Holy Cross Travels To UMass Lowell On Nov. 16

Molly Hourigan

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The Teams: Holy Cross (1-0, 0-0 Away) vs. UMass Lowell (0-2, 0-1 Home)
Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: Costello Athletic Center (2,100); Lowell, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: WNEB 1230 AM, Worcester; Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Video Streaming: American East Network; Click Here to Watch
Unofficial Live Statistics: GoRiverHawks.com
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 4-2
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 88, UMass Lowell 70 (Feb. 17, 1982; Lowell, Mass.)

HOLY CROSS TRAVELS TO UMASS LOWELL ON SATURDAY: The Holy Cross women's basketball team will play its first road contest of the 2013-2014 season on Saturday, Nov. 16 against UMass Lowell at 2:00 p.m. The Crusaders are coming off an 84-59 triumph in its home opener on Friday, Nov. 8 against Dartmouth, in front of a crowd of 1,854. After the contest versus the River Hawks, Holy Cross will play two home contests in a four-day span, beginning with a game on Saturday, Nov. 23 versus Bryant at 5:00 p.m. The Crusaders will then take on Massachusetts on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7:00 p.m. before its Thanksgiving holiday hiatus. Holy Cross won its road opener last season (63-59 win over Massachusetts) after dropping its last six road games to begin the season.

THE SERIES WITH THE RIVER HAWKS: This will be the seventh meeting between Holy Cross and UMass Lowell, with the Crusaders holding the 4-2 series lead. It has been 32 years since these two teams squared off, as the Crusaders defeated the River Hawks 88-70 in Lowell, Mass, on Feb. 17, 1982. This matchup started during the 1976-1977 season as the River Hawks topped Holy Cross, 57-49 at the Hart Center. UMass Lowell won the next meeting between these two teams in 1977-1978, before the Crusaders won the next four contests in the series. Holy Cross is 2-1 in games played in Lowell, Mass.

Overall: Holy Cross leads, 4-2
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 2-1
In Lowell: Holy Cross leads, 2-1
At the Costello Athletic Center: Holy Cross leads, 2-1
In Overtime Games: N/A
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, four games

HOLY CROSS AGAINST THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE: In its program history, Holy Cross has played seven of the nine teams currently in the America East Conference (Albany, Hartford, Maine, Maryland-Baltimore County, UMass Lowell, New Hampshire and Vermont). This season, the Crusaders will only play one America East school, UMass Lowell. Against America East teams, Holy Cross holds a 51-25 overall record for a .671 winning percentage. Last season, Holy Cross was defeated by New Hampshire, 68-65 on Nov. 17. Vermont is the only America East school to hold a winning record over the Crusaders (8-6), as Holy Cross has the series lead against Albany (2-1), Hartford (13-3), Maine (10-3), UMBC (1-0), UMass Lowell (4-2) and New Hampshire (15-8).

SMITH NAMED PRESEASON ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE: Senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) was recently named to the Preseason All-Patriot League team after being selected first team All-Patriot League the past two seasons. In the season opener versus Dartmouth, Smith registered 11 points (all in the second half), six assists and three rebounds. She also went 3-of-6 from behind the arc versus the Big Green. She is 15 three-pointers made away from breaking the Holy Cross career record of 277 set by Bethany O'Dell and is 24 treys away from breaking the Patriot League career record of 286 by Alex Ross of Lehigh. She recently broke the Holy Cross record for career three-point attempts, as she now has 703. In 2012-2013, Smith led the Patriot League with 14.5 points and 2.9 three-pointers made per game. She also ranked second in the league in three-point percentage (.372), third in minutes played per game (35.9), and fifth in assists per contest (3.7). Smith became the 29th player in Holy Cross history and the 11th junior to score 1,000 career points, accomplishing the feat on Jan. 19, 2013. Smith registered double-figure points in 29 contests last year and scored over 20 points in four games. Last year, Smith set a pair of Holy Cross single-season records with 93 three-pointers made and 250 three-pointers attempted. For her career, Smith has 1,219 points (15th in HC history), 409 assists (10th in HC history), 354 rebounds and 156 steals. In 2012-2013, Smith was also named Academic All-Patriot League.

