Dec. 30, 2004
QUEENS, N.Y. - Tara Walker pumped in 22 points and St. John's held off a furious Holy Cross effort to go on to a 75-62 win over the Crusaders on Thursday afternoon at Lou Carnesecca Arena. St. John's (11-0, 0-0 Big East) continues its hot streak with its eleventh straight win, as Holy Cross dips to 5-6 overall (0-0 Patriot League).
Holy Cross went into the half up 33-32 thanks to a 15-1 run towards the end of the half which gave HC the lead back (27-26) for the first time since the 11:52 mark. The Crusaders battled back after being down 22-14 with just over seven minutes to go when St. John's had gone on a 13-0 run of their own. But an Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) three-ball with 3:52 remaining before the break gave the Crusaders a lead they would not give up until the 16:10 mark in the second half.
"We took it right to them in their building," said Holy Cross head coach Bill Gibbons. "We really felt that we could come in here and win this game. Despite the loss, I think we took some strides, and the girls made me very proud today."
St. John's started the second stanza on a 13-6 run, but the Crusaders pulled within two (47-45) on two Maggie Fontana (Barrington, Ill.) free throws with just over twelve minutes remaining. The Red Storm would not relinquish the lead, however, and went up by as much as 13 with a little over three minutes to go.
Sophomore guard Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.), in her first game back after sitting out of the Northeastern game with a foot injury, had a team-high 15 points for the Crusaders. Fontana, who also missed the Northeastern game due to injury, tallied 12 points, to go along with a team-high eight rebounds, and a team-high four assists. Freshman guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) also made her first appearance in uniform since going down with a knee injury against UConn on December 5. She had two assists and two rebounds in 16 minutes of action.
Andrea Peterson and Angela Clark joined Walker in double figure with 13 and 12 points respectively for the Red Storm.
Holy Cross stays on the road to complete the non-conference portion of its schedule with two more games against nationally-ranked teams before Patriot League play starts on January 8. The Crusaders travel to Chicago, Ill. for a 7:00 p.m. match-up with #18 DePaul University on Sunday, January 2, and from there, the Purple and White head to #2 ranked Duke for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off with the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday, January 4.