January 27, 2009

Women's Basketball Set to Face Host Colgate on Wednesday

Jan. 27, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams:
Holy Cross (8-12, 3-2 PL) vs. Colgate (4-16, 0-5 PL)
Date: January 28, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Cotterell Court (3,100); Hamilton, N.Y.
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester; www.worcesterpike.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play
Colgate Radio: WKXZ, 94.0 FM and 99.3 FM, Hamilton, Eric Malanowski
Live Video Streaming: Crusader All-Access
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 37-3
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 63, Colgate 53 (February 27, 2008; Hamilton, N.Y.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name                    Ht.     Cl.    PPG    RPG
F      33    Whitney Fremeau   5-10  So.    7.6     4.6
C     42     Kathy Gruzynski     6-2    Sr.    4.7     2.7
G      3     Christy Cushnie      5-9    Jr.     2.6     2.2
G     14     Briana McFadden   5-10   Jr.    15.2    4.9
G     44     Bethany O'Dell      5-8     Jr.     11.6   4.1

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 37-3
In Hamilton: Holy Cross leads, 15-3
At Cotterell Court: Holy Cross leads, 15-3
Bill Gibbons vs. Colgate: 37-3
Pamela Bass vs. Holy Cross: 0-4
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, four games

THE SERIES WITH COLGATE: This will be the 41st meeting between the Crusaders and the Raiders on the hardwood. Holy Cross has swept the last two regular season series, extending its winning streak to four games. For games played at Cotterell Court, the Crusaders hold a 15-3 advantage, posting its last road victory on Feb. 27, 2008, 63-53. The last win for the Raiders was at home, edging Holy Cross, 79-71, on Feb. 21, 2006. In the first game of the all-time series, the Crusaders downed Colgate, 95-72, at the Hart Center on Jan. 31, 1991.

DEFENSE CONTAINS LEAGUE’S SCORING EFFORTS: Holy Cross’ win against Lafayette on Jan. 10 and win over Army on Jan. 14 marked the least amount of points scored by an opponent in a half in six seasons. On Nov. 29, 2002, the Crusaders held Savannah State to 11 points in the first half, going on to win, 74-39. In the Patriot League season-opener at Lafayette, the Crusaders held the host Leopards to just 12 points. At home against the Black Knights, Holy Cross only allowed Army to put 12 points on the scoreboard in the first half. Against Navy on Jan. 21, the Crusaders allowed the Mids to put up just 15 points on the scoreboard in the first half. The all-time school record of least amount of points allowed in a half was against was 10 points against Lafayette on Jan. 7, 1995 and Army on Jan. 20, 1996.

CRUSADERS TAKE ON THE LEAGUE: Currently 3-2 in the Patriot League, junior guards Bethany O’Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) and Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) have continued to be two of the strongest players in the Patriot League. Against league opponents, McFadden is averaging 38.4 minutes played, 12.8 points, a team-high 5.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists while O’Dell is also averaging 12.8 points per game and 36.4 minutes played, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Starting in all five league games, senior center Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) leads the team in field goal percentage (51.9%) while averaging 8.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19.8 minutes played. Sophomore forward Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, K.Y.) returns to league play, following a strong debut season last year. Campbell is averaging a team-high 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game while adding 7.4 points and 1.4 steals. Stepping into the starting role this year is sophomore forward/guard Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) who has started in all five Patriot League games. She currently averages 7.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks in 26.6 minutes played.

O’DELL RANKS IN THE NCAA’s: Bethany O’Dell’s success beyond the arc has ranked her among the national leaders for three-point field goal percentage, through games of Jan. 22. O’Dell is currently ranked 43rd on the list, averaging 2.4 three-pointers per game.

UNDERDOGS WITH A BIG BITE: In six of Holy Cross’ eight wins this season, the Crusaders have had a worse record than their opponent, including the three Patriot League teams they’ve faced. Holy Cross downed Missouri, Drexel, Bryant, Lafayette, Army and Bucknell. The Crusaders enter tonight’s contest with an 8-10 record, matching their opponents record for the second time this year as Navy also stands at 8-10 record. Maine was the only other team that Holy Cross played that had the same record when the two teams competed.