MALONE COMING OFF STRONG CAMPAIGN: Senior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) will join a Smith to form a strong backcourt duo this season for Holy Cross. In the season opener versus Dartmouth, Malone had the second most points for Holy Cross with 16. She also recorded six assists and three rebounds versus the Big Green. Coming off her best season in a Crusader uniform, Malone ranked first in the Patriot League with 5.0 assists per contest and was third with 1.8 steals per game and a 1.6-to-1.0 assist/turnover ratio. She also tallied 9.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game a season ago. Malone was named to the Patriot League All-Tournament team in 2012-2013 after averaging 12.0 points and 6.0 assists in the tournament. In last year's season opener versus Yale, Malone scored a career-best 23 points to go along with four steals and three assists. She scored double-digits in 14 games last year and recorded her second career double-double with 11 points and 10 assists versus Bucknell on Feb. 23, 2013. Malone enters the season 213 points away from 1,000 in her career.

GANSER TO BOLTER HOLY CROSS FRONTCOURT: Holy Cross senior forward Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) will provide the Crusaders and more specifically the frontcourt with senior leadership and versatility. She averaged 7.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in 2012-2013. Last season, Ganser set career-highs in points (223), assists (35), blocks (6), three-pointers made (19), three-pointers attempted (62) and field-goal percentage (.441). She scored double-digits in seven contests last season and also recorded her second career double-double with a 17 point and 10 rebound effort at Fordham on Jan. 6, 2013.

JUNIORS IN THE POST: Holy Cross junior forwards Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) and Clare Sullivan (Belmont, Mass.) will be big contributors in the frontcourt for the Crusaders this season. In the season opener versus Dartmouth, Parker tallied 11 points and a team-best nine rebounds in only 18 minutes of action. She was also tied for the game-high with three blocks. In 25 games played last season, Parker averaged 5.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game. Injuries hampered the 2012-2013 season for Parker, but the 6-2 forward is back healthy for the 2013-2014 campaign. Sullivan will look for an increase role this season in the frontcourt with the graduation of forward Amy Lepley. She saw 15 minutes of action versus Dartmouth and recorded a pair of assists and one rebound. In 28 games played a season ago, Sullivan averaged 2.4 points and 1.1 rebounds while making 11 blocks.  

RAQ-ING UP THE REBOUNDS: Crusader sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) will look to carry over her strong effort in last year's Patriot League Tournament to the 2013-2014 season. In the season opener versus Dartmouth, Scott had her best game as a Crusader. In only 25 minutes of action, she recorded a career-best 22 points (18 in the first half) on 10-of-12 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds and five assists (career-high). For her performance, Scott was named the GoHolyCross.com Crusader of the Week. In last year's tournament, Scott ranked second in the league with 10.7 rebounds per game, including a career-best 14 boards in the Patriot League semifinal versus Colgate. During her rookie campaign, Scott played in all 32 games and made 14 starts. She averaged 4.3 points per game and ranked first on the team and 12th in the Patriot League with 5.3 rebounds per contest (169 total). Scott tallied a 10 point and 12 rebound double-double versus Manhattan a season ago.

