Northeastern Tops Holy Cross 68-64

Dec. 20, 2004

Box Score

Worcester, Mass. - Four Crusaders scored in double figures, but it was not enough as the Holy Cross women's basketball team lost a heartbreaker, 68-64 to Northeastern at the Hart Center on Monday night. Tonight's win, which is the first in school history for the Huskies versus Holy Cross, is also Northeastern's third straight, improving its record to 5-4 (0-0 America East). The Crusaders fall back to the .500 mark at 5-5 (0-0 Patriot League).

The Crusaders, who played without starters Laura Aloisi, Maggie Fontana, and Brittany Keil, all sidelined with injuries, went into the half up 28-21 after leading by as much as 13 points (24-11) with just over four minutes remaining in the first. Senior center Lisa Andrews (Concord, Mass.) sparked the home team with 10 first half points, followed by junior guard Sarah Placek's (Alexandria, Va.) nine. Andrews finished the night with a team-high 18 points, going 8-for-13 from the field. Andrews was a force in the middle all night long, also pulling down six rebounds before fouling out with 1:58 remaining in the game.

The Huskies opened the second stanza on a 14-8 run which pulled them within one (36-35) after a Shaleyse Smallwood three-ball with just over 15 minutes remaining. The Huskies clawed their way back and eventually took the lead for good on the first of three consecutive baskets by Maralene Zwarich at the 14:39 mark.

Holy Cross came close to reclaiming the lead on a number of occasions (49-48 and 59-58), but a 61-61 tie after a Shannon Bush (Doylestown, Pa.) three-pointer with 1:41 remaining was as close at the Crusaders would get, as two hard-fought Michelle Decerbo hoops down the stretch sealed the game for the Huskies.

Bush finished with 10 points, six of which came with under two minutes remaining in the game. Placek had 16 points, including two three's, shooting 7-for-15 from the floor, while Jessica Conte (New Canaan, Conn.) chipped in 14 points, to go along with five rebounds, and a team-high five steals for the Crusaders.

The Crusaders held the Huskies to 34% shooting from the field in the first half, but NU came back strong in the second, shooting 63%. Zwarich led the way for the visitors with a game-high 20 points, followed by Smallwood with 18, Decerbo with 14, and Francesca Vanin with 10.

Holy Cross has another short break for the holidays before traveling to New York for a 2:00 p.m. matinee with St. John's University on December 30.