WORCESTER, Mass. – Navy junior guard Alix Membreno scored a game-high 16 points and hauled in six rebounds to help propel the Midshipmen to a 60-47 triumph over Holy Cross in Patriot League women's basketball action on Wednesday evening at the Hart Center. With the win, the Mids improve to 9-8 overall and 2-0 in the conference, while the Crusaders slip to 8-9 on the season and 0-2 in the league.
Navy jumped out to an early 15-4 lead at the 14:27 mark of the first half as it connected on three treys during the spurt. The Mids pushed the lead to as many as 15, on two occasions, as they held the 24-9 advantage with 10:27 on the clock.
Holy Cross was able to ignite its offense as it went on an 11-2 run over the next seven minutes to trail Navy 26-20 with 3:25 left in the first. Holy Cross junior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) scored five points during the rally. However, Navy was able to score six straight points, including a buzzer-beater by Kara Pollinger from mid-court, to give the Mids the 32-20 lead at halftime.
After the intermission, the Crusaders came out strong as they began the second half on an 11-3 rally to cut the deficit to four points (35-31) with 15:21 on the clock. Holy Cross kept the score close over the next two minutes, before Navy began to pull away.
The Mids went on a 13-4 burst to gain the 48-35 lead (10:07) and then increased their margin to 17 points (58-41) with 4:45 left in the second half. Navy held on the margin as it would go on to win, 60-47.
Smith scored a team-best 12 points and had four assists for Holy Cross, while senior forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) tallied 11 points and six rebounds. Junior forward Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass) chipped in with five points and a team-high seven rebounds, as third-year guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) netted nine points. In addition to Membreno, Navy junior forward Jade Geif hauled in a game-high 16 rebounds to go along with five points.
Navy shot 37 percent from the floor (23 of 63), while the Crusaders were limited to 17 of 59 shooting (29 percent). The Mids cashed in on 10 of their 34 attempts from beyond the arc (29 percent), as Holy Cross only shot 22 percent on the night from downtown (4 of 18).
Holy Cross held slim advantages in points in the paint (22-20), steals (8-7), fast break points (10-4) and blocks (4-3).
The Crusaders continue Patriot League action on Saturday, Jan. 19, as they will head to Washington, D.C. to take on American at 2:00 p.m.