HOURIGAN LOOKS TO CONTINUE OUTSTANDING SECOND HALF: Holy Cross sophomore center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) will look to continue her strong freshman campaign this season. In the season opener versus Dartmouth, Hourigan tallied seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 19 minutes of action off the bench. The only center on the roster at 6-4, Hourigan was a key contributor down the stretch last season, starting in 14 of the final 15 contests for Holy Cross. In 29 games played a season ago, Hourigan averaged 3.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

BACKCOURT DEPTH: Holy Cross' depth in the backcourt will give them the ability to have a variety of lineups depending on its opponents. Senior Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) will provide the Crusaders with a physical on-ball defender as she played in 20 games a season ago and totaled 10 steals. Sophomore Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) will contend for a starting role this season, as she started versus Dartmouth and recorded career-highs of 12 points and four assists. She was also 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Mifsud played in 30 games in 2012-2013 and averaged 2.2 points per game. Second-year players Kate Gillespie (Washington, D.C.) and Jenn Walsh (Dallas, Texas) will also add depth coming off the bench this season. Both Gillespie and Walsh saw action in the Dartmouth game. Gillespie played in 14 games and made two starts last season, while Walsh saw action in a pair of contests.

CRUSADERS ADD PAIR OF FRESHMEN: Holy Cross will add two freshmen to the 2013-2014 team. Jenn Dynis (St. Louis, Mo.) and Madelyn Ganser (Needham, Mass.) will play a variety of roles on this year's squad, as both are listed as a guard/forward. Both players saw action in the season opener versus Dartmouth. Dynis recorded five points, three rebounds and a pair of assists, while Ganser tallied a rebound and an assist. Dynis comes from Visitation Academy and was a two-time conference champion and player of the year. Ganser, sister of senior forward Christine, comes to Holy Cross from Needham High School. At Needham, she was a three-time conference all star and helped guide her team to the state tournament in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Both players are listed at 5-11 and will play either the three or four position on the floor. 

SMITH AND GANSER NAMED 2013-2014 CAPTAINS: This season, the Crusaders will have two senior captains. Forward Christine Ganser and guard Alex Smith will lead the Crusaders as they embark on the 2013-2014 campaign. Smith was co-captain with graduate Amy Lepley during the 2012-2013 season.

RAQUET NAMED ASSISTANT COACH: In August, the Crusaders announced the hiring of assistant coach Matt Raquet. Raquet comes to Holy Cross after three years at Temple University where he served as administrative coordinator and graduate assistant coach for the women's basketball program. His primary responsibilities at Holy Cross include video operations, player development, scouting and recruiting. Raquet received his bachelor's degree from Pittsburgh in 2009 and was a four-year member and senior team captain of the men's track and field team.

CRUSADERS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross was picked to finish fourth in the 2013-2014 Patriot League preseason poll, receiving 112 points. Navy was tabbed to finish first in the poll after receiving 157 points and 14 first-place votes. Army was picked second in the poll with 133 points and three first-place votes, while new conference member Boston University finished in third place with 128 points and three first-place votes. After the Crusaders at fourth, Lehigh was picked fifth with 97 points and American was tabbed sixth with 87 points. Bucknell (seventh, 62 points), new league member Loyola (Md.) (eighth, 54 points), Lafayette (ninth, 37 points) and Colgate (10th, 33 points) round out the 10 teams in the Patriot League. Navy senior forward Jade Geif was named Preseason Player of the Year. Kelsey Minato of Army, Rashidat Agboola of BU, Kerry Kinek of Lehigh, Alex Smith of Holy Cross and Geif were all named to the Preseason All-League team.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 2.0: The Crusaders motto of "unfinished business" will carry over to this season, as the team was bested for the second straight year in the Patriot League championship game by Navy. After earning the fourth seed in the Patriot League Tournament in 2012-2013, Holy Cross defeated Lehigh and Colgate, both at home, to earn a trip to the championship contest. The Mids, however, claimed the 72-53 victory to earn their third consecutive Patriot League title. Holy Cross will look to improve on its No.4 seed from last season to put itself in position to host multiple tournament games and earn a trip to the NCAA tournament.

SMITH NAMED A SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATE:  Alex Smith has been named one of the 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award for Division I women's basketball. The Senior CLASS Award recognizes NCAA student-athletes who have notable achievements in four area of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The 30 candidates will be narrowed down to 10 finalists midway through the regular season and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Women's Final Four. Go to 'http://www.seniorclassaward.com/athletes/alex_smith/' to read Smith's nomination information.

