GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (4-0, 1-0 Away) vs. Manhattan (1-4, 0-2 Home)
Date: Sunday, December 1
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: Draddy Gymnasium (2,520); Riverdale, N.Y.
Video Streaming / Audio: JasperVision
Unofficial Live Statistics: GoJaspers.com
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 11-8
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 60, Manhattan 52 (Dec. 1, 2012, Riverdale, N.Y.)
HOLY CROSS HEADS TO MANHATTAN ON SUNDAY: The Holy Cross women's basketball team (4-0) will play its fifth contest of the season on Sunday, Dec. 1, when it will travel to Manhattan (1-4) for a 2:00 p.m. tipoff at Draddy Gymnasium. The Crusaders are coming off a 76-54 victory over Massachusetts on Tuesday, Nov. 26 to advance their record to 4-0, which is the best start since 1987-1988. After the game versus the Jaspers, Holy Cross will host Northeastern on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m. before it entertains Fordham on Saturday, Dec. 7. The Crusaders will then have 11 days off for finals before they host Quinnipiac in their third annual "Get Fit with the Crusaders" game versus Quinnipiac at 11:30 a.m.
THE SERIES WITH THE JASPERS: This will be the 20th meeting between Holy Cross and Manhattan, with the Crusaders holding the 11-8 series edge. Holy Cross won its last game versus the Jaspers on Dec. 1, 2012 in Riverdale, N.Y. (60-52). The series dates back to Feb. 2, 1983, where Manhattan defeated Holy Cross, 69-66 in Riverdale. These two teams played 17 times until 1990, while Holy Cross was a part of the MAAC conference and the Crusaders held the 10-7 series lead. After a 22-year hiatus, the two squads met in the second round of the 2012 WBI tournament and Manhattan won the contest, 78-63 at the Hart Center on March 18, 2012. The Jaspers hold the 3-2 series lead in the last five contests played.
SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 11-8
At Holy Cross: Holy Cross leads, 7-1
At Manhattan: Manhattan leads, 5-4
At Draddy Gym: Manhattan leads, 5-4
In Overtime Games: N/A
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
HOLY CROSS AGAINST THE METRO-ATLANTIC CONFERENCE: In its program history, Holy Cross has played 10 of the 11 teams currently in the Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference (Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Niagara, Quinnipiac, Rider, St. Peter's and Siena). This season, the Crusaders are scheduled to play two MAAC teams, Manhattan and Quinnipiac (Dec. 18). Against MAAC schools, Holy Cross holds an 85-41 overall record for a .675 winning percentage. Last season, the Crusaders played both Manhattan (Dec. 1; W, 60-52) and Quinnipiac (Dec. 8; L, 61-49). Only one MAAC team, St. Peter's, holds a winning record versus the Crusaders (14-9). Holy Cross holds winning records over Canisius (3-1), Fairfield (15-11), Iona (18-2), Manhattan (11-8), Marist (6-0), Niagara (2-0), Quinnipiac (4-3), Rider (2-0) and Siena (15-2). Holy Cross was apart of the MAAC from 1984-1990 and won a pair of conference championships in 1985 and 1989.
CRUSADERS OFF TO HOT START: For the first time since the 1987-1988 season, Holy Cross is 4-0 to begin the campaign. It is only the fourth time in the 40-year school history where the Crusaders have started the year with a 4-0 overall record. The Crusaders have also scored 75 or more points in every contest this season, which has not been accomplished since 2005-2006. In its game at UMass Lowell on Nov. 16, it was the first time since Nov. 29, 2008, where the Crusaders scored over 90 points in a game, as they defeated Missouri 94-93 in triple overtime. It was also the most points scored in 40 minutes of basketball since Holy Cross topped Colgate, 103-72 on Jan. 16, 2002. Holy Cross is averaging 81.8 points and 23.3 assists per game, while shooting at a 46.9 percent clip from the field. The Crusaders hold large margins versus opponents in scoring (22.5 PPG), rebounding (+8.0 RPG) and assists (+23.3 APG) this season. With a win versus Manhattan, it would be the first time since the 1987-1988 season that Holy Cross has begun the year at 5-0. Only three times in the 39-year school history has Holy Cross started its season with a 5-0 record (1981-82/6-0; 1982-83/6-0; and 1987-88/5-0).
