Holy Cross Plays Host To Lafayette On Friday

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Jan. 26, 2005

DATE: Friday, January 28, 2005
TIME: 7:00 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Worcester, Mass.
ARENA: Hart Center
Lafayette 3-15 (1-4 Patriot League)
Holy Cross 10-8 (5-0 Patriot League)

Holy Cross, 32-5
Holy Cross, 74-49 (Last season at the Kirkby Sports Center)
Holy Cross - 16

INTERNET: www.sportsjuice.com
TALENT: Jeremy Lechan

G - #10 Sarah Placek, Jr., 5-3, 9.6 ppg, 2.6 apg
G - #05 Laura Aloisi, Fr., 5-9, 3.5 ppg, 5.1 apg
G - #34 Maggie Fontana, Sr., 5-11, 8.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg
F - #33 Brittany Keil, So., 6-2, 9.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg
C - #00 Lisa Andrews, Sr., 6-3, 12.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg

G - #23 Jessica Conte, Jr., 5-7, 6.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg
G - #11 Caitlin Agostinacchio, Sr., 5-9, 1.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg
G - #15 Shannon Bush, Jr., 5-11, 4.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg
C - #31 Ashley Brennan-McBride, So., 6-5, 1.8 ppg, 0.7 rpg
F - #13 Ashley McLaughlin, Fr., 6-1, 4.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg
F - #52 Kaitlin Foley, So., 6-4, 3.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Holy Cross owns a 32-5 series advantage over Lafayette, and is 15-1 when playing at the Hart Center. The Crusaders have also won the last 16 meetings between the two teams, dating back to the 1997-1998 season.

The Crusaders won the season series going 2-0 against the Leopards in 2003-04. The Purple and White edged Lafayette 71-65 at the Hart Center on January 17, where Maggie Fontana picked up an impressive triple-double performance. The 5-foot-11 guard went for 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while Lisa Andrews also chipped in 10 points to lead the Crusaders. The since-departed Colleen Fitzpatrick and Elecia Kruise had 24 and 11 points, respectively for the Leopards. HC came out on top again with a more convincing 74-49 victory on February 13. Andrews had a game-high 17 points and Brittany Keil tallied 13 for the Crusaders, while three Leopards were in double figures led by Fitzpatrick's 13 points, Lindsay Meyers' 12 and Kristin Doherty's 11.

Holy Cross held both its opponents to 48 points or less last time out in its 2-0 weekend sweep of Navy and American. On Friday night, HC held Navy to just 30.9% shooting from the floor, while forcing 25 turnovers and coming up with 11 steals. Two days later at American, the Crusaders bothered the Eagles to a 1-for-11 performance from behind the arc, and 32.8 FG% for the game. It was the first time HC held its opponents to 48 points or less in back-to-back games since opening weekend when the Crusaders held Providence to 40 points and Buffalo to 42 points just two days later. HC also held URI and Siena to 56 points or less in back-to-back games in December. The Crusaders are 8-0 on the season when holding their opponents to 60-points or less.

Senior center Lisa Andrews (Concord, Mass.) pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds against American on Sunday, just two games after putting up a career-high 25 points at Colgate. Andrews currently leads the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and blocks (27) and is second on the team in rebounding (5.1 rpg)

After a tough start to the season, senior Maggie Fontana (Barrington, Ill.) is starting to come on for the Crusaders, averaging 16.0 ppg and 5.5 rpg the past two games. Fontana went for 14 points and eight rebounds Sunday at American just two days after shooting for a game-high and a season-high 18 points at Navy. The 5-foot-11 guard/forward was an impressive 13-for-20 (65%) from the field, including 4-of-4 from the foul line and 2-of-3 from long range over the weekend.

Freshman point guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) had a solid road trip at Navy and American, collecting a combined 10 assists, seven points, six rebounds, and five steals last weekend. Aloisi also played 28 minutes on Friday and 30 minutes on Sunday which has been 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 77, which is also good for a Patriot League-best 5.1 assist per game average.

Holy Cross head coach Bill Gibbons continues to move up the history charts, having picked up his 403rd career win after a 2-0 weekend vs. Navy and American. 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.

The Crusaders are on a five game winning streak and are currently 10-8 (5-0 Patriot League) going into tonight's match-up with Lafayette. The Crusaders are 4-3 at home this year and have a 7-6 record when they at night. HC is also 2-1 when playing on Fridays this season and is 5-2 in January thus far. Lafayette stands at 3-15 (1-4 Patriot League) and is most recently coming off an 82-72 loss to Princeton on Tuesday.

