Crusaders Play At American On Sunday

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Jan. 22, 2005

DATE: Sunday, January 23, 2005
TIME: 2:00 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
ARENA: Bender Arena
Holy Cross 9-8 (4-0 Patriot League)
American 7-9 (2-2 Patriot League)

Holy Cross, 6-1
LAST MEETING: American, 81-65 (Last season at Bender Arena)
STREAK: American - 1

WTAG 580 AM- Dick Lutsk, play-by-play

G - #10 Sarah Placek, Jr., 5-3, 9.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg
G - #05 Laura Aloisi, Fr., 5-9, 3.6 ppg, 5.2 apg
G - #34 Maggie Fontana, Sr., 5-11, 8.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg
F - #33 Brittany Keil, So., 6-2, 9.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg
C - #00 Lisa Andrews, Sr., 6-3, 11.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg

G - #23 Jessica Conte, Jr., 5-7, 6.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg
G - #11 Caitlin Agostinacchio, Sr., 5-9, 1.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg
G - #15 Shannon Bush, Jr., 5-11, 4.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg
C - #31 Ashley Brennan-McBride, So., 6-5, 1.9 ppg, 0.7 rpg
F - #13 Ashley McLaughlin, Fr., 6-1, 4.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg
F - #52 Kaitlin Foley, So., 6-4, 3.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Sunday afternoon's matchup featuring Holy Cross and American will be the eighth all-time meeting between the two schools in the 30 seasons of varsity basketball at HC.

The Crusaders own a 6-1 series advantage over the Eagles, and are 3-1 when playing at Bender Arena.

Last season, the Crusaders took a 71-56 decision over the Eagles at the Hart Center on January 25. Brittany Keil was the lone Crusader in double-figures with a game-high 15 points, but HC shot 49% from the field and got points from all 13 players on the roster to seal the victory. American was led by Joanna Barnes and Kaitlin Schuyler who had 14 and 10 points, respectively. Chanel Hunt pulled down a game-high 10 boards for the Eagles, who were held to just 28% shooting from the floor. In the second game between the two, American came out on top, 81-65 at Bender Arena on February 20. Four Eagles were in double-figures for the home team, led by Barnes' game-high 19 points. Shannon Bush had a team-high 17 points and Maggie Fontana chipped in 13 for the Crusaders, but it was too little too late as HC was held to 40% from the field and was outscored 46-24 in the first half.

Senior Maggie Fontana (Barrington, Ill.) shot for a game-high and a season-high 18 points Friday night at Navy. The 5-foot-11 guard/forward was an impressive 80% from the field, hitting 8 of 10 shots, including 2-of-3 from long range. Fontana also chipped in four assists and three rebounds. Fontana's previous high this season was 14 points, which she tallied against Bucknell on January 8 and vs. Iona on November 27.

Freshman point guard Laura Aloisi had a solid all-around game Friday night, collecting a game-high six assists, five points, three steals and two rebounds. Aloisi played 28 minutes on Friday which was the most time she has seen since recovering from a left knee injury suffered in early December. The 5-foot-9 New Hampshire native leads the team in assists with 73, which is also good for second-best in the Patriot League (5.21 apg).

Senior Lisa Andrews (Concord, Mass.) earned her second Player of the Week honor on Monday, after leading the Crusaders to a 2-0 week last week. Andrews poured in a career-high and game-high 25 points on Saturday at Colgate, going 9-for-18 from the floor, and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe. The 6-foot-3 center also pulled down eight rebounds and had two assists and one steal in 26 minutes of action against the Raiders. Andrews also led the Crusaders with a team-high 18 points in a 70-53 win over Army a few days earlier, helping head coach Bill Gibbons win his 400th career game. Andrews was 9-for-13 from the floor vs. the Bison and also had five boards and three blocks in 20 minutes of play. Andrews now has 172 career blocks and ranks third on HC's all-time blocked shots list. In four conference games so far this season, Andrews has averaged 19.6 ppg, good for second-best in the League. The Massachusetts native is also just 84 points away from the 1,000-point plateau. Through 17 games, Andrews leads the team in scoring with an 11.9 ppg clip. The Crusaders have 10 regular season games left.

Holy Cross head coach Bill Gibbons continues to move up the history charts, having picked up his 402nd career win with a 70-48 thrashing of Navy on Friday night. Gibbons is the winningest basketball coach (men's or women's) in the history of Holy Cross. The 20th year coach is also currently ranked 37th among active Division I women's basketball coaches by number of victories. Gibbons captured his 100th, 200th, and 400th career wins on his first try. It took the Worcester, Mass. native two games to notch his 300th win in 2000.

