January 30, 2006

HC Travels To Annapolis For Match-Up With Navy On Tuesday

Jan. 30, 2006

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
GAME #20 at NAVY
The Teams:
Holy Cross (9-10, 5-1 Patriot League)
Navy (10-9, 3-3 Patriot League)

Date: January 31, 2006
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Alumni Hall (5,710)
Location: Annapolis, Md.
Broadcast Information:
Television: none.
Radio: WTAG 580 AM
Talent: Bob Fouracre, play by play
Internet: www.sportsjuice.com
Internet: Gametracker on www.navysports.com
Series History: 34th meeting; Holy Cross leads 29-4
Last Meeting: Holy Cross, 72-62 (Mar. 5, 2005; Patriot League semifinals - Worcester, Mass.)
Series Streak: Holy Cross - 4

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name               Ht.   Cl.	PPG	RPG
G     5    Laura Aloisi       5-9   So.	5.2	4.2 apg
G     23   Jessica Conte      5-3   Sr.	8.4	3.9
G     33   Brittany Keil      6-2   Jr.	9.7	6.2
F     13   Ashley McLaughlin  6-1   So.	3.6	3.4
C     52   Kaitlin Foley      6-4   Jr.	14.5	6.1

Tuesday night's game will be the 34th all-time meeting between Holy Cross and Navy in the 31 year history of varsity basketball at Holy Cross.

THE SERIES: Holy Cross has dominated the series and leads 29-4, including a 12-3 record when playing the Mids in Annapolis. Holy Cross went 3-0 against Navy last season (73-48 win at Alumni Hall; 71-57 win at the Hart Center; 72-62 win in the Patriot League semifinals at the Hart Center), and is 14-1 in the last 15 meetings between the two teams, including two overtime wins and two conference tournament wins. The last time Navy defeated Holy Cross was during the 2003-04 season when the Mids took a 71-64 decision in Worcester. The last time Navy defeated Holy Cross in Annapolis was during the 1998-99 season (81-74).

THIS TIME OUT: Holy Cross is coming off a hard fought 69-63 win at Lehigh on Saturday night, while Navy suffered a 20 point (74-54) setback at Bucknell. The Crusaders are 4-2 in their last six games and have won three straight 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 Midshipmen come into tonight's game looking to bounce back from their 74-54 loss at Bucknell on Saturday afternoon. Navy is 10-9 overall this season (3-3 PL) and has won four of its last six, including two overtime wins (89-82 over Lehigh; 75-71 over Lafayette) on the road. The Mids are 5-5 at home this year and 1-2 at home against league opponents.

LAST TIME OUT: Holy Cross committed a season-low 11 turnovers and never trailed as the team picked up its third straight win with a 69-63 decision at Lehigh on Saturday night. Junior center Kaitlin Foley poured in a career-high 23 points and junior guard Brittany Keil added 12 points and five rebounds to lead the Crusader cause. Holy Cross improved to 9-10 overall (5-1 Patriot League), while handing the Mountain Hawks (7-12, 2-4 Patriot League) their third straight loss. Foley had 13 of her game-high 23 points in the first half and finished the game on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor. Keil scored 10 of her 12 in the second half. Sophomore guard Laura Aloisi turned in a fine performance with seven points, six assists, six rebounds and five steals for the Crusaders. Senior guard Jessica Conte recorded eight points, six rebounds and four assists. Holy Cross went into the break up 29-22 after a first half dominated by runs. The Crusaders jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead in the first five minutes of the half, after hitting 62.5 percent of their shots and holding Lehigh to just one hoop in their first nine attempts. The Mountain Hawks countered with a 5-0 run to get within five (12-7), but Holy Cross responded with a 5-0 run of its own to go up by 10 (17-7). Lehigh would not back down, however, and used a 7-0 run to cut the lead to just three (17-14) with 8:12 to play following a Sara Ellis three-ball from the wing. Holy Cross outscored Lehigh 6-1 over the next two minutes to take a 23-15 lead with 4:51 remaining, but the Mountain Hawks used a 4-0 spurt to get within four (23-19) at the 3:00 mark. The Crusaders put six more points on the board, including an Ashley McLaughlin jumper as time expired to take the seven point lead into the half. The Crusaders shot 41.9 percent from the floor in the first and only turned the ball over four times in the first twenty minutes. Holy Cross drained three three-pointers to open the second stanza, extending its lead to 14 (38-24) in the first 90 seconds of the second half. Lehigh answered with an 11-4 run to cut the lead to seven (42-35) after an Emily Geosits trey from the corner with 13:58 to go. But Keil responded with a three-ball of her own on the ensuing possession to put the Crusaders back up by 10 (45-35) with 13:34 left. The two teams traded hoops and Geosits nailed back-to-back three's as part of a 10-2 Mountain Hawk run which got Lehigh within two (49-47) with 8:20 to go. The Crusaders kept their composure and went on a 7-0 run thanks to five straight points by Bush, and extended the lead to 12 (63-51) following a Conte trey and a Foley rebound and put back with less than five minutes to play. Lehigh made things interesting in the last two minutes after Adrienne Blount scored eight of Lehigh's final 10 points and helped cut the lead to just four (67-63), but the Crusaders were able to hang on down the stretch for the win. Blount led the Mountain Hawks with 20 points and six rebounds. Geosits and Jenny Callan both chipped in with 12 points a piece. The Crusaders shot 43.1 percent for the game, while the Mountain Hawks were not far behind at a 42.1 percent clip.

