Jan. 26, 2006
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
GAME #19 at LEHIGH
Holy Cross (8-10, 4-1 Patriot League)
Lehigh (7-11, 2-3 Patriot League)
Date: January 28, 2006
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Stabler Arena (5,600)
Location: Bethlehem, Pa.
Television: Service Electric 2 Sports
Television: Fox College Sports Atlantic (tape delay - available nationally on digital cable)
Radio: WTAG 580 AM
Talent: Bob Fouracre, play by play
Series History: 36th meeting; Holy Cross leads 30-5
Last Meeting:Lehigh, 73-63 (Feb. 13, 2005; Bethlehem, Pa.)
Series Streak: Lehigh - 1
PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG G 5 Laura Aloisi 5-9 So. 5.1 4.1 apg G 15 Shannon Bush 5-3 Sr. 11.1 3.6 G 33 Brittany Keil 6-2 Jr. 9.6 6.3 F 13 Ashley McLaughlin 6-1 So. 3.5 3.5 C 52 Kaitlin Foley 6-4 Jr. 14.1 6.2
Saturday's game will be the 36th all-time meeting between Holy Cross and Lehigh in the 31 year history of varsity basketball at Holy Cross.
THE SERIES: Holy Cross has dominated the series and leads 30-5, including a 16-3 record when playing the Mountain Hawks in Bethlehem. The series is, however, tied 4-4 in the last eight meetings. The two teams split the series last season, as Holy Cross took the first game, 71-68, at the Hart Center in January and Lehigh responded with a 73-63 win at Stabler Arena in February.
THIS TIME OUT: Holy Cross is coming off a hard fought 75-62 victory over Colgate on Tuesday night, while Lehigh has been idle for a week following its 67-64 loss to Lafayette last Saturday. The Crusaders are 3-2 in their last five games and have a 4-0 mark on Saturdays. In addition, with its victory over Colgate Tuesday night following its four point win over American last Saturday, the team won consecutive games for the first time this season. Five of the Crusaders' 10 total losses have come against Top 25 (#1 Duke; #4 UConn; #24 Boston College) or Top 25-caliber (Virginia (25 votes); Western Kentucky) teams. The Moutain Hawks come into tonight's game on a two game losing streak and have lost three of their last four games (all league games). Lehigh is 6-4 at home this season, including a 1-2 mark in conference play at Stabler Arena.
LAST TIME OUT: Holy Cross extended its series lead over Colgate to 33-2 overall and 17-0 at the Hart Center with a 75-62 victory over the Raiders on Tuesday night in Worcester. Junior center Kaitlin Foley pumped in a career-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds and sophomore guard Laura Aloisi had a terrific all-around game with a season-high 11 points, six assists, five steals and three rebounds to lead the Crusaders to their second consecutive win. It is the first time they have won two games in a row all season long (59-55 win over American last Saturday). Holy Cross (8-10) improved 4-1 in the Patriot League, while handing Colgate (3-15, 1-4 Patriot League) its fourth straight loss. Junior guard Brittany Keil also had an impressive night with 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Crusaders. Seniors Jessica Conte and Shannon Bush scored nine and eight points, respectively, while both grabbed four rebounds. Colgate took a 38-33 lead into the break after a sloppy first half of play that saw 17 turnovers, 12 steals, eight lead changes and seven ties. Holy Cross took its first lead of the game (8-6) after a Kathy Gruzynski hoop underneath at the 14:51 mark, which was part of a 9-2 Crusader run that gave Holy Cross a 13-8 lead. Colgate then responded with an 11-0 run of its own, thanks to three consecutive three-pointers by Gretchen Polinksi, to take a 19-13 lead with 10:20 remaining. Keil broke the HC dry spell with a 15-footer from the top of the key to pull the Crusaders within four (19-15) and an Aloisi drive to the hoop after a Colgate miss on the other end cut the lead to two (19-17) with 8:23 to go. The teams had three more ties (21-21; 28-28; 33-33) in the final seven minutes of the half, but the Raiders scored the final five points of the half to take the lead into intermission. The second half was a similar back-and-forth struggle for both teams. But with 9:13 to play, Holy Cross took a 54-53 lead after a traditional three point play by Bush and never trailed again. The Crusaders then led by as much as seven (60-53) following a Conte steal and fast break lay-in on the other end. Colgate fought back and went on a 7-2 run to get within two (62-60), but Holy Cross responded with a 6-0 of its own to take a 68-60 lead with less than two minutes to play. The Crusaders made five free throws with less 49 seconds on the clock and Foley grabbed a crucial offensive rebound and made good on the putback to seal the win. Four Raiders were in double-figures led by Polinski's 18 points. Melanie Cargle added 13, Megan Ballard added 12 and Meghan Curtin chipped in with 11. The Crusaders out-rebounded Colgate, 42-38 on the night and held the Raiders to 36 percent shooting from the floor, while forcing 23 turnovers. Holy Cross shot 45 percent for the game and made 17 of 22 free throws to Colgate's five (5-for-8).
