WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross senior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) totaled a game-best 18 points on seven of nine shooting from the field, to go along with six assists and four steals to help lead the Crusaders to a 59-49 triumph over Loyola Maryland in Patriot League women's basketball action on Wednesday evening at the Hart Center. With the win, Holy Cross improves to 18-10 on the season and 10-7 in the league, while the Greyhounds fall to 5-23 overall and 2-15 in the conference.
The two teams went back and forth to begin the contest, as the score was tied 10-10 at the 12:22 mark of the first half. The Crusaders then erupted on its largest run of the game, as they embarked on a 21-2 surge over the next 10:54 to gain the 31-12 lead with 1:28 on the clock. Malone tallied seven points during the rally, as the Crusaders forced five Greyhound turnovers during the stretch. Loyola rallied back with a pair of buckets over the final minute, but Holy Cross went into the locker room on top, 32-16.
The Crusaders kept up the tempo in the second half and jumped ahead with a 19-4 run to gain the 51-20 advantage (10:20) – their largest of the game. Malone scored five points during the rally, while senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) and junior forward Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) scored three points apiece. Loyola, however, would not go down without a fight, as it clawed its way back into the game. The Greyhounds ended the contest outscoring Holy Cross 29-8, but the deficit was too much to overcome as Holy Cross claimed the 59-49 victory.
In addition to Malone for the Crusaders, Smith recorded 12 points and six assists, while sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) registered nine points and a game-best 15 rebounds. Parker scored five points for Holy Cross, while sophomore center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) tallied four points, six rebounds and four blocked shots. Loyola was led by Diana Logan, who scored a team-best 13 points.
The Crusaders shot 41.1 percent from the field (23 of 56), while the Greyhounds hit 21 of 52 from the floor (40.4 percent). Holy Cross canned six of 17 from behind the arc (35.3 percent), while Loyola connected on 30.0 percent from downtown (3 of 10). The Crusaders held advantages in rebounding (41-26), assists (21-11), points in the paint (26-22) and second chance points (12-1).
Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, March 1, for its final regular season game at Boston University at 1:00 p.m. The Crusaders have clinched the fifth seed in the Patriot League Tournament and will travel to No. 4 Bucknell on Thursday, March 6 for a gametime to be announced later.