After losing four straight games heading into Patriot League play three weeks ago, Holy Cross has bounced back and is now on a four game winning streak. The Crusaders are currently 9-8 (4-0 Patriot League) going into tonight's match-up with American. The Crusaders are 4-4 on the road this year and have a 2-2 record when they play during the day. HC is also 1-2 when playing on Sundays this season and is 4-2 in January thus far. American stands at 7-9 (2-2 Patriot League) and is most recently coming off a 71-64 win over Army on Friday.

Crusaders won their fourth straight game after dominating Navy 73-48 on Friday night at Alumni Hall. Senior Maggie Fontana went for a game-high 18 points, after shooting 80% from the floor. Fellow senior and reigning PL Player of the Week Lisa Andrews also had a big night with 16 points, three rebounds and two blocks. The Crusaders went into the half up 29-18 after racing out to a 23-7 lead in the early going. The Midhsipmen then held HC scoreless for almost seven minutes, cutting the lead to seven, but Holy Cross used a 21-2 run in the second to seal the win. The Crusaders forced 25 Navy turnovers and held the Midshipmen to just 30% shooting on the night. Sophomore Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) chipped in with eight points, a team-high five rebounds, three assists and a block for the Crusaders, who also got a game-high six-assist performance from freshman Laura Aloisi. Junior Jessica Conte (New Canaan, Conn.) added six points, while Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.) and Shannon Bush (Doylestown, Pa.) both chipped in five points. Sophomores Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) and Ashley Brennan-McBride (London, Ontario) both scored four points.

After a three straight away games, the Crusaders return home to host four home games starting with Lafayette on Friday, January 28. Lehigh comes to Worcester on January 30, followed by Navy on February 4 and American on February 6.

American comes into today's game at 7-9 overall (2-2 Patriot League) after a 71-64 win over Army on Friday night. The Eagles got a game-high 22-point performance from Senior guard Joanna Barnes (Washington, D.C.). Senior forward Chanel Hunt (Raleigh, N.C.) and sophomore guard Tara Williams (Newport News, Va.) added 12 and 11 points, respectively. American is led by the 5-foot-10 Barnes who is averaging 15.1 ppg and 5.3 rpg. Hunt, a 6-foot forward also averages double-figures at 13.0 ppg to go along with her 6.2 rpg. Five-foot-nine senior forward Jenyce Woodruff leads the Eagles in rebounding, pulling down 7.2 boards per game.

Holy Cross is currently 4-0 in conference play after a 73-48 win at Navy on Friday. Twentieth-year head coach Bill Gibbons has compiled a 157-29 record in Patriot League play, including HC's 4-0 mark this year. Gibbons also has six Patriot League Coach of the Year awards and has led his teams to 10 regular season titles and nine championship titles.

The Crusaders rank first (all games) in 3-point field goal pct. as a team, shooting .366 (93 for 254) from behind the arc. Sophomore Brittany Keil, and junior Jessica Conte (New Canaan, Conn.) currently occupy two of the Top 3 spots in 3-point field goal pct. among Patriot League players. Keil is ranked first in the League, shooting an impressive 47.6% (20 for 42), followed by the third-place Conte at 38.8%. Junior guard Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.) is ranked 8th (35.0%; 21 for 60).

Freshman guard Laura Aloisi is ranked 38th in the country in assists per game with 5.2 per outing. The 5-foot-9 Aloisi is also tied for the top spot in the Patriot League (conference games only) with 16 assists through three league games (5.33 apg). Aloisi has 73 assists through 14 games this season, which is second-best among PL players at a 5.21 assists per game clip. Her 11 assist perfomance against UMass on 11/23 and her 10 helpers vs. Providence on 11/19 stand as PL-bests this season.

Senior center Lisa Andrews is just 84 points away from reaching the 1,000 point plateau. Andrews is currently averaging 11.9 points per game, and with 10 regular season games left, she is on track to reach the 1,000-point mark. Andrews has averaged 18.7 ppg over the past four games, and is ranked second in the League in scoring (league games only).

Junior Jessica Conte converted on all six of her free throw attempts on Friday at Navy, improving her season mark to 69.7. Senior Lisa Andrews is shooting a team-best 81.6% (40-for-49) from the foul line. Sophomore Brittany Keil is also converting on better than 81%, having made 26-of-32 free throws. As a team, the Crusaders rank first among Patriot League schools (all games) with a 73.6 free throw percentage and second among PL schools (conference games only) with a 73.7 free throw percentage. Through 17 games, Crusader players have made good on 190 of 258 attempts.

