WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross junior forward Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) scored a career and game-best 23 points to go along with four steals and three assists to help lead the Crusaders to a season-opening 87-71 triumph over Yale at the Hart Center on Friday evening. With the win, Holy Cross ends the Bulldogs' four-game winning streak in the series.
Yale jumped out to its largest lead just four minutes into the contest as they held the 8-4 advantage. Holy Cross tied the score two minutes later at the 15:32 mark of the first half and never trailed for the remainder of the game. Over the next 10 minutes, the two teams traded baskets and kept the score knotted (26-26) with 6:18 left in the first half. Holy Cross finished the first stanza on a 13-7 run to go into the intermission with a 39-33 lead over the Bulldogs.
Yale would battle the Crusaders to start the second half, as they worked the deficit down to 45-43 at the 16:24 mark. However, Holy Cross would go on a 16-3 rally over the next 4:14 to work the lead to 61-48 on the back of a freshman Lisa Mifsud's (Erie Pa.) momentum-shifting four-point play. Yale would grind the deficit back down to seven points (64-57) at the 8:23 mark, but Holy Cross would embark on an 18-4 run to go ahead 82-61 with 3:13 remaining. Mifsud scored five points during the streak, while sophomore Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) tallied four.
The Bulldogs would chip into the large Crusader advantage and finish the game on a 10-5 streak, which resulted in the final score of 87-71.
Parker tallied 18 points in the contest and grabbed five caroms, while junior Alex Smith (Delran, Pa.) added 17 points and dished out a game-best eight assists. Mifsud, in her first collegiate game, scored 11 points off the bench, while junior Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) racked up eight points and colelcted a contest-high eight rebounds. Nyasha Sarju led the Bulldogs with 18 points.
Holy Cross shot 48.5 percent from the field (32-of-66), while Yale was held to 25-of-69 from the floor. The Bulldogs connected on 40.7 percent of shots from behind the arc (11-for-27) as the Crusaders were two-of-nine from downtown (22.2 percent). Holy Cross also performed well from the charity stripe as they converted 21-of-29 attempts (72.4 percent).
The Crusaders held advantages, with regards to points, in the paint (48-20), off turnovers (23-8), second chance (22-14) and fast break (14-0).
Holy Cross returns to action on Tuesday, November 13 as they will host rival Boston College at 7:00 p.m. at the Hart Center.