Women’s Basketball Hangs On To Defeat Northeastern, 70-62

Brisje Malone

WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) recorded her third consecutive double-double, with a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds, to help lead the Crusaders to a 70-62 victory over Northeastern in non-conference women's basketball action on Wednesday evening at the Hart Center. With the win, Holy Cross improves to 6-0 overall, while the Huskies slip to 4-3 on the season. It is the first time since 1982-1983 that the Crusaders have started the year with a 6-0 record.

With 7:36 left in the second half, Holy Cross held the 54-44 lead. Northeastern then scored six straight points to cut the deficit to 54-50 at the 6:06 mark of the stanza, but Holy Cross sophomore center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) converted a layup on the other end to give the Crusaders the six-point advantage (56-50). Both teams went back-and-forth over the next 4:07, as Holy Cross would hold the 62-54 lead with 1:41 left in the contest. Northeastern drilled a three-pointer on its next possession to make the score 62-57 (1:24). The Huskies tried to get back into the contest by fouling the Crusaders, but Holy Cross closed the game going eight for eight from the charity stripe to clinch the 70-62 victory.

To begin the contest, both teams remained close before the Crusaders pushed their lead to 17-8 at the 11:25 mark of the first half. Holy Cross increased its margin to 13 points (23-10), but Northeastern canned two straight buckets to make the score 23-14 with 8:08 left in the first half. The Crusaders responded with a 5-2 run to gain the 28-16 advantage (6:04) on the back of a trey by senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) The Huskies fought hard over the final minutes of the period, as they closed the half on a 9-4 rally, but Holy Cross held the 32-25 lead at the intermission.

The Crusaders scored five straight points in the first 40 seconds of the second half to earn the 12-point advantage (37-25). Northeastern worked the deficit to seven points at the 12:54 mark of the stanza, but a 6-1 surge by the Crusaders gave them the 52-40 lead with 9:20 on the clock. The Huskies would cut the score to 10 points less than two minutes later, which set the stage for the dramatic finish over the final 7:36 of the contest.

Holy Cross senior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) registered 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Smith tallied 15 points and eight helpers. Junior forward Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) recorded eight points and eight boards, while sophomore Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) totaled eight points, all from the free-throw line, and three caroms. Hourigan pulled down eight rebounds for Holy Cross and had a pair of blocked shots. Jewel Tunstull led Northeastern with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Crusaders connected on 22 of its 59 shots in the game (37.3 percent), while the Huskies canned 38.2 percent from the field (26 of 68). Both teams struggled from behind the arc with Holy Cross hitting 26.7 percent (four of 15) and Northeastern drilling four of 19 from downtown (21.1 percent). The Crusaders shot 71.0 percent from the free throw line (22 of 31) and hit 13 of 17 (76.5 percent) in the second half.

Holy Cross held advantages in assists (16-10), total rebounds (52-28), offensive rebounds (20-8), second chance points (20-2) and fast break points (12-6).

The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, Dec. 7, when they will host Fordham at the Hart Center for a 1:00 p.m. tipoff.