Women's Basketball Travels To Bucknell On Saturday

Jan. 12, 2006

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The Teams:
Holy Cross (5-9, 0-0 Patriot League)
Bucknell (8-6, 0-0 Patriot League)
Date: January 14, 2006
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Place: Sojka Pavilion (4,000)
Location: Lewisburg, Pa.
Broadcast Information:
Internet: www.sportsjuice.com
Radio: WTAG 580 AM
Talent: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play
Series History: 37th Meeting; Holy Cross leads 28-8
Last Meeting:Bucknell, 72-71 (Feb. 23, 2005 at Bucknell)
Series Streak: Bucknell - 1

Pos.  No.  Name               Ht.   Cl.	  PPG	RPG
G      10  Sarah Placek       5-3    Sr.  9.0	2.8
G      23  Jessica Conte      5-8    Sr.  9.0	3.6
G      15  Shannon Bush       5-11   Sr.   11.1  3.9
F      33  Brittany Keil      6-2    Jr.  8.4	6.0
C      52  Kaitlin Foley      6-4    Jr.  15.1	6.3

Today's game is the 37th all-time meeting between Holy Cross and Bucknell in the 31 year history of varsity basketball at Holy Cross.

THE SERIES: Holy Cross leads the all-time series, 28-8 and is 13-6 when playing Bucknell in Lewisburg. The Crusaders have won six of the last 10 meetings between the two schools, but the Bison are 3-1 in the last four meetings, including last season's 72-71 victory over the Cross at Sojka Pavilion. The last time Holy Cross defeated the Bison on their home court was the first meeting of 2003-04 season when the Crusaders came away with a 71-55 victory. The two teams split games last season, as its loss against Bucknell was one of just two conference losses all season long (12-2 Patriot League) Holy Cross suffered.

THIS TIME OUT: Holy Cross is looking to bounce back from a tough 59-56 loss at Army on Tuesday night, while Bucknell is one of just two teams (Army is the other) in the league with a 2-0 record, after recording a 66-43 win at American. Holy Cross has lost five of their last seven and has yet to string together consecutive wins this season. Three of the Crusaders' eight total losses have come against Top 25 (#7 UConn (12-2); #22 Boston College (12-4)) or Top 25-caliber (Virginia (11-2) - two votes) teams. The Bison have won two straight and six of their last eight. They are 2-3 at home this season.

LAST TIME OUT: Holy Cross fell to 5-9 on the season and 1-1 in Patriot League play after falling to Army, 59-56 on Tuesday night in West Point. Three Crusaders reached double-figures, but it was not enough as the Black Knights (8-7, 2-0 Patriot League) won their third straight game.

Junior center Kaitlin Foley led the Crusaders with 14 points and 10 rebounds, recording her second career double-double. Foley had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. Senior guard Sarah Placek tied Foley for game-high honors with 14 points and senior guard Shannon Bush chipped in with 10 points, all of them coming in the second half.

Army jumped out to an 18-8 lead after forcing six turnovers and scoring seven points off of those turnovers in the first seven minutes of the game. Holy Cross was within one (7-6) following a McGuire jumper at the 17:00 mark, but the Black Knights then went on an 11-2 run over the next five minutes to take the ten point lead. Army held Holy Cross scoreless for almost four minutes during the run. The Crusaders cut the lead to six with 8:20 remaining in the half, but would not get any closer before intermission, as the Black Knights took a 34-27 lead into the break.

Holy Cross opened the second half on an 8-2 run and cut the lead to just two (37-35) after two Ashley McLaughlin free throws, but Army responded with a 9-1 run of its own to take a 46-36 lead with 12:32 remaining. The Crusaders battled back and cut the lead to four with 8:35 to go after going on a 10-4 run in which Bush scored eight points, including two treys. With 33 seconds on the clock, Placek nailed a three ball to cut the lead to one (57-56), but two Cara Enright free throws with 13 seconds remaining sealed the game for the Black Knights. Holy Cross had one final opportunity to tie the game as the clock ran down, but Enright came up with a steal, which allowed the clock to expire.

