Nov. 30, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. - Junior guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) had a season-high 23 points but it wasn't enough as the Holy Cross women's basketball fell to Western Illinois, 64-55, on Sunday afternoon during the final day of the Mildred & Roger L. White Invitational at Welsh-Ryan Arena. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 1-5 on the season while the Westerwinds improve to 2-4.
Western Illinois took a 12-3 advantage in the first nine minutes of play, led by Katy Clark who sank a pair of three-pointers. Holy Cross chipped away at the Westerwinds' lead, getting within four points when junior guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) hit a shot from long range, making the score 12-8. With 2:47 left in the first half, Western Illinois picked up its largest lead of the game, going on a 14-5 run to take a 13-point advantage, 26-13. Holy Cross closed to within six points, before Clark sank a three-pointer with 14 seconds left before the break, pushing the Westerwinds ahead by nine (30-21) heading into the locker room.
After trailing by 10 early in the second half, Holy Cross chipped away at the Western Illinois lead, getting within one point as O'Dell sunk a shot from long range, making the score 40-39 with 11 minutes left. Again the Crusaders trailed by one point, 42-41, as senior forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elkwood, Ill.) tossed up a layup with less than 10 minutes left in the game. But the Westerwinds scored the next five points, then held Holy Cross to just 14 points for the remainder of the game, pulling away for a nine-point victory, 64-55.
In addition to her 23 points, O'Dell finished the game with three rebounds, three assists and three steals. McFadden had 18 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Amanda Walker led Western Illinois with 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 3, traveling to No. 1 Connecticut for a 7:30 p.m. game.