WINNING STREAK MARKS BEST IN FIVE SEASONS: This year’s six-game winning streak marked the longest streak since the 2004-2005 season, in which the Crusaders won 10 straight games. The 1996-1997 team posted 14 wins in a row, the longest win streak a team has recorded under the coaching of Bill Gibbons. The longest winning streak in Holy Cross women’s basketball history was during the 1980-1981 season, winning 15 games in a row under former head coach Togo Palazzi. Holy Cross also currently has the best winning streak in the Patriot League and has remained undefeated in the month of January.

O’DELL SETS NEW SCHOOL RECORD: Junior guard Bethany O’Dell broke the Holy Cross women’s basketball school record on Jan. 7 for three-point field goals made, sinking her 180th career shot from long range against Bryant on Jan. 7, surpassing Jeanette Paukert (1998-2002), who finished her career with 179. Climbing up the Patriot League career leaders list, O’Dell’s current career total (194) places her seventh, one shy of tying Bucknell’s Molly Creamer (2000-2003). The only active player on the list, she joins Paukert as the second Crusader to make this list. O’Dell is also currently ranked second at Holy Cross in three-point field goals attempted with 490, behind Anna Kinne (1996-2000), who finished her career with 521 attempts.

HOLY CROSS WELCOMES JANUARY: Holy Cross has played 94 games in the month of January in the past 10 seasons, posting an overall record of 65-29 (.691). The Crusaders played the most January games (10) during the 2002-2003 season, finishing with a 7-3 record (.700). The winningest record Holy Cross finished with was during the 2000-2001 season, in which the Crusaders posted an undefeated 7-0 record. January also marks the beginning of Patriot League play as Holy Cross currently has played 67 league games, maintaining a 52-15 record (.776). This year Holy Cross, who currently has a 5-2 record, will play seven games in the month of January, after played seven games in three seasons (98-99, 01-02, 04-05), marking the most Patriot League games played in January. The 2004-2005 season also marks the best record in league playing during the month of January, finishing with an impressive 7-0 record.

MCFADDEN JOINS 1,000 POINT LIST: Junior guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) became the 25th player in Holy Cross women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000 point mark during the Jan. 14 game against Army. McFadden now has 1,040 points in 85 games played, ranking her 21st in the list, just two points shy of tying Jen Apicella (1984-1988). McFadden is also the eighth player to reach the list during her junior year, joining Amy O’Brien (1995-1999), Lauren Maney (1992-1996), Norinne Powers (1989-1993), Maggie Fontana (2001-2005), Cheryl Aaron (1982-1987), Kathy Courtney (1993-1997) and Katie O’Keefe (1999-2003).

LAST MEETING WITH COLGATE: Kathy Gruzynski scored 14 points while Bethany O’Dell and Briana McFadden had 13 points each, lifting the Holy Cross women’s basketball team to a 63-53 victory over Colgate at Cotterell Court. The lead bounced back and forth in the opening seven minutes but Holy Cross went on a quick 8-3 run led by McFadden with a shot from outside the arc, taking a 17-11 lead with 10:58 left in the first half. The Raiders got within in four (20-16) but two shots from long range by O’Dell and one by McFadden cushioned Holy Cross 10 points ahead, 26-16, with 8:09 remaining. Holding Colgate scoreless for the final three minutes of the half, the Crusaders’ hot streak from long range in the first half lifted them to a 34-21 lead at the break. Holy Cross hit 7-of-14 attempts from outside the arc, scoring 21 of its 34 first half points from outside the arc. O’Dell paced Holy Cross in the first with 10 points and seven rebounds while Gruzynski chipped in six points and three rebounds. Laura Aloisi scored seven points in the first three and a half minutes of the second stanza, putting Holy Cross ahead, 44-25. Gruzynski led the Crusaders in a 13-9 run with eight points while McFadden chipped in four. With 8:54 left in the game, Holy Cross led 57-35. Caitlin Gillard put up seven points for Colgate in the final minutes, but the Crusaders finished 10 points ahead of the Raiders, 63-53. In addition to her 14 points, Gruzynski grabbed five rebounds and one block while O’Dell had eight rebounds and three assists. Christy Cushnie paced the Crusaders with five points, five rebounds, and five assists.

