Feb. 23, 2008
WASHINGTON D.C. - Junior forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) had a career-high 20 points but it wasn't enough as Holy Cross dropped a 76-71 overtime decision to American in Patriot League play. With the loss, the Crusaders drop to second place in the Patriot League while the Eagles maintain a share for first place. Holy Cross falls to 15-12 overall and 8-4 in the league while the Eagles improve to 15-12 overall and 9-3 in league play.
Back and forth scoring during the opening minutes was halted by American, grabbing its largest lead of the half (21-16) as Liz Hayes led the scoring with nine points, hitting two back-to-back shots outside the arc. The Crusaders got within one point (21-20) as sophomore guard Christy Cushnie (Vienna, Va.) hit a three-pointer with 9:48 left in the first half.
Holy Cross tied it at 30 with 1:58 as sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) hit two shots from the charity stripe but Pam Stanfield answered back for American with a layup to give the Eagles a 32-30 advantage.
McFadden gave the Crusaders a three-point lead, 33-30, hitting a shot from long range with 37 seconds left in the half. Talicia Jackson hit a three-pointer with four seconds left in the half, giving American a 35-33 lead at the break.
Holy Cross denied the Eagles opening scoring attempt to start the second half and McFadden tied the game, 35-35, hitting a layup. Stanfield hit a three-pointer to give the Eagles the upper hand again, 38-35.
With 7:31 left in regulation, the Crusaders grabbed a four-point lead (59-55), as sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) hit back-to-back shots from the floor. A layup by Hayes and two shots from free throw range by Jackson locked the teams again (59-59) with 4:46 winding down on the clock.
The Eagles grabbed a 63-61 lead with less than two minutes left to play in the second half but a layup from Gruzynski pushed the teams into overtime.
Holy Cross held a four-point lead (69-65) in the first two minutes of overtime play as senior guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) hit a shot from long range and O'Dell chipped in a shot from free throw range but a 11-2 run by the Eagles led by Jackson and Stanfield who each scored three points secured the overtime league victory for American.
In addition to her 20 points, Gruzynksi finished with six rebounds and one block while freshman center Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) recorded her second-career double doubles as she scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Aloisi and O'Dell both also scored in double figures, recording 13 points each.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, February 27 as it travels to Colgate for a game scheduled at 7:00 p.m.