January 5, 2008

Women's Basketball Travels To Yale

Jan. 4, 2008

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS: Television: None Holy Cross Radio: Jeremy Lechan play-by-play; WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet Yale Radio: Anthony Brooks, WYBC 1340 AM, New Haven. Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 5-3 Last Meeting: Holy Cross 68, Yale 56 (November 10, 2006; Worcester, Mass.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG F 10 Alyssa May 6-0 Fr. 4.0 3.2 F 14 Briana McFadden 5-10 So. 13.4 3.6 C 13 Ashley McLaughlin 6-1 Sr. 4.3 4.6 G 5 Laura Aloisi 5-9 Sr. 9.2 4.0 G 44 Bethany O'Dell 5-8 So. 10.8 3.8

THE SERIES WITH YALE: This will be the ninth meeting between the Crusaders and the Bulldogs on the hardwood. Holy Cross holds a 5-3 advantage in the all-time series, including a 68-56 victory over Yale in last year's season opener. Laura Aloisi led the scoring with 20 points while chipping in seven assists, four rebounds and three steals. Bethany O'Dell made her career debut with the Crusaders, recording 11 points, four rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal. Kathy Gruzynski scored nine points while grabbing six boards and one steal. Melissa Colborne had 10 points, four rebounds and two assists for the Bulldogs.

SERIES QUICK FACTS Overall Holy Cross leads, 5-3 In New Haven Yale leads, 2-1 At the Lee Amphitheater Yale leads, 2-1 Bill Gibbons vs. Yale 3-1 Chris Gobrecht vs. Holy Cross 0-1 Current Win Streak Holy Cross, one game

MCFADDEN MAKES IT INTO THE BOOKS: Sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) tied the school record for best free throw percentage in a single game against UNC-Asheville on December 29, going 11-for-11 at the free throw line. She also tied the school record for consecutive free throws made in a single game with 11. In 12 starts, McFadden is averaging 13.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks per game.

MAY MAKES WAVES: Freshman guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) continues her success during her debut season, making seven starts on the season. Versus St. Peter's on January 2, May had eight points, six rebounds, one block and one steal. Against UNC-Asheville in the consolation game of the State Farm Classic in Gainesville, May scored 11 points including 10 in the second half while recording five rebounds, two blocks and a steal. In 13 appearnces, May is averaging points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game.

ALOISI GRABS NEW CAREER-HIGH: Senior guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) recorded a new career-high in rebounds as she grabbed nine boards in the Crusaders' 56-41 loss to St. Peter's on January 2. Aloisi is currently ranked second on the team in rebounds, collecting 52 so far this season, averaging 4.0 per game.

CAMPBELL COMES THROUGH: Freshman center Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) had a season-high 14 points in 24 minutes played against UNC-Asheville on December 29, including eight points in the second half. She led the team in blocks with five and tied for the team high in assists with three. Campbell also grabbed six boards against the Bulldogs. Campbell leads the Crusaders in blocks with seven in 11 appearances and is averaging 3.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 0.6 blocks and 0.5 steals per game.

HITTIN' THE THREES: Senior guard Laura Aloisi, sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell and and sophomore forward Briana McFadden have wasted no time leading the Crusaders from the three-point line in the last two games. Aloisi is currently ranked first in the Patriot League with a 48.9% three-point field goal percentage. O'Dell is ranked third in the league with three-pointers made, averaging 2.08 per game. The Crusaders are ranked first for both categories as a team, averging 6.15 three-pointers per game and shooting 34.3% from outside the arc. Versus Boston College, Aloisi went five-for-seven from long range while O'Dell chipped in one three-pointer. Against Buffalo, Aloisi made three of her four attempts while O'Dell and McFadden each had two three-pointers against the Bulls. During the Crusaders 65-56 victory over URI, O'Dell hit four of 10 attempts, scoring all four in the first half while McFadden hit three of her six attempts. Against Maine, O'Dell was 5-of-9 from behind the arc while McFadden scored three on five long range attempts as the Crusaders went onto win 79-50. Aloisi leads Holy Cross in three pointers, shooting 57.6% from outside the arc (19-33).

ALOISI STEALS THE SHOW: With 28 steals on the season, senior guard Laura Aloisi tops the Patriot League, averaging 2.2 steals per game. During the State Farm Classic, Aloisi led Holy Cross in both games, averaging 3.0 per game. Aloisi had a season-high five steals against Quinnipiac on December 1. She recorded four during the Crusaders' 71-57 victory over Buffalo on November 27.

MCLAUGHLIN ON THE BOARDS: Senior forward Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) leads Holy Cross with 4.6 rebounds per game. McLaughlin led the Crusaders with five boards during a 80-56 loss to Harvard on Dec. 18. During the Crusaders' 79-60 victory over UNC-Asheville, McLaughlin grabbed seven boards. Against Boston College, McLaughlin led the Crusaders' 25 rebounds against the Eagles with four. During the Crusaders' 71-57 victory over Buffalo, she chipped in six of the team's 38 boards. McLaughlin had a season-high in the Crusaders' season-opener versus Vermont, grabbing eight boards. Overall, Holy Cross is averaging 35.0 boards per game this year.

SHE'S BAAAAACK: Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) returns for her second season with the Crusaders. In 12 starts for Holy Cross, she is averaging 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. This season, O'Dell was named to the Patriot League Preseason All-League Team. Last year, O'Dell was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year and received Rookie of the Week honors six times. She also was named to the All-Patriot League Second Team and Patriot League All-Rookie Team. During her debut season, O'Dell made 30 starts in 32 games while averaging 12.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists. 1.0 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. She also led the Patriot League in three-point field goals with 87 on the season.