NEXT TIME OUT: Holy Cross is on the road again on Tuesday, Jan. 31 when it travels to Annapolis, Md., to match-up with Navy. Holy Cross leads the series, 29-4 and is 12-3 in Annapolis. The Crusaders then head back to Pennsylvania for a showdown with Lafayette on Saturday, Feb. 4. Holy Cross leads the series, 36-5, and is 18-1 when playing at the Kirby Sports Center. The Crusaders defeated Lafayette, 78-39 earlier this season at the Hart Center.
HOME IS WHERE THE HART IS: Holy Cross has an all-time record of 296-79 (.789) at the Hart Center, and is now just four 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 2-3 mark this season.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAIN HAWKS: Lehigh comes into tonight's game after a tough 67-64 loss at cross-town rival Lafayette last Saturday. The Mountain Hawks (7-11, 2-3 Patriot League) have lost two straight conference games and three of their last four. Two of those three losses came against league foes at Stabler Arena. The Mountain Hawks are led by five-foot-nine junior guard Sara Ellis (Bellefontaine, Ohio), who is averaging a team-best 16.1 points per game and six-foot-one senior forward Jenny Callan (Lisle, Ill.), who is putting up double-double figures (15.3 points and 12.1 rebounds) each outing. Five-foot-nine junior forward Adrienne Blount (Mahopac, N.Y.) is not far behind with 12.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Blount also leads the team in steals (32 steals), while Callan is Lehigh's top shot blocker (seven blocks). The team's floor general is five-foot-eight sophomore guard Claire Sullivan (Wallingford, Conn.), who leads the Patriot League with 128 assists (7.1 assists per game). Sullivan also averages 4.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per outing. Head coach Sue Troyan is in her 11th season at the helm of the Lehigh women's basketball program. Troyan is 147-155 overall with the Mountain Hawks.
NUMBERS AGAINST LEHIGH: Holy Cross is 3-3 against the Mountain Hawks the last three years. Three of those games have been decided by three points or less. Holy Cross is 2-1 at Stabler Arena and 1-2 at the Hart Center against Lehigh the last three seasons.