THE GO-TO GIRL: Briana McFadden continues to be strong on offense this season, leading the Crusaders in scoring in 12 of 20 games. She is the second Patriot League player with more than 300 points this season and currently ranked third in the league in scoring with 15.2 points per game. McFadden scored a career-high 31 points against Missouri on Nov. 29 during the Double Tree White Invitational. She also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds against Bucknell on Jan. 17. Her season has also been highlighted by five games in which she scored 20 points or more: 31 against Missouri, 24 points against Yale and Drexel, 22 against Maine and 21 versus Boston College. McFadden etched her named into the Holy Cross history books last season as she tied the single-game record for free throw percentage (1.000, 11-for-11) and consecutive free throws made (11). Starting in all 32 games, McFadden totaled 431 points, 124 rebounds, 50 assists, 30 steals and 12 blocks. Averaging 13.5 points per game, McFadden led the Crusaders in scoring in 14 games last season, including eight Patriot League games.

O’DELL KEEPS CAREER RIGHT ON TRACK: Starting in 18 games so far this year, Bethany O’Dell has led the Crusaders in scoring six times with a season-high 23 points two times (Western Illinois on Nov. 15; Bucknell on Jan. 17), 15 points versus St. Peter’s (Nov. 25), Bryant (Jan. 7) and Lafayette (Jan. 10) and 13 against Northeastern on Dec. 22. In her performance against Bucknell, O’Dell turned the table on a 29-18 Crusader deficit, scoring all 11 points of an 11-3 run by Holy Cross. After being fouled on a successful layup, O’Dell hit the extra shot from the free throw line, putting the Crusaders ahead by one point at halftime, 32-31. She currently has 209 points on the season, bringing her career total to 969 points. O’Dell is one of the many Crusaders that have hit new career-highs this season including field goals attempted (16), three-pointers attempted (14), rebounds (nine) and three-pointers made (seven). Versus Boston College, O’Dell tallied 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. In 26 minutes played against Bryant, O’Dell finished with 15 points, a career-high nine rebounds, four assists and four steals. Against Maine, she finished with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in 37 minutes played. O’Dell is also coming off a stellar sophomore year, starting in all 32 games, and finishing with 364 points, 146 rebounds, 80 assists, 54 steals and four blocks. O’Dell had success from long range last year, as she ranked third in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage (.382) and three-point field goals made (1.97 per game).

SNAP THOSE STREAKS!: With Holy Cross’ win over Army on Jan. 14, the Crusaders snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Black Knights, which included the Patriot League Championship game on March 8, 2006 at West Point, N.Y. The last victory recorded by Holy Cross was on Jan. 3, 2003, defeating the host Black Knights, 66-58. With the win in Worcester, Holy Cross also ended Army’s five-game winning streak. At Lafayette on Jan. 10, the Crusaders ended a six-game home winning streak for the Leopards, marking the second-best winning streak in their school’s history.

FREMEAU REMAINS STRONG IN STARTING ROLE: Sophomore forward/guard Whitney Fremeau has made 18 starts in Holy Cross’ 20 games. Fremeau has had plenty of success so far as she has had new career-highs in minutes played (34), points (15), field goal attempts (13), rebounds (11), field goals (seven), free throws attempts (three), blocks (three) three-pointers made (two). Fremeau’s best performance this season was against Rhode Island on Dec. 9 in which she recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds and played a career-high 34 minutes. Against Missouri, she finished with a career-high 15 points in 30 minutes played. In the Crusaders’ win over Maine, Fremeau finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal in 31 minutes played. At home versus Navy, Fremeau led the team in scoring with 12 points and had a career-high three blocks, two rebounds and one assist in 26 minutes played. Fremeau made her first collegiate start on Nov. 15 versus Yale and put up nine points and eight rebounds while grabbing two steals, one assist and one block in 26 minutes played. Against Connecticut, she totaled nine points, six rebounds and one assist. In addition to her 7.9 points per game, she leads the Crusaders in rebounds with 5.2 per game. She has led the Crusaders in rebounds in four games and in scoring in three games. Appearing in 25 games last year, Fremeau totaled 42 points, 20 rebounds, 16 assists, 11 steals and two blocks.

MCFADDEN ADDS NAME TO HOLY CROSS CAREER LISTS: Briana McFadden is making her mark on Holy Cross’ career lists this season. She is currently ranked sixth all-time at Holy Cross for three-point field goals made with 128, 13 three-pointers shy of tying Alison Dietz (1994-1998). McFadden also holds the sixth spot on in career three-point field goals attempted with 405. McFadden is also currently ranked eighth at Holy Cross in free throw made with 324, needing 11 more shots from the charity stripe to tie Norinne Powers (1989-1993).

