Nov. 23, 2004
Worcester, Mass. - Senior Maggie Fontana's (Barrington, Ill.) jumper with just seconds left rolled off the rim at the final buzzer to seal a 61-60 UMass victory at the Hart Center on Tuesday night. Holy Cross had three players reach double-figures, but it would not be enough, as the Crusaders (2-1) dropped their first game of the season with the loss. The Minutewomen improve to 1-2 on the season.
The first half of play was a back-and-forth battle between the two squads. Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.), who tied for a game-high 16 points, hit a three-pointer with 14:15 remaining in the first to give Holy Cross a 10-6 lead early on. UMass guard Katie Nelson responded with a three-ball of her own to cut the lead to one, but the Crusaders went on a 7-2 run to take a 17-11 lead with 11:17 left.
After a Patrycja Gulak long ball that gave the Minutewomen a 23-22 advantage, the two teams traded hoops, and subsequently the lead, when Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.) hit a three to give the Crusaders a 27-26 spot with 3:58 to go in the half. Pam Rosanio then scored the next seven UMass points, and put the visitors up 33-29. But, an Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) three-ball put the Crusaders back on top 33-32. Placek then came up with a steal, and Keil drained a three on the other end to give Holy Cross a 35-34 lead at the half.
The second stanza was much of the same. UMass came out strong, going on a 9-2 run (43-37) over the first four minutes of the half, until Fontana hit a three to bring the home team within three. The Minutewomen led the entire second half, and were up by as many as eight (59-51) at one point, but the Crusaders clawed their way back into the game and scored nine straight points to go ahead 60-59 with less than one minute remaining. During that 9-0 run, McLaughlin had five points, including a huge three-ball that gave the Crusaders a one-point lead. After McLaughlin's hoop, Placek came up with a steal and was fouled with 40 seconds remaining. With the shot clock running down, the Crusaders attempt fell short, and Rosanio took off on the other end to receive the ball for the go-ahead hoop with seven seconds to go. Holy Cross hustled the ball up the floor and allowed Fontana to get a shot off, but as the buzzer sounded, the ball rimmed out.
Joining Keil in double-figures was McLaughlin, who had 13 points, and Placek, who added 10. Freshman point guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) had a game-high 11 assists. Rosanio led UMass with 16 points.