LAST TIME OUT VERSUS LEHIGH: (2/13/05) Four Lehigh players reached double-figures to lead the Mountain Hawks to a 73-63 upset victory over Holy Cross, snapping the Crusaders' ten-game winning streak in the process, and denying them the ability to clinch the Patriot League regular season title on February 13 of last season. Holy Cross senior center Lisa Andrews finished with a game-high 21 points, including the 1,000th of her career to lead the Crusaders. Andrews' milestone hoop came at the 14:27 mark in the first, making her the 21st player in Holy Cross women's basketball history to reach the 1,000 point plateau. Freshman Laura Aloisi added 10 points and tied for game-high honors with five assists for the Crusaders, who also got 11 points from junior guard Shannon Bush. Lehigh started the second half on a 11-5 run, cutting HC's 36-26 halftime lead to four (41-37) with 15:12 remaining. The Mountain Hawks did not let down from there, fighting back to take their first lead since the 9:26 mark in the first on two DePalo free throws at the 11:43 mark. The two teams then traded the lead a handful of times until Lehigh went on a 15-3 run to end the game. Holy Cross was held almost seven minutes without a hoop down the stretch. The Mountain Hawks opened the game strong, taking an 11-5 lead five minutes into the contest as the Crusaders struggled offensively, going 0-for their first five shots. HC did not get on the board until a Sarah Placek jumper 16:53 into the game, but the Crusaders began to heat up and went on a 16-4 run to take a 21-15 lead with 8:30 remaining. Holy Cross shot 50% (15-30) from the floor and held Lehigh to just 34% (11-32) in the first, outscoring the Mountain Hawks 31-15 in the final 14 minutes of the half. Lehigh was led by Jessica DePalo's 20 points. Jenny Callan added 17, Sara Ellis had 14, and Mary Hynoski chipped in 10 for the Mountain Hawks.
HOLY CROSS VERSUS THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: Holy Cross is 169-32 (.840) in Patriot League play since its inception and is 103-9 (.919) when playing league opponents on the Hart Center floor, including its 3-0 mark this year. Under Bill Gibbons, Holy Cross is also 169-32 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.
MINI MILESTONES: Senior guard Sarah Placek started her 100th career game on Tuesday tonight, after playing in her 100th career game on Dec. 29 against Virginia. Placek has started 100 out of the 107 career games she has played in. Meanwhile, fellow senior Shannon Bush is expected to play in the 100th game of her career this evening, while senior Jessica Conte played in her 100th career game on Dec. 28 against Boston University. Conte and Bush have 18 and 15 career starts, respectively. Earlier in the season, Conte, Bush and junior Brittany Keil all hit the 500th career point mark. Conte passed the 500 point plateau with her 12 point outing at Northeastern in the first game of the seaosn, while Bush passed the 500 point mark on Dec. 28 against BU, and Keil scored her 500th at UConn on Dec. 19.
COUNTDOWN TO 1,000: Sarah Placek came into the season with 810 career points and she is now just 33 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 nine regular season games remaining, Placek needs to average 3.6 points per game to reach the 1,000 point mark before postseason play begins. She is currently averaging 8.7 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).
KEIL STYLE: Junior guard Brittany Keil narrowly miss her sixth double-double of the season after recording 11 points and seven rebounds against Colgate on Tuesday night. She also had five assists and three steals. Keil was coming off her fifth double-double of the season with a 16-point, 10-rebound performance against American last Saturday. Keil was 7-for-15 from the floor, including two three-pointers, and had 12 of HC's 26 points at the half against the Eagles. In the last four games, Keil has averaged 14.0 points and 7.25 rebounds. Keil had a standout game against #2 Duke last Monday night and provided a much needed offensive spark for the Crusaders throughout the contest. Keil finished the game with a team-high 12 points, after going 5-for-11 from the floor, including two three-pointers. Keil was the only Crusader in double-figures and had 10 of HC's 16 points at the half. Going into the Duke game, Keil was coming off her fourth career double-double with a 17-point, 10-rebound outing at Bucknell on Jan. 14. Keil was 7-for-17 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line to help lead the Crusaders to a crucial conference win. Keil also clocked a career-high 41 minutes of action against the Bison. Keil leads the team in rebounding this season (6.3 rebounds per game) and is third on the team in scoring (9.6 points per game). In the Patriot League opener 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.
