HAMILTON, N.Y. – Holy Cross senior co-captain Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) hit a game-winning layup with 1.5 seconds on the clock to lift the Crusaders to a 53-51 victory over Colgate at Cotterell Court on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Crusaders conclude the regular season at 16-13 overall and 8-6 in the Patriot League, while the Raiders fall to 9-20 on the season and 3-11 overall.
Holy Cross will now face Lehigh in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League tournament on Thursday, March 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Hart Center.
Holy Cross jumped right of the gate with a 7-0 run over the first three minutes of action as Lepley scored four points during the rally. Colgate, however, responded with a 9-2 run to tie the game at 9-9 with 13:08 on the clock. The Raiders kept up the pace and went on an 11-2 run over the next 1:50 to gain the 20-11 lead.
The Crusaders rallied back with five straight points to cut the deficit to 20-16 (8:06), but a three-pointer by Colgate's Catherine Lewis put the Raiders back up by seven (23-16). Colgate kept the seven-point lead with 4:13 on the clock, before junior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) drilled a three to make the score 25-21. The Raiders would outscore the Crusaders 5-4 over the final four minutes of action as they went into the locker room on top 30-25.
Colgate jumped ahead with six straight points to begin the second half to lead the Crusaders 36-25 with 17:22 on the clock – its largest lead of the game. Holy Cross was able to counter with a three-pointer by sophomore Ashley Cooper (Colts Neck, N.J.) and a layup by junior Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) to cut the deficit to six points (36-30) with 15:15 left in the half. The Raiders kept the six point lead (40-34) with 13:22 before the Crusaders used layups by sophomore Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) and Lepley to trail by two (40-38) at the 12:31 mark. The Raiders scored four straight over the next two minutes to lead 44-38 (10:01), but Holy Cross rallied and answered with an 8-0 run to grab its first lead since 13:31 of the first half.
The Crusaders held the 45-44 lead with 7:30 left in the second half. Over the next five minutes, the two teams tied the score twice and exchanged the lead three times as the score was knotted at 49-49 with 2:12 on the clock. After two scoreless possessions by both teams, Holy Cross freshman center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) hit a layup with 28 seconds left to go ahead 51-49. Colgate guard Jhazmine Lynch scored on the other end with 13 seconds left in the game setting the stage for Lepley's heroics.
Lepley led the Crusaders with 14 points to go along with six rebounds and pair of steals, while Smith scored 12 points and hauled in eight rebounds. Hourigan scored six points and also had eight boards for Holy Cross as Parker had six points as well. Lynch led Colgate with a game-high 25 points.
The Crusaders connected on 37 percent of their shots in the game (17 of 46), while Colgate hit 19 of its 59 shots from the field (32.2 percent). Holy Cross drained 30 percent of its shots from downtown (3 of 10) and connected on 16 of 19 from the free-throw line (84.2 percent). The Crusaders held advantages in rebounds (41-31), assists (11-7) and second chance points (13-5).