WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross senior co-captain Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) tallied a game-high 19 points and also hauled in eight rebounds to help the No. 4 Crusaders defeat No. 8 Colgate, 59-38, in the semifinal round of the Patriot League Tournament at the Hart Center on Monday evening. With the win, Holy Cross improves to 18-13 on the year, while the Raiders conclude their season at 10-21.
Holy Cross will now travel to second-seeded Navy to play in the Patriot League Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. The contest will be a rematch of the 2012 title game in which Navy defeated the Crusaders, 57-48. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
The Crusaders grabbed the early lead in this contest and never looked back, as Holy Cross began the game on a 9-0 run, just three minutes into the first half. HC then sparked together a 15-2 rally to gain the 24-2 lead with 8:11 on the clock. Lepley scored nine of her 19 points during the surge for Holy Cross as junior guards Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) and Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) drilled one three-pointer apiece. Colgate went on a 7-2 rally over the next four minutes to cut the deficit to 26-9, but Holy Cross freshman Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) connected on a trey to put HC back on top by 20 points (29-9) with 3:58 left in the first half. The Raiders outscored the Crusaders, 5-3, to end the half as Holy Cross went into the locker room on top, 32-14.
Colgate used two quick buckets after the intermission to make the score 32-18, but a layup by freshman center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) and two free-throws by Malone, put the Crusaders back up by 18 (36-18) at the 17:19 mark of the second half. Colgate went on a 6-2 run over the next four minutes to trail Holy Cross, 38-24, but the Crusaders answered with five straight points, capped off with a Lepley trey to push the margin to 43-24. Holy Cross went ahead by 21 points (54-33) on a Smith layup with 4:25 on the clock, as it would cruise to the 59-38 victory in the closing minutes.
In addition to Lepley for Holy Cross, freshman forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) dominated the boards as she gathered a game and career-best 14 rebounds, including five off the offensive glass. Smith scored 11 points and had two assists, while Malone tallied 10 points, three rebounds and a game-high eight assists. Hourigan posted seven rebounds and a team-best two blocks for the Crusaders. Lulu Brase, Jhazmine Lynch and Josie Stockill all scored eight points apiece to lead Colgate.
Holy Cross shot 44.4 percent from the floor (24 of 54), as the Raiders were limited to 12 of 58 from the field (20.7 percent). The Crusaders canned seven of their 17 shots from downtown (41.2 percent) as Colgate struggled from long range with a 6.3 percent shooting clip (1 of 16). Holy Cross held advantages in rebounds (45-32), assists (22-6), points in the paint (30-18) and fast-break points (9-0). The Crusaders had assists on 22 of their 24 shots from the floor.