BUSH LEADS HC CHARGE: Senior guard Shannon Bush totaled eight points, four rebounds and three assists on Tuesday against Colgate, helping the Crusaders to their fourth conference win of the season. Bush also scored 15 points to spark the Crusader charge over American last Saturday. Bush had just three points in the first half and then exploded for 12 in the second stanza, including eight straight at one point, giving Holy Cross a 13 point lead (its largest of the game) with 10:26 remaining. Bush pumped in a game-high 19 points on a 7-for-12 performance from the floor to lead Holy Cross to a 67-63 overtime victory at Bucknell on Jan. 14. Bush was 4-for-7 from behind the arc and scored four points in the extra period to help seal the victory for the Crusaders. Bush also had five assists, three rebounds and two steals against the Bison. 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 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 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.
DOUBLE DUTY: Junior center Kaitlin Foley narrowly missed yet another double-double with her 21-point, eight-rebound outing against Colgate on Tuesday night. Foley was 9-for-13 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line on her way to a career-high night (21 points) to lead the Crusaders. Foley was just shy of recording her third career double-double and her second straight with a 10-point, eight-rebound effort at Bucknell on Jan. 14. Going into the Bucknell game, Foley was most recently coming off her second career double-double after totaling 14 points and 10 rebounds at Army on Jan. 10. 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 (14.1 points per game) and is fifth in the Patriot League in that same category. She is also second in the conference in blocks (0.83 blocks per game), second in field goal percentage (51.3 percent), fifth in free throw percentage (76.8 percent), and is seventh in rebounding (6.2 rebounds per game).
PLACEK STEPS UP: Senior guard Sarah Placek has scored 10 or more points in three of the last six games and in four of her last eight outings. The five-foot-three spark plug has averaged 9.8 points per game over the last six games and is currently fourth on the team in scoring with a 8.7 points per game average. She is also second on the team and seventh in the Patriot League in assists with 53.
PICKING UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF: Sophomore point guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) is once again leading the team in assists (70 assists) and assists per game (4.12 apg) this season. The second year playmaker now has 189 career assists, after her rookie campaign in which she led the team and finished second in the Patriot League with 119 helpers. Aloisi is second in the Patriot League in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.56; 70 assists, 45 turnovers), ranks third in assists (4.12 apg) and 15th in blocked shots (0.35 bpg).
BEDEVILED: Holy Cross' 84-36 loss to Duke on Jan. 16 was the program's worst loss suffered on the Hart Center floor, and it was the team's worst loss (48 points) suffered this season (previous was a 41 point loss to Virginia on Dec. 29). The Crusaders were looking at a 35 point differential (51-16) at halftime (largest halftime deficit of the season; previous was 19 (37-18) vs. UVa), while putting up only 16 points in the first stanza (fewest point total in a half this season; previous was 18 vs. UVa), and totaling their fewest points in a game (36; previous low was 39 vs. UVa). Holy Cross was also tormented by the Blue Devils into shooting a mere 21.7 percent from the floor for the game, which was its lowest field goal percentage for a game this season (previous low was 25.9 percent at UMass). In addition, Duke had the best halftime field goal percentage of any HC opponent this season (64.5 percent; previous high was 48.4 percent by Western Kentucky), and finished the game with the best field goal percentage of any HC opponent (54.1 percent; previous high was 49.2 percent by Boston College).
TOP BILLING: Holy Cross is 0-5 when playing Top 25 teams at the Hart Center in the last six years. Before its 48-point loss to #2 Duke, the last time Holy Cross hosted a top seed was on Jan. 10, 2000, when UConn visited Worcester in front of the first ever sold out crowd in women's history at the Hart Center. In the last five seasons, Holy Cross has posted a record of 0-16 against Top 25 teams, including its 0-2 mark this season (84-36 loss to #2 Duke; 81-54 loss to #9 UConn). The Crusaders are 0-7 when playing the #1 or #2 ranked teams in the country. Four of those seven losses against #1 or #2 ranked teams came against UConn, during its National Championship seasons (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004).
