LOWELL, Mass. – Holy Cross senior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) tallied her third career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the Crusaders to a 92-69 victory over UMass Lowell in non-conference women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Costello Athletic Center. With the win, Holy Cross improves to 2-0 on the season, while the River Hawks fall to 0-3 overall. This is the first time since the 2004-2005 season, where Holy Cross has started the season with a 2-0 record.
Both teams traded baskets to begin the contest as the score was 7-7 at the 18:15 mark of the first half. Holy Cross then went on a 13-5 rally to gain the 20-12 lead (13:20) on the back of a three-pointer by sophomore Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.). After the River Hawks drained a three on the other end to cut the deficit to 20-15, the Crusaders embarked on a 10-0 run to grab the 30-15 lead with 8:27 on the clock. Holy Cross senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) got the 10-point rally started with back-to-back three-pointers.
UMass Lowell countered with a 7-0 rally to cut the deficit to 30-22 (6:37), but the Crusaders came out on all cylinders after a timeout. Over the next four minutes, Holy Cross went on a 15-0 scoring surge to go on top 45-22. The Crusaders kept up the pressure, as they went into the locker room with the 48-30 lead.
In the second half, Holy Cross came out strong as it went on a 14-4 run over the first 4:45 of action to gain the 62-34 advantage on the back of senior Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) trey from the corner. The River Hawks worked the deficit to 21 points (66-45) at the 10:58 mark of the second half, but Holy Cross countered with a 15-3 rally to gain the 81-48 advantage (6:01). UMass Lowell closed the game on a 21-11 run, but it would not be enough as the Crusaders would go on to claim the 92-69 victory.
In addition to Malone for the Crusaders, five other players had double-digit points for Holy Cross. Smith recorded an all-around great game with a game-best 17 points to go along with seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Mifsud recorded career-highs of 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds, while junior forward Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) tallied 13 points and seven boards.
In her first collegiate-start, freshman Jenn Dynis (St. Louis, Mo.) tallied a career-high 11 points and five rebounds, while sophomore center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) totaled 10 points and five caroms. UMass Lowell was led by Shannon Samuels, who had 15 points.
Holy Cross connected on 35 of its 70 shots (50 percent), while it limited UMass Lowell to a 31.8 percent clip from the floor (21-of-66). The Crusaders drained 34.8 percent of their shots from the behind the arc (8-of-23), while the River Hawks shot 11-of-42 from downtown (26.2 percent). Holy Cross held advantages in points in the paint (38-20), points off turnovers (19-8), assists (25-12) and rebounds (53-34).
This is the first time since Nov. 29, 2008 (94-93, 3OT, vs. Missouri) that Holy Cross scored over 90 points in a game and also the first time that it achieved the scoring feat in regulation since Dec. 3, 2005 (91-66, vs. Memphis).
Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 23, when it will host Bryant at the Hart Center for a 5:00 contest.