CUSHNIE MOVES FROM BENCH TO STARTING ROLE: Junior guard Christy Cushnie (Vienna, Va.) has made her minutes off the bench count for the Crusaders, appearing in 19 games and averaging 14.9 minutes on the floor. She also moved into the starting lineup, making her first collegiate start on Jan. 17 versus Bucknell. During her start, she played 30 minutes and finished with seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. In her second collegiate start against Navy on Jan. 21, Cushnie played a season-high 33 minutes and had five points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals. In her start against American on Jan. 24, Cushnie finished with five points, four rebounds, two steals and one assist in 31 minutes played. Cushnie played 27 minutes off the bench against Army on Jan. 14, finishing with six points, six rebounds, a season-high three assists and one steal. Versus Maine on Jan. 2, she grabbed a career-high three steals and pulled down three rebounds. 

CRUSADERS STRAINED BY INJURIES: Holy Cross has been struck with serious injuries throughout the 2008-2009 season, but still been able to put up big wins with a short bench. Four of the Crusaders’ starters have missed a total of 33 games on the season. Junior forward/guard Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) had her season cut short after suffering a season-ending injury against Western Illinois on Nov. 30. Bethany O’Dell also missed three games this year after getting hurt during the Connecticut game on Dec. 3. Sophomore forward/guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) also suffered from an injury this year when Holy Cross played Drexel on Dec. 28. She missed nine games but has returned to the floor on Jan. 24 at American, finishing the game with five points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 23 minutes played. The most recent injury to fall upon the Crusaders is Jessica Pearson, who was injured versus Army on Jan. 14. Her return has yet to be determined.

CRUSADERS PICKED FIRST IN PRESEASON POLL: The Holy Cross women’s basketball team was picked to finish first in the 2008-2009 Patriot League preseason poll, voted upon by head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 90 total points and eight first-place votes, followed by Lehigh finishing second with 83 points and six first-place votes. American was ranked third with 75 points and two first-place votes. Coming in fourth was Army with 60 points, followed by Bucknell (53 points), Lafayette (38 points), Navy (35 points) and Colgate (14 points).

CAMPBELL LOOKING FORWARD: Sophomore forward Elizabeth Campbell has returned to the Crusaders’ frontcourt for the 2008-2009 campaign, appearing in 20 games and making four starts. Campbell currently leads the team in blocks with 21 (1.1 per game), ranking her sixth in the Patriot League. In her performance against Army on Jan. 14, Campbell scored all of her eight points in the final four minutes of the game against the Black Knights, leading a 13-6 run to secure the win over the Army. She also recorded a career-high six blocks and finished with season-highs in rebounds (nine) and assists (three) in 20 minutes played versus Army. In the game against Maine, she played 30 minutes and scored a career-high 16 points. Campbell played a season-high 33 minutes and grabbed six rebounds versus Drexel during the Hawk Tournament Classic on Dec. 28. At Lafayette on Jan. 10, Campbell finished with 12 points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist in 19 minutes played. In 26 minutes played at Dartmouth, she finished with eight points and season-highs in rebounds (seven) and blocks (three). Campbell played 22 minutes and tallied nine points at Rhode Island. Following an outstanding debut season, she was named to the 2007-2008 Patriot League All-Rookie Team. Appearing in 32 games, she made 11 starts, totaling 664 minutes played, 196 points, 135 rebounds, 36 blocks and 28 steals. Leading the Crusaders in blocks, Campbell ranked fifth in the Patriot League in that category. She also led the league in field goal percentage (.472). In league play, Campbell started in eight of the 13 games she appeared in, averaging 28.8 minutes played, 8.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.5 assists per game.

MERRIHUE HITS NEW HEIGHTS: Senior forward co-captain Jessica Merrihue (Holtsville, N.Y.) has appeared in 20 games this season, making four starts. On Jan. 21 against Navy, Merrihue matched her-career high in points (nine) and chipped in one assist and one steal in 15 minutes played. Against Bryant, she finished with seven points and two assists in 18 minutes played. In her first collegiate start against Boston College on Nov. 18, she scored six points, blocked three shots and grabbed one rebound in nine minutes played. Merrihue has also added new career-highs in minutes played (18), rebounds (five), free throws (four), free throw attempts (five), blocks (three) and steals (three).

