32, in the opening minutes of the second half as sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) drained a three. Manhattan kept at it, pulling back out by 14 points, 46-32, at 16:33. An 8-2 run brought Holy Cross back within nine, 49-40, three minutes later as sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) hit both of her free throw attempts. Free throws by freshman Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) got the squad as close as seven points, 55-46 with 9:40 to go but Manhattan held on to its lead, going ahead by a game-high 17 points, 70-53, at 4:46. Lepley scored the Crusaders' last basket with 1:32 on the clock, nailing a three-pointer, but could not rally the squad past the Jaspers as Holy Cross fell by the final 78-63 score.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 39.6 percent from the floor (21 of 53) while Manhattan shot 45.2 percent (28 of 62). Smith and Parker also finished in double figures, posting 13 and 10 points respectively. The Crusaders won the rebounding battle, 44-26 as Ganser led the team with nine boards. The Jaspers were led by senior guard Schyanne Halfkenny who scored 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting.
With today's final, Holy Cross has now completed the 2011-2012 season.