NEXT TIME OUT: Holy Cross concludes its non-conference schedule with a showdown against second-ranked Duke at the Hart Center on Monday, Jan. 16. The Crusaders are 0-2 all-time against the Blue Devils, including a 101-42 loss last season in Durham. Following the Duke game, Holy Cross hosts American (Jan. 21) and Colgate (Jan. 24).

NUMBERS AGAINST BUCKNELL: Holy Cross is 5-3 against the Bison in the last three years, and 1-3 in its last four outings against their Pennsylvania counterparts.

SCOUTING THE BISON: Bucknell comes into this afternoon's game after a 66-43 win over American on Tuesday night. The Bison remain one of just two teams in the Patriot League with a perfect 2-0 record. Bucknell has won two straight and six of its last eight games, including an 88-51 victory over Navy in the conference opener for both squads.

The Bison are led by Amanda Brown, who is averaging a team-best 11.3 points per game. Not far behind her is sophomore guard Kesha Champion, who is putting up 10.4 points per game, while Lauren Schober and Hope Foster are both averaging better than nine points per outing. Junior standout Lindsey Hollobaugh is back in the line-up after missing a handful of games due to injury. She is currently fifth on the team in scoring with 8.7 points per game. Foster leads the team in both rebounding (9.1 rebounds per game) and blocks (3.9 blocks per game). Through games of January 7, Foster was ranked second nationally in blocks per game.

Head Coach Kathy Fedorjaka is in her ninth season at the helm of the Bucknell women's basketball program and her 13th season overall as a head coach. She is 127-114 as head coach of the Bison.

On Tuesday at American, Schober scored a career-high 22 points, while Foster added 12 points and 13 rebounds for her third double-double of the season as Bucknell defeated American 66-43 at Bender Arena. The Bison improved to 8-6 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2001-02. It was the fifth consecutive road victory for Bucknell, which established a new program record. The Eagles dropped to 3-12 overall and 0-2 in the Patriot League.

Schober, who was making her second career start, netted double figures for the third straight game as she and Foster combined to take 35 of Bucknell's 67 field goal attempts. Schober was 7 of 18 from the field, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range, while Foster made 6 of 17 from the field.

After playing to an even 16-16 score over the first 14 minutes of the fast-paced first half, Bucknell outscored American 15-5 over the final six minutes of the half. The Bison scored seven straight points, ignited by a 3-pointer from the left corner by Schober. The Eagles answered with five consecutive points, but Bucknell tallied the final eight points of the half over the final three minutes, including a 3-pointer by Hollobaugh from the right corner as time expired to take a 31-21 lead into halftime.

That 8-0 run extended into the second half when the Bison scored the first five points to take a 36-21 lead as American went more than six minutes total without scoring. The Bucknell defense forced 19 turnovers, and limited the Eagles to one field goal and four points over the final eight minutes of the game until AU's Pam Stanfield knocked down a 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining.

Hollobaugh was the third Bucknell player in double figures, scoring 10. It was her first time reaching double figures since returning from her knee injury four games ago. She also added eight rebounds and three assists.

HOLY CROSS VERSUS THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: Holy Cross is 166-32 (.838) in Patriot League play since its inception and is 97-8 (.923) when playing league opponents on the Hart Center floor, including its 1-0 mark this year. Under Bill Gibbons, Holy Cross is also 166-32 all-time in Patriot League action. Last season, Holy Cross finished 12-2 in the league and 7-0 at home vs. Patriot League opponents.

The Crusaders have 11 Patriot League regular season titles and 10 Patriot League Tournament titles in the 15-year history of the League. The only other team in the League's history that has more than one championship title is Fordham, a former member, who won two. Holy Cross is also coming off its 16th 20-win season under the direction of head coach Bill Gibbons.

ON A ROLL: With its victory against Lafayette last Saturday, Holy Cross won its 14th consecutive Patriot League conference opener and the 15th overall of the 16 years the Patriot League has been in existence. The last and only time Holy Cross lost a Patriot League conference opening game was against Lafayette during the 1991-92 season (78-72 Lafayette) in Pennsylvania.