HELP ME HELP YOU: In 2012-2013, Holy Cross ranked first in the Patriot League and 34th in the nation with 15.5 assists per contest and that largely had to do with senior guards Brisje Malone and Alex Smith. In the season opener versus Dartmouth, Holy Cross dished out 28 assists on 32 field goals and ranks first in the Patriot League. Malone and Smith led the Crusaders with six helpers apiece. Last season, Malone ranked first in the conference and 43rd in the country with 5.0 assists per game. Smith also contributed with 3.8 assists per contest last season, which put her fifth in the Patriot League. The pair combined for 267 of Holy Cross' 495 assists in 2012-2013 and will look to improve on those numbers this year.

HOLY CROSS' HIGH SCORING OFFENSE: The Holy Cross offense has been a big part of its success over the past few seasons and last years' team was no different. The Crusaders ranked first in the Patriot League in points per game (59.9), field goal percentage (.414) and second in the conference in three-pointers per game (5.7) and three-point field goal percentage (.332). This season, the Crusaders picked up right where they left off, as they scored 84 points in the season opener versus Dartmouth. Holy Cross currently leads the Patriot League in scoring offense (84.0), field-goal percentage (.492) and scoring margin (+25.0). The 2011-2012 team also ranked first in the conference in points per contest (63.1) and field goal percentage (.413).

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: Last season, the Crusaders ranked in the top 100 in the NCAA Division I leaders in six statistical categories. In addition, Alex Smith and Brisje Malone are in the top 100 in the nation in four individual statistics as well. The rankings for the 2012-2013 season:

Category                                        Rank       Player / Team         Avg. / Pct.
Three-Pointers Made   17   Alex Smith 2.91
  92   Holy Cross 5.70
Assists Per Game 34   Holy Cross 15.5
  43   Brisje Malone 5.00
Three-Point Percentage 44   Alex Smith 37.2
  56   Holy Cross 33.2
Fewest Personal Fouls 58   Holy Cross 14.6
Field Goal Percentage 74   Holy Cross 41.4
Assist-Turnover Ratio 78   Brisje Malone 1.58
  94   Holy Cross 0.86








Holy Cross boasts a very strong record when playing at the Hart Center. In now their 39th season, the Crusaders have an all-time record winning percentage of .742 when playing their games at home (353-123). Since Holy Cross went to Division I during the 1982-83 season, they hold an even better .762 winning percentage with a record of 314-98 at the Hart Center.

DARTMOUTH RECAP: Sophomore forward Raquel Scott helped Holy Cross defeat Dartmouth 84-59, as the Crusaders opened the 2013-2014 season at the Hart Center on Friday, Nov. 8 against Dartmouth. Scott led the team with career-best 22 points and five assists to go along with seven rebounds. Dartmouth's Fanni Szabo netted 21 points for the Big Green and was the team's top scorer. In addition to Scott, the other four starters for the Crusaders tallied double digits. Senior Brisje Malone had 16 points and six assists, while classmate Alex Smith had 11 points and six helpers. Junior Emily Parker tallied 11 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore Lisa Mifsud registered career-highs of 12 points and four assists. Dartmouth started the game off in the lead, with the first point scored by Lakin Roland on a free throw just 15 seconds into the game. The Crusaders quickly followed with a layup by Parker (18:55) making the score 2-1. With 17:32 on the clock, the Crusaders would go on a 17-5 run, to gain the 23-5 lead at 10:17. Malone, Scott, Mifsud, Parker and sophomore Molly Hourigan all helped the team during the rally. After three scoreless minutes, Dartmouth's Nicola Zimmerman placed a jumper in the net, making the score 23-7 (9:54). With 8:30 on the clock, Holy Cross began another rally, and went on a 13-5 run to gain the 34-11 (4:29) advantage. During which, Scott led the Crusaders with four of the 13 points. Holy Cross would maintain the lead as it went into the locker room on top 44-19. The Crusaders came out of intermission and went on a 10-0 run right off the start. Big points made by Malone and Smith during this run helped propel the Crusaders to a 56-19 lead (17:23). Malone started the Crusaders off with a layup at 19:28 and she would later tally six points during the run. Smith also aided with two big threes. During the surge the team played strong both defensively and offensively, making crucial defensive rebounds and scoring big points. In its effort to close the gap, Dartmouth rallied led by Szabo, who scored 10 points, with three treys, to bring the score to 80-50 (1:56). While the Big Green tried to close the gap, the Crusaders were able to hold on to the lead, as it cruised to the 84-59 final score. Holy Cross shot 49.2 percent from the field (32-of-65), while Dartmouth connected on 36.7 percent of its shots (22-of-60). The Crusaders also drilled seven-of-18 from behind the arc (38.9 percent) and hit 76.5 percent of their shots from the foul line (13-of-17). Holy Cross held advantages in points in the paint (44-18), assists (28-9) and rebounds (46-31).

