WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross senior forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass) scored a game-best 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Crusaders to a come-from-behind, 60-55, victory over Lafayette in Patriot League women's basketball action on Wednesday evening at the Hart Center. With the win, Holy Cross improves to 9-10 overall and 1-3 in the Patriot League, while the Leopards slip to 7-12 on the season and 0-4 in the conference.
With 6:41 left in the second half, Lafayette held a nine-point, 52-43, advantage. Holy Cross, who led at halftime, embarked on what would be a game-changing rally to conclude the contest. The Crusaders scored 15 straight points during the run, including seven from Lepley and five from junior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) to gain the 60-52 lead with 22 seconds on the clock. Holy Cross forced three turnovers and held the Leopards to 0-6 shooting during the finish, until Lafayette hit a three-pointer with 11 seconds on the clock for its only points over the final six-plus minutes.
Holy Cross started the game firing as it held the 13-1 lead with 13:50 on the clock. Junior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) scored six points during the rally for the Crusaders. Lafayette would slowly chip into the deficit as it worked the score to 18-15 with a 14-5 rally over the next three minutes. Holy Cross answered with seven straight points to go ahead 25-15, with 7:13 on the clock, before it was able to push its margin back to 12 points (31-19) at the 3:18 mark of the first half. The Leopards ended the half on a 5-2 spurt to trail Holy Cross at halftime, 33-24.
Lafayette carried its momentum over into the beginning of the second half as it exploded on a 12-2 scoring surge to gain its first lead (36-35) with 15:44 on the clock. The Leopards continued to push ahead as they gained the 43-38 advantage with 12:43 left in the second half. Holy Cross would pick up the pace and trail only by two points (45-43) at the 9:12 mark, before a 7-0 rally by Lafayette gave it the 52-43 lead and set the game up for the dramatic finish.
In addition to Lepley's performance, Malone chipped in with 14 points, four rebounds and three steals, while Smith posted 12 points, a game-high six assists and four boards. Freshman forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) scored six points and hauled in a game-best 10 rebounds. Kelly Loughney and Linnel Macklin each scored 12 points to lead Lafayette.
Holy Cross connected on 43 percent of its shots from the floor (22 of 51), while the Leopards drained 21 of 57 from the field (37 percent). The Crusaders canned 5 of 13 from behind the arc (39 percent), as Lafayette made 44 percent of its shots from downtown (44 percent). Holy Cross went 11 of 18 from the charity stripe (61 percent) and Lafayette hit 71 percent of its shots from the free-throw line (5 of 7). The Crusaders held advantages in rebounds (40-31), blocks (4-2), points in the paint (30-14) and second chance points (7-5).
Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 26 as it will travel to Patriot League opponent Bucknell for a 2:00 p.m. tipoff.