DOUBLE DUTY: Junior center Kaitlin Foley recorded her second career double-double after totaling 14 points and 10 rebounds at Army on Tuesday. Foley had the double-double in the first half, after scoring 12 of Holy Cross' 27 points and grabbing 10 of the Crusaders' 17 rebounds. Foley finished the game 6-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 from the free throw line in 35 minutes of action.

Foley leads the team in scoring (15.1 points per game) and is fourth in the Patriot League in that same category. She is also ranked second in the conference in field goal percentage (56.5 percent), tied for fifth in the league in free throw percentage (75.0 percent) and blocks (0.71 blocks per game), and is seventh in rebounding (6.3 rebounds per game).

PLACEK STEPS UP: Senior guard Sarah Placek has scored 14 points in each of the last two games and in three of her last four outings. The five-foot-three spark plug has averaged 11.6 points per game over the last five games and is currently tied for third on the team in scoring with a 9.0 points per game average. She is also second on the team in assists with 40.

QUICK HITTERS: Kaitlin Foley recorded the second double-double of her career (14 points, 10 rebounds) at Army on Tuesday night ... Laura Aloisi had a season-high five steals at Army ... Ashley McLaughlin tied a career-high with six rebounds at Army ... Sarah Placek tied a season-high with 14 points, grabbed a season-high six rebounds and had a season-high five assists against Lafayette ... Jessica Conte scored a career-high 20 points at Maine ... Shannon Bush was named to the 2005 Marriott Cavalier Classic All-Tournament Team ... Kaitlin Foley had a career-high 20 points, played a career-high 38 minutes and tied for career highs in assists and steals vs. URI ... Jessica Conte had a season-high seven rebounds and five steals vs. URI ... Brittany Keil pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds and tied season-highs with 16 points and five assists against Memphis ... Jessica Pearson shot 1.000 percent from the floor against Memphis and scored a career-high nine points (3-for-3), inlcuding two triples in a career-high 12 minutes of action ... Jessica Merrihue scored the first points of her career against Memphis after draining a long ball in six minutes of action ... Ashley McLaughlin had season-highs in points (seven) and assists (two), and tied a career-high with three steals against Memphis.

HOME IS WHERE THE HART IS: Holy Cross has an all-time record of 294-78 (.790) at the Hart Center, and is just six home wins away from its 300th victory in the 30-year old building.

The program's 100th win at the Hart Center came on January 9, 1988 when the Crusaders defeated the University of New Hampshire, 86-67. It's 200th win at the Hart Center came on February 5, 1997 when the Crusaders defeated Army, 92-59. The Crusaders' best home single-season record since its 200th win was a 15-1 mark (.937) during the 1999-00 season. Last year, the Crusaders went 12-3 at the Hart Center.

Holy Cross has posted a record of 52-18 (.742) at home over the course of the last six seasons, including its 2-2 mark this season.

CONTE GOES FOR CAREER HIGH: Senior guard Jessica Conte pumped in a career-high 20 points at Maine last Monday. Conte was 7-for-12 from the floor, including two three-pointers, and 4-for-6 from the free throw line. Just two games prior, Conte had tied her previous best of 18 points against Boston University on Dec. 28. In the BU game, Conte was 4-for-5 from long range and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. She is currently tied for third on the team in scoring with a 9.0 points per game average and is third on the team in three-pointers made (17), just three treys behind team leader, Shannon Bush (20 made).

Conte had a perfect shooting night at Boston College, going 3-for-3 from the floor, including a 2-for-2 night from behind the arc and a 1-for-1 showing at the free throw line for nine points, after a 3-for-6 night (nine points) against Saint Peter's. Conte scored perhaps the most important hoop of the night against the Peahens, when she nailed a three-ball to cut the Saint Peter's lead to one (41-40) with just over 11 minutes remaining. Conte's three-ball then triggered what would be a 14-0 Crusader run, which essentially gave Holy Cross the lead for good.