CRUSADER VISION & THE PATRIOT LEAGUE NETWORK: Live video streaming of all Holy Cross home non-conference games and most Patriot League regular season games during the 2013-2014 season will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision and the Patriot League Network. The package, done in association with Campus Insiders, is available free of charge. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision or the Patriot League Network, visit 'www.GoHolyCross.com' or "www.PatriotLeague.org".

ON THE RADIO: Seven of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2013-2014 season will be carried by Emmanuel Radio, WNEB 1230 AM in Worcester.  Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 27th season calling the play-by-play for Crusader basketball on the radio. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their 10th year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. All games aired on Emmanuel Radio can also be heard live over the internet at 'www.1230radio.com'.  WCHC 88.1 FM, the Holy Cross student station, will also carry a number of games this year.

ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross will have at least two games shown on live television during the 2013-2014 season. The Crusaders had five appearances last season, while appearing seven times in 2011-2012. Holy Cross was on television five times in 2010-11 and six times in 2009-10. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2013-2014 season:

Jan. 2 vs. Boston University (Charter TV3)
Feb. 26 vs. Loyola (Md.) (Charter TV3) 

ON THE INTERNET: Information on Crusader basketball and all 26 other varsity sports is available through the Holy Cross Athletics home page at "www.GoHolyCross.com". In addition, links to Holy Cross basketball audio broadcasts and live video streaming can be found on the home page. Updates on Holy Cross Athletics can also be found at "www.facebook.com/HolyCrossAthletics" and "www.twitter.com/GoHolyCross".

ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Updates on Holy Cross basketball can be found through the Holy Cross Athletics pages on the following social media networks:

Facebook - www.facebook.com/HolyCrossAthletics
Twitter - www.twitter.com/GoHolyCross
YouTube - www.youtube.com/GoHolyCross
Instagram - www.instagram.com/GoHolyCross

EMAIL ALERTS: Get all the latest news and results on the Holy Cross women's basketball team sent directly to your e-mail. To sign up for e-mail alerts, visit: 'www.GoHolyCross.com/list-signup'

SCOUTING THE RIVER HAWKS: UMass Lowell comes into this contest with an 0-2 overall record after dropping a pair of games to Providence (109-74) and Yale (90-77). The River Hawks were tabbed ninth in the America East preseason poll, as this is the school's first season at the Division I level. UMass Lowell is led offensively by Shannon Samuels, who averages 20.2 points and 4.0 assists per contest. Melissa Frase ranks second on the team with 12.0 points per game, while Lindsey Doucette leads the squad with 10.5 rebounds per contest. UMass Lowell head coach Sarah Behn enters her third year at the helm of the River Hawks and has guided the program to a 29-27 overall record (29-25 in Division II). Last season, Behn's team finished with an 18-9 overall record, which was the best finish in 10 seasons. Behn had an illustrious career as a player at Boston College (1989-1993), where she totaled 2,523 career points.