Lisa Andrews is currently ranked second (all games) among Patriot League players and fourth in the League (conference games only) in blocked shots. The 6-foot-4 center has turned away a team-leading 26 shots so far this season, including two vs. Navy on Friday. Andrews is averaging 1.5 blocks per game. She finished last season ranked 21st in the country with 2.5 blocks per outing.

The Crusaders are 4-0 when outrebounding their opponents, and just 5-8 when their opponents win the battle of the boards. The Crusaders have been outrebounded in 13 of 17 games this season, including a streak of eight straight games where HC opponents pulled down more boards.

Senior guard Maggie Fontana is moving up in a number of all-time Holy Cross statistics lists. Fontana recently passed Ann Lambiotte (`91) in scoring and is currently ranked ninth with 1,375 points. She is nine steals away from breaking into the Top 3 (229), and she is just 26 rebounds away from moving into the Top 10 in that category (672). Fontana is also steadily climbing the all-time Patriot League charts in a number of categories. The 5-foot-11 Illinois native is currently ranked 11th in assists (388), 20th in points (1,375) and 21st in rebounds (672). Lisa Andrews is currently ranked 4th in all-time blocked shots (170) and is only four away from taking the third slot.

Seniors Lisa Andrews and Maggie Fontana are the only two HC players who have recorded double-doubles this season. Andrews went for 12 points and 10 boards in a 64-56 win at Siena on December 9 and Fontana tallied 10 points and 10 boards in a one-point loss to UAB on November 26.

2004-2005 HONORS:
Freshman guard Laura Aloisi earned Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors (Nov. 29) just one week after senior center Lisa Andrews was named PL Player of the Week (Nov. 22). Aloisi was recognized for her performances in the Iona (six assists, three steals), UAB (career-high 14 points), and UMass games (career-high 11 assists). Andrews tallied 19 points, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal vs. Buffalo two days after a 12-point, five rebounds, two steals and a block in the home opener against Providence.

The February 19 game featuring Holy Cross and Colgate, which will be played at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass., is the only Patriot League regular season women's game slated for CSTV. College Sports Television will also broadcast the March 3 PL Quarterfinals and the March 9 PL Championship game.

Ten-time Patriot League regular-season champion Holy Cross was picked to win the 2004-2005 Patriot League regular-season title in a pre-season vote of the League's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders tied last season's regular season champion Colgate with five first place votes, but amassed 84 total points, edging the Raiders by two (coaches and SIDs were not allowed to vote for their own team). American finished third with 72 points, followed by Lehigh (68), Bucknell (55), Army (36), Navy (27), and Lafayette (19). In other voting, Colgate senior Emily Braseth and Lehigh senior Jessica DePalo were chosen as the Pre-Season Co-Players of the Year. They are joined on the Pre-Season All-League team by Holy Cross senior guard Maggie Fontana, Bucknell sophomore guard Lindsey Hollobaugh and American senior forward Chanel Hunt. Braseth and DePalo were First Team selections last season, while Fontana and Hunt were second-team picks. Hollobaugh earned Rookie of the Year honors.

2003-2004 HONORS:
Joining Fontana on the All-Patriot League Second Team was center Lisa Andrews. Andrews led the League in blocks (69), and was ranked 21st in the country with 2.5 blocks per game. She also finished the season ranked 28th in the country in field goal pct. (.541). Brittany Keil also earned League accolades last season. The 6-foot-2 guard was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team after a strong freshman campaign. Keil played in all 28 Crusader games, and started 15. She averaged 4.7 ppg and 3.6 rpg, to go along with 28 steals and 21 blocks.

2004-05 CAPTAINS:
Seniors Caitlin Agostinacchio, Lisa Andrews, and Maggie Fontana are the 2004-2005 Holy Cross captains. Agostinacchio, who also plays volleyball for HC, recorded 396 kills this season, giving her 1,063 for her career, which is a school-best. She also tallied 250 digs (908 career). Andrews averaged 14.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, and 2.5 bpg last season, earning Second Team All-Patriot League honors. Her 2.5 blocks per game was good for 21st nationally. She was also ranked 28th in the nation in field goal percentage (.541). Fontana also earned Second Team All-Patriot League honors last year. She finished last season ranked in the PL Top 10 in seven different categories, and also scored her 1,000th career point against Furman on December 29.