Conte has scored nine or more points in eight out of 14 games this season and leads the team in steals (28 steals). Additionally, she is tied for fourth on the team in rebounding (3.6 rebounds per game), and is tied for third in the league in steals (2.00 spg).

MINI MILESTONES: Senior Shannon Bush and junior Brittany Keil both recently hit the 500th career point mark. Bush reached passed the 500 point mark on Dec. 28 against BU, while Keil scored her 500th at UConn on Dec. 19. Additionally, seniors Jessica Conte and Sarah Placek recently played in their 100th career game. Conte hit the milestone against BU, while Placek checked into her 100th career game against Virginia on Dec. 29.

BUSH NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Just one day after senior Shannon Bush set a career-high with seven rebounds against Boston University, the five-foot-11 guard grabbed eight boards against Virginia, setting a new career mark. For her efforts at the Marriot Cavalier Classic, Bush was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Bush was one of just two Crusaders to reach double figures against Virginia, totaling 10 points, a career-high eight rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes of action. One day earlier against Boston University, Bush recorded 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Bush is currently second on the team in scoring this season with an 11.1 points per game average. The Pennsylvania native played well at nationally-ranked UConn after totaling 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. She recorded 17 points against URI, had 14 points at BC, and turned in fine all-around performance with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 24 minutes of action against Saint Peter's. She is also averaging 4.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.4 steals.

Bush scored a career-high 20 points in the second game of the season at UMass, where she was 6-for-14 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

FOLEY HELD UNDER 10: Junior center Kaitlin Foley was held to seven points against Virginia, marking the first game all season long that she has been held under 10 points. Foley was 2-for-3 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line in 25 minutes of action. Going into the UVA game, Foley was averaging 17.6 points per game over the previous five outings (19 vs. BU; 12 at UConn; 20 vs. URI; 18 vs. Memphis; 19 vs. WKU).

HIGHS AND LOWS: Holy Cross' 39 point victory (78-39) over Lafayette was its biggest of the season since its 25 point victory (91-66) over Memphis on Dec. 3. The Crusaders' 19 point lead at halftime (33-14) of the Lafayette game was also a season high, passing their 18 point halftime lead (42-24) against Memphis. In addition, Holy Cross held Lafayette to the lowest opponent halftime field goal percentage (20.0 percent) of the season, as the Leopards managed just five field goals (5-for-25) in the first twenty minutes.

Holy Cross was held to a season-low 39 total points and a season-low 18 points in a half against Virginia on Dec. 29 in the title game of the Marriott Cavalier Classic. The Crusaders' previous low point total was 41 against Western Kentucky (20 in a half vs. WKU) on Dec. 2 at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic. In addition, Holy Cross' 41 point loss (80-39) to the Cavaliers was the team's biggest margin of defeat this season. Further, the Crusaders turned the ball over 33 times against Virginia, which is also a season high.

LIGHTS OUT: Holy Cross set a number of season records with their 91 point outing against Memphis earlier this season. The Purple and White scored a season-high 49 points in one half (previous high was 39 points against Saint Peter's) and forced a season-high 27 turnovers (previous high was 21 against Northeastern). Through 13 games, Holy Cross is 3-0 when forcing 20+ miscues.

FOLEY POSTS ANOTHER CAREER HIGH: Junior center Kaitlin Foley hit for another career-high when she pumped in a team-high and career-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor against URI on Dec. 7. Foley has set and surpassed career highs in points three times this season (18 at Northeastern, 19 vs. Western Kentucky, 20 vs. URI). Foley recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds at UMass earlier this season.

FOLEY EARNS ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Junior center Kaitlin Foley earned a spot on the Wells Fargo/Arizona State Holiday Classic All Tournament Team after her performances that weekend, in which she averaged 18.5 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game, while shooting .739 (17-for-23) from the floor.

In the first round against Western Kentucky, Foley pumped in a team-high and a then-career high 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, surpassing her previous career high of 18 points set earlier this season at Northeastern. Then in the consolation game, the Albany native scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed five rebounds in 26 minutes of action in Holy Cross' 91-66 blowout win over Memphis.