NEXT DESTINATION - PATRIOT LEAGUE: The Crusaders begin this season's Patriot League action next weekend, hosting Lafayette in the league opener in Worcester on January 12. The Crusaders are 9-1 in Patriot League openers over the last 10 seasons, recording the only loss in the 10-year span to Lafayette last year 61-58 on January 6, 2007. Holy Cross is 1-1 against Lafayette in league openers during the last 10 years, defeating the Leopards, 78-39, on January 7, 2006. The Crusaders continue their Patriot League play, traveling to Army (1/16), Bucknell (1/20), and Navy (1/23) before returning back to the Hart Center to face American on January 26. Holy Cross will host Colgate (1/30) before traveling to Lehigh (2/2) and Lafayette (2/9). The Crusaders host Army (2/13), Bucknell (2/16) and Navy (2/20) before hitting the road against American (2/23), and Colgate (2/27). Holy Cross will finish it's regular season Patriot League play at home, facing Lehigh on March 3.

GIBBONS CLOSES IN ON 450: Coach Bill Gibbons is in his 23rd season as head coach of the women's basketball team with an overall career record of 449-223 and 182-42 in the Patriot League. Last season, Gibbons led his team to its 11th Patriot League tournament title, beating American 56-48, in the championship game. With the win, coach Gibbons led the Crusaders to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time. Holy Cross fell to Duke in the first round of the NCAAs, 81-44, to end the 2006-2007 season. Currently coach Gibbons ranks second all-time at Holy Cross in victories for all sports. Gibbons has also led the women's basketball team to more victories than any other coach in Holy Cross history during his 22-tenure. He has won 20 or more game in 10 of his last 14 seasons. Gibbons is also ranked 28th on the active NCAA Division I win leaders. He has also been named the Patriot League Coach of the Year six times in his career. This past summer, Coach Gibbons was an assistant coach for Team U.S.A. at the 2007 Pan-American Games, helping the team won the gold medal.

LEADER OF THE PACK: Holy Cross has an amazing 11 Patriot League Tournament titles in the league's 17 years of existence. During its 17 seasons in the Patriot League, Holy Cross has finished in first place 11 times. The Crusaders have also had eight players named the Patriot League Player of the Year. This list includes: Mary Helen Walker (90-91), Norinne Powers (91-92, 92-93), Laurie Carson (93-94), Lauren Maney (94-95, 95-96), Kathy Courtney (96-97), Amy O'Brien (97-98, 98-99), Anna Kinne (99-00) and Maggie Fontana (02-03). Holy Cross has also had two players named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year: Maggie Fontana (01-02) and Bethany O'Dell (06-07).

THE BIG TIME: Holy Cross has made 11 NCAA appearances during Coach Gibbons' tenure including nine in the last 13 years. The Crusaders' most recent appearance came last season as they fell to Duke, 81-44, in the first round of the tournament.

TAKING IT TO THE HART: The Crusaders' hold an overall record of 311-87 and a 272-64 Division I record at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. Holy Cross lost its first game at the Hart Recreation Center, 66-34, to Williams in 1975. The Crusaders have hosted the 1991 NCAA tourna ment, 13 Patriot League tournaments, two MAAC tournaments, and several invitationals during the 32 seasons played at the Hart Center.

ALOISI AND MCLAUGHLIN NAMED CAPTAINS: Senior guard Laura Aloisi and senior forward Ashley McLaughlin have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2007-2008 season. Both players are three-year letterwinners for the Crusaders, and will take over the leadership role from Brittany Keil, Ashley Brennan-McBride and Kaitlyn Foley who served as the captains during the 2006-2007 season.

2007-2008 SEASON PREVIEW: The Holy Cross women's basketball team heads into the 2007-2008 season looking to defend its place as a top contender in the Patriot League and its 2007 Patriot League Championship title. After clinching the league, the Crusaders fell to Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 81-44, ending the season that marked the 11th Patriot League Championship for the Crusaders in 17 seasons. With the return of senior guard Laura Aloisi to the court as well as several returning underclassmen, Holy Cross will be a force hard to slow down. The Crusaders are coming off a 15-18 overall record, finishing third at 7-7 in the Patriot League. In addition to last season's success, the Crusaders picked up their seventh league title in 10 years. Holy Cross finished first in the league in two categories: assists (14.36 per game) and free throw percentage (.741). The Crusaders were also ranked fourth in four different categories including scoring offense (57.8 per game), field goal percentage (.400), three-point field goal percentage (.317) and assist/turnover ratio (+0.76).

CRUSADERS PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2007-2008 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in third place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 77 total points in the poll, trailing only first-place Bucknell (92 points) and second-place Army (83 points). Holy Cross received one first-place vote in the poll, with the Bison earning 10 first-place votes and Army tallying four. Following the Crusaders in the poll were American (fourth, 62 points and one first place vote), Lehigh (fifth, 46 points), Lafayette (sixth, 33 points), Navy (sixth, 33 points) and Colgate (eighth, 22 points).

NEXT UP FOR THE LADY `SADERS: Holy Cross will open it's Patriot League action as it hosts Lafayette at the Hart Center in Worceester on Saturday, January 12, with a game scheduled at 1:00 p.m.