ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Holy Cross senior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) tied a career-high with 23 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds to help lead the No. 5 seeded Crusaders to a 75-56 victory over top-seeded Navy in the semifinal round of the Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament on Monday evening at Alumni Hall. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 20-11 overall, while the Mids fall to 24-7 on the season. Holy Cross will take on No. 2 seed Army in the Patriot League Tournament championship game on Saturday, March 15 at 6:00 p.m. at Christl Arena. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
In addition to Malone for the Crusaders, sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) registered her 17th double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five assists. Sophomore center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) totaled 12 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore guard Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) and senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) tallied 11 points apiece. Navy was led by senior forward Jade Geif who had 20 points and eight rebounds.
Holy Cross jumped out of the gate with a 12-4 run to begin the contest at the 15:11 mark of the first half. The Crusaders pushed their margin to 18-6 with 11:11 on the clock, as Malone and Mifsud had six points apiece to begin the game. Navy, however, cut the deficit to single digits (20-11), before Malone hit a pair of free throws to give the Crusaders the 22-11 lead with 8:35 left in the first half.
Navy put together its best run of the half to close the stanza, as it cut the deficit to one point (27-26) with 1:53 on the clock. Geif hit a jumper with 22 seconds left to give Navy its first lead of the game, as it went into the locker room with the 28-27 edge.
Holy Cross grabbed the lead back with a three-pointer by Smith to begin the half, but Navy used a 6-0 run to gain the 34-30 lead (18:07). The Crusaders countered with a 12-2 run over the next 5:05 to earn the 42-36 lead. Malone drilled a pair of three-pointers to get the run started for Holy Cross. The Crusaders kept up the pressure and went on a 19-9 run to gain the 61-45 lead with 7:03 on the clock. Holy Cross doubled up Navy, 14-7, over the next 5:39 to push the lead to 75-52 – its largest of the game. Navy scored the game's final four points, but the deficit was too large to overcome, as the Crusaders claimed the 75-56 victory. Holy Cross shot 62.1 percent in the second half.
Holy Cross shot 29 of 57 from the field (50.9 percent), while Navy connected on 33.8 percent of its shots from the floor (22 of 65). The Crusaders went eight of 16 from behind the arc (50.0 percent), while the Mids canned 17.9 percent from downtown (5 of 28). Holy Cross held advantages in assists (22-16), rebounds (40-36), points in the paint (31-26) and points off turnovers (14-8).