KEIL STYLE: Junior guard Brittany Keil is second on the team in rebounding this season (6.0 rebounds per game) and is fifth on the team in scoring (8.4 points per game). Last Saturday against Lafayette, Keil ripped down a game-high nine rebounds and added seven points and two assists in 25 minutes of action. Against Boston University, Keil had a stellar all-around game with 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. At UConn, Keil totaled 11 points, five rebounds and three assists after a 13-point, five-rebound night against URI and a 16-point, 12-rebound outing against Memphis at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic.

Keil recorded three double-doubles in the first seven games of the season. In addition to her 16 points and 12 boards against Memphis, she posted her first career double-double at Northeastern (16 points, 11 rebounds), and registered the second double-double of her career after an 11-point, 10-rebound performance against Dartmouth.

PICKING UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF: Sophomore point guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) is once again leading the team in assists (46 assists) and assists per game (3.5 apg) this season. The second year playmaker now has 165 career assists, after her rookie campaign in which she led the team and finished second in the Patriot League with 119 helpers.

Aloisi leads the Patriot League in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.77; 46 assists, 26 turnovers), ranks fourth in assists (3.5 apg) and eighth in blocked shots (0.46 bpg).

GRUZ GETS HER FEET WET: Freshman forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) continues to contribute in the paint for the Crusaders. The six-foot-two post player scored four points, had two assists, a rebounds and a steal in nine minutes in her Patriot League debut against Lafayette. Gruzynski also scored four points and grabbed three rebounds in a career-high 11 minutes of action against Memphis at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic. Gruzynski scored a career-high five points against Dartmouth in nine minutes of action earlier this season, and pulled down a career-high five rebounds in nine minutes of action at UMass.

HEATHLY PROPORTIONS: As a team, Holy Cross ranks third in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.75), averaging 14.9 assists per game and 19.9 turnovers per game. Guards Laura Aloisi and Sarah Placek are ranked first and fourth, respectively, in the Patriot League in assist-to-turnover ratio. Aloisi has a 1.77 ratio (46 assists to 26 turnovers) and Placek has a 1.05 mark (42 assists to 40 turnovers).

BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: Holy Cross outrebounded Lafayette, 45-31 last Saturday and is now 2-2 when outrebounding its opponents. The Crusaders bounced back after being outrebounded 92-52 in their previous two outings (45-22 vs. Maine; 47-30 vs. Virginia). HC has been outrebounded 603-491 overall this season, including a 241-160 disadvantage on the offensive glass. The Crusaders are 3-7 on the year when outrebounded.

STREAK ENDS: Brittany Keil was 12-for-12 (1.000 percent) from the free throw line going into the Memphis game, but made just 6-of-9 foul shots against the Tigers, ending her bid to reach Maggie Fontana `05, who set a program record with 26 consecutive free throws (across five games). For the season, Keil is now 19-for-23 from the line (82.6 percent), which is third best in the Patriot League.

GETTING TO THE LINE: Two of the top five free throw shooters in the League are Holy Cross Crusaders. Senior guard Shannon Bush ranks second in the league in free throw percentage (86.5 percent; 32-for-37), and Kaitlin Foley is fifth (75.0 percent; 45-for-60). As a team, Holy Cross ranks fourth in the conference in free throw percentage (68.3 percent).

TOUGH `D': The Crusaders are ranked in the top 3 in the Patriot League in a number of defensive categories this season. They lead the League in three-point field goal percentage defense (26.9 percent), and are second in blocks (2.36 blocks per game), and steals (10.00 steals per game). Holy Cross held Memphis to 34.3 percent from the floor, Saint Peter's to 27.5 percent from the floor and Lafayette to a season-low 27.3 percent from the floor.

COUNTDOWN TO 1,000: Sarah Placek came into the season with 810 career points and she is now just 64 points away from being the program's 22nd 1,000 point scorer. Should Placek reach the 1,000 point plateau, it would mark the third consecutive season a Holy Cross women's basketball player joined the 1,000 point club (Lisa Andrews in 2004-05, Maggie Fontana in 2003-04). Placek would also be the sixth Holy Cross player in the last four years (Andrews in 2004-05, Fontana in 2003-04, and Katie O'Keefe, Jeanette Paukert and Amanda Abraham in 2001-02) to score 1,000 career points.