FRONT AND CENTER: Senior center Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) has appeared in all 20 games and made 12 starts for Holy Cross. She played her strongest game of the season against Bryant, going 7-for-10 from field goal range, totaling 14 points while pulling down seven rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes played. Against Army on Jan. 14, she finished with 12 points, two assists and one rebound in 20 minutes played. In her start at American on Jan. 24, Gruzynski finished with nine points, a team-high five rebounds, one assist and one s teal in 26 minutes played. She tallied five points, five rebounds, three blocks and one assist in 14 minutes played versus Harvard on Nov. 20. In 13 minutes played at Dartmouth, Gruzynski went 4-for-4 from field goal range for eight points and pulled down three rebounds. Making 30 appearances and three starts last year, Gruzynski emerged in her role as the first Crusader off the bench. She set several career-highs with 408 minutes played, 134 points, 96 rebounds, 18 assists, 13 blocks and 10 steals. In her best performance of the 2007-2008 season, Gruzynski scored a career high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds against regular season league champion American.

AMERICAN RECAP: Briana McFadden and Whitney Fremeau scored 12 points each but it wasn’t enough as the Holy Cross women’s basketball team dropped a 64-58 Patriot League contest to host American on Saturday, Jan. 24, at Bender Arena. O’Dell was the third Crusader to score in double-figures, finishing with 11 points. The Eagles took a 17-12 lead just over the halfway mark of the first half, but Holy Cross slowed down their scoring efforts with 8-2 run, taking a 20-19 lead, led by Fremeau and Elizabeth Campbell who scored four points each. The lead changed five times in the final six minutes of the half, but a pair of free throws by Nicole Ryan gave American a slight 29-28 lead at halftime. The teams tied the game for the ninth time (34-34) just over two minutes into the second half, but four minutes later American pulled ahead by six points while the Crusaders only scored two, 46-40. A quick 6-0 run with four points by Kathy Gruzynski tied the game for 10th time. For over two minutes, both offenses were halted on the floor, but Lisa Strack snapped the scoring skid with a layup, giving the Eagles a four-point lead (50-48). The Crusaders would get no closer than a four-point deficit at three different times in the final minutes as the Eagles finished ahead by six points, 64-58. In addition to 12 points scored, McFadden finished the game with five rebounds and three assists while Fremeau tallied three assists, two rebounds and one block. Gruzynski had nine points, five rebounds, one steal and one assist. American was led by Michelle Kirk who finished with a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) while Ryan scored 17 points.

THAT’S MINE!!!: Holy Cross has forced 339 turnovers in 20 games, averaging 17.0 per game. Against Bryant on Wed. Jan. 7, the Crusaders forced a season-high 27 turnovers. In the Crusaders’ season-opener against Yale, Holy Cross forced 24 turnovers, matching last year’s season-high. The Crusaders caused 22 turnovers against Northeastern on Dec. 22 and against Maine on Jan. 2. Against Missouri on Nov. 29 and Boston College on Nov. 18, the Crusaders had 21 forced turnovers. The Crusaders caused 24 turnovers in a game three times during the 2007-2008 season: at Yale on Jan. 6, 2008, at Navy on Jan. 23, 2008 and against Colgate on Jan. 30, 2008. Overall last year, Holy Cross forced 16.9 turnovers per game.

THE LEADER OF THE PACK: Holy Cross holds the record for the most Patriot League tournament titles won, winning 11 of the 18 league titles. During its 18 seasons in the Patriot League, Holy Cross has finished the regular season in first place 11 times. The Crusaders have also been greatly recognized for their efforts by the league, having eight players named the Patriot League Player of the Year. This list includes: Mary Helen Walker (90-91), Norinne Powers (91-92, 92-93), Laurie Carson (93-94), Lauren Maney (94-95, 95-96), Kathy Courtney (96-97), Amy O’Brien (97-98, 98-99), Anna Kinne (99-00) and Briana McFadden (07-08). Holy Cross has also had two players named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year: Maggie Fontana (01-02) and Bethany O’Dell (06-07).