The Crusaders won their fifth straight game after a 67-48 win at American on Sunday afternoon at Bender Arena. Senior Lisa Andrews pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds to go along with her team-high 17 points after going 6-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe. Fellow senior Maggie Fontana also had a big night with 14 points and eight boards. Freshman guard Laura Aloisi had a game-high four assists, while junior Sarah Placek and sophomore Brittany Keil had nine and eight points, respectively. Junior guards Jessica Conte and Shannon Bush also chipped in six points apiece. The Crusaders went into intermission with an eight point lead (30-22) after a back-and-forth first half, which saw four ties and two lead changes. But the Crusaders came out strong in the second and opened the half on a 6-0 run, never looking back after that. HC found itself up by as much as 18 points on two different occassions, while holding the Eagles to just 32% from the floor. American also only managed to convert 9-of-23 free throw attempts, going 0-for-8 in the first half.

The Crusaders stay at the Hart Center for three more home games, as they play host to Lehigh on Sunday, January 30, followed by Navy on February 4 and American on February 6.

Lafayette comes into tonight's game with an overall record of 3-15 (1-4 Patriot League), most recently coming off an 82-72 loss to Princeton Tuesday night. The Leopards got a team-high 22-point, 7-rebound performance from senior guard Lindsay Myers (Allentown, Pa.), but it was not enough as Princeton shot 54% for the game, jumping out to a commanding 43-28 halftime lead. Senior Brianne Welte (Owosso, Mich.), junior Kristen Doherty (Upper Darby, Pa.) and sophomore Kara Stetler (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) all chipped in eight points for the 3-15 Leopards. Lafayette is led by the 5-foot-8 Myers, who leads the team in scoring (10.2 ppg), rebounding (5.8 rpg), assists (48) and steals (43). Myers is also second on the team in blocks with 11. In addition, three-time League Rookie of the Week Vanessa Van De Venter (Tannersville, Pa.) is averaging 9.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg, both good for second-best for the Leopards, while the 6-foot-1 Welte is the team's leading shot blocker with 14 rejections on the season.

Holy Cross is currently 5-0 in conference play after a 67-48 win at American on Sunday. Twentieth-year head coach Bill Gibbons has compiled a 158-29 (.844) record in Patriot League play, including HC's 5-0 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 .359 (97 for 270) from behind the arc. Sophomore Brittany Keil, and junior Jessica Conte (New Canaan, Conn.) currently occupy two of the top four spots in 3-point field goal pct. among Patriot League players (all games). Keil is ranked first in the League, shooting an impressive 48.9% (22 for 45), followed by the fourth-place Conte at 36.5% (19 for 52). Junior guard Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.) is ranked 8th (34.4%; 22 for 64).

Freshman guard Laura Aloisi is ranked 42nd in the country in assists per game with 5.1 per outing. The 5-foot-9 Aloisi is also tops in the Patriot League with 77 assists through 15 games (5.13) and 26 assists through five league games (5.20 apg). In the 15 games she has played in, Aloisi has led the team in assists in 10 games this season, and tied for first in that category in two other games, giving her the top spot in 12 of 15 games. 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 67 points away from reaching the 1,000 point plateau. Andrews is currently averaging 12.2 ppg, and with 9 regular season games left, she is on track to reach the 1,000-point mark. Andrews has averaged 18.4 ppg over the past five games, and is ranked third in the League in scoring (league games only).

Senior Maggie Fontana converted on 4-of-4 free throw attempts on Sunday at American, improving her season mark to 75.0%. Senior Lisa Andrews is shooting a team-best 81.8% (45-for-55) from the foul line. Sophomore Brittany Keil is also converting on better than 78%, having made 26-of-33 free throws. As a team, the Crusaders rank first among Patriot League schools (all games and conference games) with a 74.2 free throw percentage. Through 18 games, Crusader players have made good on 207 of 279 attempts.

Lisa Andrews is currently ranked second (all games and conference games) among Patriot League players in blocked shots. The 6-foot-4 center has turned away a team-leading 27 shots so far this season, including three this past weekend. 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 5-0 when outrebounding their opponents, and just 5-8 when their opponents win the battle of the boards. The Crusaders have been outrebounded in 14 of 18 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 1,389 points. She is six steals away from breaking into the Top 3 (232), and she is just 18 rebounds away from moving into the Top 10 in that category (680). 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 (390), 19th in points (1,389) and 18th in rebounds (680). Lisa Andrews is currently ranked 4th in all-time blocked shots (173) and is only one 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 17 points and 13 boards in a 67-48 win over American on January 23 and 12 points and 10 boards in a 64-56 win at Siena on December 9. Fontana tallied 10 points and 10 boards in a one-point loss to UAB on November 26.

Senior Lisa Andrews (Concord, Mass.) earned her second Player of the Week honor last Monday (1/17), after leading the Crusaders to a 2-0 week vs. Colgate and Army. 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 170 career blocks and ranks third on HC's all-time blocked shots list. Through five conference games so far this season, Andrews has averaged 18.4 ppg, good for third-best in the League, just 0.4 points behind the second slot. The Massachusetts native is also just 67 points away from the 1,000-point plateau. Through 18 games, Andrews leads the team in scoring with an 12.2 ppg clip. The Crusaders have nine regular season games left.

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 was a First Team All-Patriot League selection in volleyball this year, while Andrews and Fontana were both Second Team All-Patriot League picks in basketball last season.