With 13 regular season games remaining, Placek needs to average 4.9 points per game to reach the 1,000 point mark before postseason play begins. She is currently averaging 9.0 points per game.

In her three years in a Holy Cross uniform, the five-foot-three guard has never finished a season with an average below 8.5 points per game. Her sophomore season, she averaged a career-best 10.5 points per game. Placek's career high in a single game is 23 points (Dec. 7, 2004 at Rhode Island).

CRUSADERS PICKED TO REPEAT: Holy Cross was recently picked first in the Patriot League preseason poll for the second consecutive season. The Crusaders received 94 total votes, inlcuding 11 first place nods. Holy Cross is coming off its 16th 20-win season under the direction of head coach Bill Gibbons and its 10th Patriot League Tournament Title.

KEIL NAMED PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE: Junior guard/forward Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) was named to the Patriot League Preseason All-League Team. Keil returns to the Holy Cross line-up as the team's top scorer (9.6 ppg) and rebounder (5.3 rpg). She is also the team's top three-point (.420 percent) and free throw (.810 percent) shooter from a year ago.

WELCOME TO WORCESTER: Morgan Valley is in her first season as assistant coach on the Holy Cross staff. Valley graduated from Connecticut in May and won three national titles with the Huskies under head coach Geno Auriemma.

2005-06 CAPTAINS: Senior guards Shannon Bush (Doylestown, Pa.), Jessica Conte (New Canaan, Conn.) and Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.), have been named team captains for the 2005-06 season.

SIXTEEN 20-WIN SEASONS: The Holy Cross women's basketball program has totaled 18 twenty-win seasons its 31 years of existence, and has amassed 16 twenty-win seasons while a NCAA Divsion I member. The past 16 twenty-win seasons have also come under the direction of head coach Bill Gibbons. Gibbons has led the Crusaders to more victories than any other coach in Holy Cross history during his 20-year tenure. He has won 20 or more games in 10 of the last 11 seasons and in 16 seasons overall.

400-CLUB: Bill Gibbons currently ranks 34th on the list of winningest active Division I coaches (by percent) and 36th by number of wins, according to the 2005 NCAA Women's Basketball Record Book. He is the winningest head basketball coach in Holy Cross history and is the second-winningest coach - of any sport - in school history, behind former baseball coach Jack Barry, who totaled 616 wins from 1921-1960.

HEAD COACH Bill Gibbons: Bill Gibbons is in his 21st season at the helm of the Holy Cross women's basketball program. He has led the Crusaders to 10 Patriot League Championships in the last 15 years and has also led the team to 12 postseason appearances (11 NCAA Tournaments and one WNIT) in his 20 years as head coach. With sixteen 20-win seasons under his belt, Gibbons has cemented himself and the women's basketball program as one of the best in the Northeast.

The sixth coach of the women's program at Holy Cross, Gibbons has enjoyed the longest tenure in this position. He has led Holy Cross women's basketball to more victories than any other coach, and is the winningest coach in Holy Cross basketball history. With his 358th victory, he surpassed George Blaney, who had the most wins (357) in the Crusader men's basketball program, and now with more than 400 wins under his belt, Gibbons is the second-winningest coach in Holy Cross Athletics history, behind former baseball coach Jack Barry. In 2003, Gibbons was inducted into the New England College Basketball Hall of Fame at the University of Rhode Island. He currently ranks 34th on the list of winningest active Division I coaches (by percent) and 36th by number of wins, according to the 2005 NCAA Women's Basketball Record Book.