EXTRA! EXTRA!: Holy Cross' thrilling 67-63 overtime win at Bucknell on Jan. 14 was the program's first overtime win since the 2003-04 season when it topped Siena, 59-58, at the Hart Center. Holy Cross is 4-1 in its last five overtime games, dating back to the 2001-02 season. The last time the Crusaders lost an overtime game was an 84-75 double OT setback at Lehigh in 2002.
PUT ME IN, COACH: Four Crusaders set or tied season and/or career highs in minutes played at Bucknell on Jan. 14. Brittany Keil played a career-high 41 minutes, Kaitlin Foley played a career-high 40 minutes, Laura Aloisi played a career-high 39 minutes, and Shannon Bush played a season-high 37 minutes.
ON A ROLL: With its 78-39 victory against Lafayette on Jan. 7, 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.
QUICK HITTERS: Kaitlin Foley scored a career-high 21 points against Colgate ... Laura Aloisi scored a season-high 11 points and tied a season-high with five steals against Colgate ... Ashley McLaughlin tied a career-high with six rebounds and tied season-highs in both rebounds (seven) and assists (two) against Colgate ... Kathy Gruzynski had a career-high two blocks against Colgate ... Brittany Keil tied a season-high with five assists against Colgate ... Keil also recorded her fifth career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds against American ... Foley had a career-high three assists and tied a career-high with three blocks against American ... Keil tied a career-high with 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season at Bucknell ... Foley picked up a career-high six steals at Bucknell ... Foley also recorded the second double-double of her career (14 points, 10 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 ... Foley had a career-high 20 points, played a career-high 38 minutes and tied for career highs in steals vs. URI ... Conte had a season-high seven rebounds and five steals vs. URI ... Keil pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds 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.
CONTE GOES FOR CAREER HIGH: Senior guard Jessica Conte pumped in a career-high 20 points at Maine on Jan. 2. 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 fifth on the team in scoring with an 8.4 points per game average and is third on the team in three-pointers made (20). 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 nine out of 18 games this season and leads the team in steals (34 steals). Additionally, she is third on the team in rebounding (3.8 rebounds per game), and is tied for fifth in the league in steals (1.94 spg).
GRUZ GETS HER FEET WET: Freshman forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) continues to contribute in the paint for the Crusaders. Gruzynski scored four points, had two blocks and grabbed two rebounds in nine minutes of action against Colgate on Jan. 24. The six-foot-two post player also scored four points, had two assists, a rebounds and a steal in nine minutes in her Patriot League debut against Lafayette and had four points and 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.
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.
FOLEY HELD UNDER 10: Junior center Kaitlin Foley was held to seven points against Virginia on Dec. 29, 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). Since the UVa game, Foley has been held under 10 points on just two other occassions; her three point outing against #2 Duke on Jan. 16 and her eight point day against American on Jan. 21.
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.
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 16 games, Holy Cross is 4-1 when forcing 20+ miscues.
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.
HEATHLY PROPORTIONS: As a team, Holy Cross ranks third in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.77), averaging 15.2 assists per game and 19.7 turnovers per game. Guard Laura Aloisi ranks second in the Patriot League in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.56 ratio (70 assists to 45 turnovers).
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 (82.6 percent; 38-for-46), and Kaitlin Foley is fifth (76.8 percent; 53-for-69). As a team, Holy Cross ranks third in the conference in free throw percentage (68.4 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 (28.7 percent), and are second in both steals (10.11 steals per game), and blocks (2.44 blocks 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.
CRUSADERS PICKED TO REPEAT: Holy Cross was 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 Brittany Keil 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.
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.
2004-2005 HONORS: Four Holy Cross players 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.
HC SIGNS FOUR TO NATIONAL LETTERS OF INTENT: Four student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to play for Holy Cross beginning in the Fall of 2006. Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.), Christy Cushnie (Vienna, Va.), Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.), and Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) of Lincoln High School will all be donning the purple and white next season.