SMITH TO LEAD CRUSADERS THIS SEASON: Senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) has been a key contributor to this year's team and currently leads the squad with 17.5 points, 5.3 assists and 3.0 steals per contest. In the win over Massachusetts, Smith tallied a season-best 23 points and connected on five three pointers. In the win versus Bryant, Smith posted 19 points and five steals to go along with five boards and four helpers. Versus UMass Lowell, Smith filled the stat sheet with 17 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Her points, assists and steals mark were all game-highs. 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 three treys made away from breaking the Holy Cross career record of 277 set by Bethany O'Dell and is 12 threes 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 728. As of Nov. 26, she ranks first in the Patriot League in steals and three-pointers made per game and second in assists. She also ranks fourth in the conference in points per game. In 2012-2013, Smith led the Patriot League with 14.5 points and 2.9 three-pointers made per game. 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 1,278 points (13th in HC history), 424 assists (8th in HC history), 370 rebounds and 168 steals. In 2012-2013, Smith was named first team and Academic All-Patriot League.
MALONE COMING OFF STRONG CAMPAIGN: Senior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) will join Smith to form a strong backcourt duo this season for Holy Cross. So far this year, Malone is averaging 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per contest. In the last contest versus UMass, Malone registered a game and season best eight assists. Versus Bryant, Malone tallied 12 points, three rebounds and a pair of swipes. At UMass Lowell, Malone registered her third career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds in only 24 minutes played. 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. As of Nov 26, Malone ranks first in the Patriot League in assist-turnover ratio and fourth in assists per game. 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 is just 185 points away from 1,000 in her career.
GANSER TO BOLSTER 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. So far this year, Parker has averages of 12.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. In the last game versus Massachusetts, Parker recorded her third career double-double with 11 points and tied a career-best with 12 rebounds. Agasint Bryant, Parker totaled a season-best 14 points to go along with five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. In the win at UMass Lowell, Parker totaled 13 points and seven rebounds. 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. As of Nov 26, Parker ranks first in the Patriot League in offensive rebounds, second in blocked shots and seventh in total rebounds. 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. Against the Riverhawks, Sullivan tallied seven points and a pair of rebounds. 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. She currently averages 17.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. In the last game versus Massachusetts, Scott recorded her second career double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Agasint Bryant, Scott registered nine points to go along with a team-best six rebounds. 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. She fifth in the Patriot League in scoring and sixth in rebounds per game. 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. Playing in all four games so far this year, Hourigan averages 7.0 points and 4.0 caroms per contest. She recorded 10 points and five boards in the win at UMass Lowell. In the season opener versus Dartmouth, Hourigan tallied seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 19 minutes of action off the bench. She currently ranks second in the Patriot League in shooting percentage. 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. She averages 2.7 points and 2.0 rebounds per game this season. Sophomore Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) has started in all four contests this season and has performed well. So far this year, Mifsud has averages of 9.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds per contest. In the win at UMass Lowell, Mifsud recorded career-highs of 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds. In the season opener versus Dartmouth, she recorded 12 points and four assists. This season, she is 12-for-13 in free throws and is fifth in the Patriot League in assists. 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. Gillespie had her best game as a Crusader in the win over Bryant, with career-highs of eight points and two rebounds in 20 minutes of action. Both Gillespie and Walsh have seen time in all four contests this season. 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. So far this year, Dynis has averaged 5.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. She made her first collegiate start at UMass Lowell and recorded a career-best 11 points and five rebounds in the winning effort. In the season opener versus Dartmouth, she tallied five points, three rebounds and a pair of assists. Ganser has also played in all three contests this season and averages 1.8 rebounds per game. Versus Bryant, she grabbed a career-best three rebounds. At UMass Lowell, she dished out a career-best two assists, while she hauled in a rebound in the season opener versus Dartmouth. 