During Gibbons' 20-year reign, three players have earned Patriot League Female Scholar Athlete of the Year honors: Amy O'Brien `98, Kathy Courtney `97 and Ann Lambiotte `91, and four players have earned Patriot League Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors: Lambiotte (1991), Courtney (1997), O'Brien (1998, 1999) and Lisa Andrews (2005). His teams have consistently ranked among the best at Holy Cross for overall team GPA, while maintaining their success on the court as well. Last season, Holy Cross was one of just three schools in the 64-team NCAA Tournament field with a graduation rate of 100 percent. The Crusader program has produced four Academic All-Americans and more than 10 Academic All-District picks.

2004-2005 HONORS: Four players from the Holy Cross women's basketball team were named to the 2005 Patriot League All-Conference Team at the end of last season. Since graduated seniors Lisa Andrews (Concord, Mass.) and Maggie Fontana (Barrington, Ill.) earned First Team All-League accolades, and current sophomores Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) and Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) were selected to the All-Rookie Team.

Andrews, who was also voted as the 2005 Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player, was named the 2005 Patriot League Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The six-foot-three center started all 31 games for the Crusaders last season and led the team in points (396), points per game (12.8), field goal percent (.471), field goals made (162) and blocks (55). She tied for first in rebounds (168) and was second on the team in rebounds per game (5.4). Andrews also shot .727 percent from the free throw line, which was third-best on the HC squad.

In addition, Fontana was named the Samantha Vellaccio Award winner, which is presented annually to the varsity women's basketball player who best exemplifies the mission of Holy Cross both on and off the court. Fontana finished her career with 1,556 points (sixth all-time at Holy Cross, 10th all-time in Patriot League), 767 rebounds (fourth all-time at Holy Cross, 11th all-time PL), 420 assists (seventh all-time at Holy Cross, eighth all-time PL) and 251 steals (third all-time at Holy Cross, 10th all-time PL). She is one of only five players in Holy Cross women's basketball history to collect more than 1,500 points and 750 rebounds in their career.

Further, seven players on the team were named to the 2005 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll last season. Since-graduated senior Caitlin Agostinacchio (Bellmore, N.Y.) and current junior Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) were among just four women's basketball players throughout the League to earn 4.0 grade point averages during the Spring semester. Andrews, Fontana, Jessica Conte, Kaitlin Foley and Sarah Placek were the other Crusaders who earned all-academic league accolades.

HC SIGNS FOUR TO NATIONAL LETTERS OF INTENT: Head coach Bill Gibbons announced that four student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to attend Holy Cross in the fall of 2006. Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) of Shrewsbury High School, Christy Cushnie (Vienna, Va.) of James Madison High School, Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) of Good Counsel High School, and Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) of Lincoln High School, will all be donning the purple and white next season.

ON TELEVISION: WCTR-TV3 will broadcast the January 16 game against Duke and the January 24 game against Colgate live from the Hart Center this season. Available in more than 20 communities in Central Massachusetts, WCTR-TV3 reaches more than 129,000 homes in the area.

ON THE INTERNET: Any information on Holy Cross basketball or the 26 other varsity sports at HC is also available through the Holy Cross Athletics website at: www.goholycross.com.

THE HOLY CROSS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SHOW: Tune in to WCTR TV-3 Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. and Friday nights at 10:30 p.m. for the Holy Cross Women's Basketball Show with Head Coach Bill Gibbons. Each week, WCTR TV-3 Sports Director Kevin Shea will sit down with Gibbons and members of this year's coaching staff and team and talk about all things Holy Cross basketball, and the Crusaders quest for the 2005-2006 Patriot League Championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

INTERVIEWS: Interviews with Head Coach Bill Gibbons, his staff and Holy Cross players can be set up by contacting Brianne Mallaghan in the Holy Cross Athletic Media Relations Office at (508) 793-2780 or via email at bmallagh@holycross.edu. Arrangements for interviews should be made atleast 24 hours in advance. Coach Gibbons is generally available each weekday morning during the season, as well as before and after practices. Player interviews will be arranged subject to the individual student-athlete's academic responsibilities.

HOLY CROSS ON THE INTERNET: For the most updated information on the Crusaders, check out the Holy Cross website. The site contains statistics for every Crusader basketball game, as well as cumulative stats, rosters, schedules, weekly notes and photo archives. Log on to www.goholycross.com.