Jan. 11, 2008
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS: Television: None Holy Cross Radio: Dick Lustk play-by-play; WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet Lafayette Radio: None. Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 38-7. Last Meeting: Holy Cross 64, Lafayette 49 (March 3, 2007; West Point, N.Y.)
PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG F 10 Alyssa May 6-0 Fr. 4.2 3.3 F 14 Briana McFadden 5-10 So. 13.3 3.7 C 13 Ashley McLaughlin 6-1 Sr. 4.7 4.9 G 5 Laura Aloisi 5-9 Sr. 9.3 4.1 G 44 Bethany O'Dell 5-8 So. 11.1 4.1
THE SERIES WITH LAFAYETTE: This will be the 46th meeting between the Crusaders and the Leopards on the hardwood. Holy Cross holds a 38-7 advantage in the all-time series, including a perfect 19-0 record at the Hart Center. Last season's success against Lafayette included a 64-49 victory over Lafayette during last year's Patriot League quarterfinals. Briana McFadden had 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. Bethany O'Dell scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds and two steals.
SERIES QUICK FACTS Overall Holy Cross leads, 38-7 In Worcester Holy Cross, 19-0 At the Hart Center Holy Cross, 19-0 Bill Gibbons vs. Lafayette 38-7 Tammy Smith vs. Holy Cross 2-13 Current Win Streak Holy Cross, two games
GIBBONS RECORDS 450TH: Coach Bill Gibbons recorded another milestone in his 23 years as head coach of the women's basketball team as he earned 450th career victory with a 66-59 win over Yale on January 6. His current overall career record is 450-223 and had 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.
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 13.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.8 steals 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.
MAY MAKES WAVES: Freshman guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) continues her success during her debut season, making eight starts on the season. On the road against Yale, May had seven points, four rebounds and an assist. 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 14 appearnces, May is averaging 4.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists, and 0.6 steals per game.
Bethany O'Dell had a team-high 15 points, lifting Holy Cross to a 66-59 victory over Yale at the Lee Amphitheater. With the victory, head coach Bill Gibbons recorded his 450th career victory with the Crusaders. With the score tied 7-7 five minutes into the first half, Holy Cross took control of the lead, going on a 8-0 run as Briana McFadden and Whitney Fremeau each scored on a pair of free throws. With 11:43 remaining in the half, the Crusaders led Yale 13-7. Holy Cross continued to pile points onto its lead, 21-11, but the Bulldogs quickly got back into the game, going on a 10-3 run, led by Lindsey Williams with four points, bringing Yale within three, 24-21. With 4:53 left to play, the Crusaders regained control of the game, going on a 9-2 run, led by freshman guard Alyssa May with four points. O'Dell lifted Holy Cross to its largest lead of the half of 13 points, hitting a shot from outside the arc with 1:22 left in the half. Closing out the first half, the Crusaders led Yale, 36-23. McFadden led the Crusaders with seven points in the first half while chipping in two rebounds while O'Dell had five points and four boards while grabbing four assists and two steals.
The Crusaders came out strong after the break, scoring seven points in the first two and a half minutes, led by Ashley McLaughlin with four points. Holy Cross grabbed its largest lead of the game, leading the Bulldogs by 20 with a score of 49-29 with 14:51 left in the game. Yale refused to give in as the Bulldogs continued to chip away at the Crusaders, led by Melissa Colborne with nine points. Yale got within in five points of Holy Cross by a score of 64-59 with nine seconds left in the game. O'Dell cushioned the Crusaders seven ahead of Yale with two shots from the line as the final seconds wound down on the game. O'Dell finished with seven points, five assists and three steals while Aloisi had five rebounds, three assists and tied her season-high of seven steals. McLaughlin led the Crusaders in rebounding with nine and chipped in 10 points.
ROAD TRIP WRAP-UP: Holy Cross returns back to the Hart Center after playing the last six games on the road, including competing in the State Farm Classic at Florida and notching a come-from-behind 79-60 victory against UNC-Asheville. During the time away from home, the Crusaders posted a 2-4 record, averaging 58.7 points and 38.0 rebounds per game. Holy Cross shot 34.5% from field goal range, 31.2% from outside the arc, and 60.1% from the charity stripe.
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 nine in 13 appearances and is averaging 3.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.6 blocks and 0.6 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 46.9% three-point field goal percentage. O'Dell is ranked third in the league with three-pointers made, averaging 2.17 per game. The Crusaders are ranked first for both categories as a team, averging 6.07 three-pointers per game and shooting 34.8% 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 35 steals on the season, senior guard Laura Aloisi tops the Patriot League, averaging 2.5 steals per game. In the Crusaders 66-59 win over Yale, Aloisi led the team in steals, grabbing seven. 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 4.9 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 35.5 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 11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists. and 1.2 steals 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 today, hosting Lafayette in the league opener. 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.
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.
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 hosts Dartmouth on Monday, January 14 at 7:00 p.m.