ROOKIE NOTES: Freshman guard Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) has made five starts and appeared in 18 games for the Crusaders, highlighted by her performance against Boston College, tallying seven points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 27 minutes played. Ward had a career-high five rebounds and matched her career-high in points scored (seven) against Vermont. She played a career-high 30 minutes and had two points, two assists and one rebound against Connecticut. She also had a career-high five assists against Northeastern on Dec. 22. Freshman center Marygrace Jay (Vienna, Va.) has appeared in 10 games so far this year, highlighted by new career-highs in points (seven), rebounds (three) and minutes played (11) in the game against Vermont.

NEWS ON COACH GIBBONS: Bill Gibbons is now in his 24th season as head coach of the Holy Cross women’s basketball team with a overall career record of 470-240 (.662) and a 195-54 (.783) mark in the Patriot League. Last season, Gibbons led his team to its fourth consecutive appearance and 15th overall appearance in the Patriot League Championship game. Gibbons has led the Crusaders to more victories than any other coach in Holy Cross history during his 23 year-tenure. Gibbons also ranks second all-time at Holy Cross in coaching victories for all sports, only behind former baseball coach Jack Berry (616 wins, 1921-1960). He has won 20 or more games in 10 of his last 14 seasons. Gibbons is also ranked 26th on the active NCAA Division I win leaders. He has also been named the Patriot League Coach of the Year six times in his career. In 2007, coach Gibbons was selected to be an assistant coach at the Pan-American Games, where he helped lead the team to the gold medal.

BETHANY O’DELL NAMED PATRIOT LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bethany O’Dell was named the women’s basketball Patriot League Player of the Week, for competition from Jan. 6-11. O’Dell averaged 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.5 assists in two games last week. This is the second player of the week honor O’Dell has received in her career. In Holy Cross’ final non-conference game against Bryant on Wednesday, Jan. 7, O’Dell scored 15 points and broke the school record for career three point field goals made, sinking her 180th shot to surpass the previous record of 179. She also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds in the 73-54 win over the Bulldogs. O’Dell scored a team-high 15 points in the Crusaders’ Patriot League season-opener against Lafayette on Saturday, Jan. 10. Of her 15 points scored in the 60-45 win over the Leopards, O’Dell scored 12 points in the second half.  

HOME SWEET HOME: The 2008-2009 season marks the first time Holy Cross has ever hosted its first four games of the season. Prior to this season, the Crusaders had three seasons in which they hosted the first three games: 1988-1989 (1-2), 2001-2002 (1-2) and 2004-2005 (2-1). Overall, the Holy Cross women’s basketball team is 317-94 (.771) at the Hart Center.

TAKING ON # 1: The Crusaders have faced No. 1 ranked teams five times during the regular season, all being games against Connecticut, with a 0-5 overall record. The last time Holy Cross competed against a No. 1 ranked team was against the Huskies on Dec. 3, falling 96-37.

THE BIG TIME: Holy Cross has made 11 NCAA appearances during Coach Gibbons’ tenure including nine in the last 14 years. The Crusaders’ most recent appearance was on March 18, 2007, falling to Duke, 81-44, in the first round of the tournament.

TRIPLE OT MAKES HISTORY: Holy Cross scored 94 points against Missouri on Nov. 29, marking the first time the Crusaders have scored more than 90 points in a game in the last three seasons. The last time Holy Cross put up at least 90 points was on Dec. 3, 2005, when it defeated Memphis, 91-66, at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic held in Tempe, Ariz. 

MERRIHUE AND PEARSON NAMED CAPTAINS: Senior forward Jessica Merrihue and senior guard Jessica Pearson have been selected as the Crusaders’ captains for the 2008-2009 season. Merrihue is three-year letterwinner for the Holy Cross while Pearson is a two-year letterwinner. Both players have taken over the leadership role from Laura Aloisi and Ashley McLaughlin who served as the Crusaders’ captains as seniors during the 2007-2008 season.

WELCOME BACK TO WORCESTER: Ann McInerney is in her first season as an assistant coach on the Holy Cross staff. A Worcester native, coach McInerney graduated from Assumption College where she was the all-time leading scorer at the completion of her career. She was named the 1989 Northeast-10 Player of the Year and is also a member of the Assumption College Athletic Hall of Fame.

NEXT UP FOR THE ‘SADERS: Holy Cross returns to the Hart Center for a two-game homestand, hosting Lehigh on Saturday, Jan. 31 and Lafayette on Saturday, Feb. 7. Both games are scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.