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. This season, the duo along with sophomore Lisa Mifsud, have helped the Crusaders again rank first in the Patriot League in helpers with 23.0 per game. As of Nov. 21, Smith, Mifsud and Malone rank first, fourth and fifth in the Patriot League, respectively, in assists. The Crusaders tallied 25 assists on 35 shots at UMass Lowell and recorded 28 helpers on 32 buckets in the season opener versus Dartmouth. 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 OCTANE 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 and currently lead the Patriot League in points per game and shooting percentage. Holy Cross scored its most points in regulation (92) against UMass Lowell since the 2001-2002 season. The team also tallied 84 points in the season opener versus Dartmouth. 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: This season, the Crusaders are ranked in the top 50 in the NCAA Division I leaders in 10 statistical categories. In addition, Alex Smith, Brisje Malone, Lisa Mifsud and Emily Parker are all ranked in the top 50 in six individual statistics as well. The rankings as of Nov. 24:
|Catagory||Rank||Player / Team||Avg. / Pct.|
|Win Loss Percentage||1||Holy Cross||100.0|
|Free-Throw Percentgate||1||Lisa Mifsud||100.0|
|Assists Per Game||2||Holy Cross||23.0|
|Assist-Turnover Ratio||6||Holy Cross||1.64|
|Field-Goal Percentage||15||Holy Cross||48.2|
|Three-Pointers Per Game||17||Alex Smith||3.33|
|Scoring Margin||21||Holy Cross||22.7|
|Scoring Offense||27||Holy Cross||83.7|
|Field-Goal Pct. Defense||35||Holy Cross||33.5|
|Steals Per Game||37||Alex Smith||3.0|
|Three-Point Pct. Defense||38||Holy Cross||23.3|
|Rebound Margin||40||Holy Cross||9.0|
|Turnovers Per Game||48||Holy Cross||14.0|
UMASS RECAP: Holy Cross sophomore Raquel Scott and junior Emily Parker each registered double-doubles to help lead the Crusaders to a convincing, 76-55, victory over Massachusetts in non-conference women's basketball action on Tuesday evening at the Hart Center. Scott tallied 21 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while Parker recorded 11 points and tied a career-high with 12 boards. With the win, Holy Cross remains unbeaten at 4-0 this season, while the Minutewomen fall to 2-4 overall. This is the first time Holy Cross is 4-0 to start the year since the 1987-1988 campaign. Holy Cross began the contest hot, as it went ahead by 10 points (14-4) less than five minutes off the opening tip. Scott tallied eight points for the Crusaders during the early run, while senior guard Alex Smith connected on a pair of treys. Holy Cross pushed its lead to 23-7 at the 12:12 mark of the first half, but four quick points by UMass made the score 23-11 (11:27). The Crusaders then exploded on an 11-0 rally to gain the 34-11 advantage with 7:32 left in the half. The Minutewomen countered the Holy Cross run with a 12-2 surge to cut the deficit to 13 points (36-23) at the 2:54 mark. The Crusaders, however, closed the half strong as they went into the locker room on top 43-26. In the second half, Holy Cross pushed its lead to 22 points (50-28) at the 16:26 mark of the stanza. The Crusaders kept the sizable margin with 11:57 on the clock, as they held the 58-38 advantage. UMass, however, went on a 7-0 spurt to work the deficit to 13 points (58-45), but a jumper by Smith ended the rally and put Holy Cross on top 60-45 at the midway point of the half. The shot by Smith ignited the Crusaders, as they then embarked on a 12-1 run to gain the 72-46 lead (6:27). Parker and senior guard Kelly Hamner each recorded four points during the run for Holy Cross. UMass tried to mount a comeback over the final six minutes, but the Crusaders would go on to claim the 22-point victory (76-54). Scott's double-double was her second of her career, while Parker's was her third. Smith tallied a team-best 23 points to go along with four assists and four rebounds. She connected on five of nine from behind the arc and is now a pair of treys from tying the Holy Cross all-time three-pointers made mark of 277. Crusader senior Brisje Malone tallied a season-best eight assists, while sophomores Molly Hourigan and Lisa Mifsud posted six points apiece. UMass' Kim Pierre-Louis recorded a game-high 24 points to lead the Minutewomen. Holy Cross shot 43.5 percent from the field (30 of 69), while UMass connected on 21 of its 53 shots from the floor (39.6 percent). The Crusaders drilled 41.2 percent of their shots from behind the arc (seven of 17), while the Minutewomen canned three of 14 from behind the arc (21.4 percent). Holy Cross held advantages in assists (24-11), rebounds (40-35), steals (7-2) and points off turnovers (25-9).
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".
E-MAIL 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, click here.
SCOUTING THE JASPERS: Manhattan comes into this contest with a 1-4 overall record and is currently on a four-game losing streak after winning its season-opening contest versus Fairleigh Dickenson. The Jaspers are led by Monica Roeder, who has 14.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. Nicole Issacs has averages of 10.0 points and 1.4 rebounds, while Allison Skrec leads the team with 6.0 assists per contest. Manhattan head coach John Olenowski is in his fourth year at the helm of the Jaspers and has a record of 66-68. Prior to Manhattan, Olenowki was the head coach at Pace and the assistant coach at St. Peters.