NEXT TIME OUT: Holy Cross is on the road for its third straight game when the team travels 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 MIDS: Navy comes into tonight's game after a disappointing 74-54 loss at Bucknell on Saturday afternoon. The Mids are 3-2 in their last five outings, including back-to-back overtime wins at Lehigh and Lafayette. Navy has a 5-5 overall record (1-2 in conference play) at Alumni Hall this season. The Mids are led by five-foot-10 senior guard Ashley Pelzek (East Longmeadow, Mass.), who is averaging a team-best 14.1 points per game to go along with 4.0 rebounds per game. Six-foot junior forward Carly Meyer (Orlando, Fla.) is also averaging double-figures in scoring with an 11.3 points per game average. In addition, Meyer is Navy's leading rebounder (7.1 rebounds per game) and shot blocker (13 blocks). Six-foot-one junior post player Betsy Burnett (New Holstein, Wisc.) and five-foot-eight floor general Lauren Skrel (Walnut Creek, Calif.) are averaging 9.7 and 9.5 points per game, respectively. Burnett is also averaging 5.0 rebounds per game, while Skrel is pulling down 4.4 boards per game to go along with her 83 assists (4.36 assists per game). Six-foot-two junior forward/center Kate Hobbs (Wexford, Pa.) is putting up 7.5 points per game and grabbing 3.9 rebounds per game. She is second on the team in blocked shots with nine. Head coach Tom Marryot is in his third season at the helm of the Navy women's basketball program after serving as an assistant coach with the Navy men's program for five years. Last season, Marryot led the team to the Patriot League semifinal game. He is 34-44 (.474) in his three seasons in Annapolis. Marryot also has New England ties. A graduate of Castleton State in Vermont, he was the athletic director and head boys' basketball coach at the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, R.I., before leaving for Annapolis.

LAST TIME OUT VERSUS NAVY: (3/5/05) Lisa Andrews tallied team-highs of 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead Holy Cross to a 72-62 win over Navy in Patriot League quarterfinal action last season at the Hart Center. The Crusaders (19-10) advanced to face #6 Colgate in the league championship game on Wednesday, March 9. The Midshipmen finished their season at 11-18. The Crusaders went into the break with a 33-23 advantage after jumping out to an early 21-8 lead. HC was up by as much as 16 (29-13) in the first, but Navy fought back and cut the lead to eight (31-23) on a Lauren Skrel take to the hoop with just over two minutes to go. Both teams shot under 40 percent from the floor in the first stanza. Navy made only 16 percent of its three-point attempts, while the Crusaders converted on better than 41 percent from behind the arc. In the second, the Mids cut Holy Cross' lead to five (35-30) on an Abi Campbell three-ball, getting Navy as close as it had been since the 15:58 (11-7) mark in the first. Holy Cross did not back down, though, and extended its lead back to 14 (53-39) on a Brittany Keil jumper with 9:56 to go. An Ashley Pelzek trey at the 5:11 mark brought the Mids within eight (59-51), and a Nikki Curtis hoop underneath cut the lead to just six (59-53) with 4:18 to play. But the Crusaders outscored the Mids 13-9 in the final minutes to seal the win. Holy Cross shot 39 percent from the field for the game and forced 21 Navy turnovers. The Mids made 37.5 percent of their shots. Sarah Placek finished with 11 points, four assists and four rebounds. Shannon Bush added 10 points and Kaitlin Foley had eight points for the Crusaders, who also got seven points from Brittany Keil and Maggie Fontana. Navy was led by Curtis' game-high 17 points. Carly Meyer added 13 for the Mids and Pelzek tallied 11. Campbell finished with nine points and 13 rebounds, which tied Andrews for game-high honors.

NUMBERS AGAINST NAVY: Holy Cross is 6-1 against the Midshipmen the last three years and has outscored the Mids by an average of 14.8 points during those six wins. Holy Cross is 3-0 at Alumni Hall and 3-1 at the Hart Center (including last season's semifinal game) against Navy the last three seasons.

HOLY CROSS VERSUS THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: Holy Cross is 170-32 (.841) 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 170 -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.

INJURY UPDATE: Senior guard Sarah Placek did not play on Saturday at Lehigh after hyperextending her knee late in the Colgate game last Tuesday night. Placek had an MRI on Sunday afternoon and is doubtful for tonight's game at Navy. She is questionable for Saturday's game at Lafayette.

FOLZ ON FIRE: Junior center Kaitlin Foley has been on fire lately, leading Holy Cross to three wins in its last three outings. Foley poured in a game-high and a career-high 23 points on 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) shooting from the floor helping The Cross to a six point victory at Lehigh on Saturday night. Foley was most recently coming off a game-high and a then-career high 21 points and a game-high eight rebounds in the Crusaders' 13 point win over Colgate last Tuesday night. Foley was 9-for-13 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line to lead the Crusaders. Foley is 18-for-24 (75.0 percent) from the floor and 8-for-9 from the charity stripe in her last two outings (both wins) and has averaged 22.0 points each game. 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 this season with a 14.5 points per game average. She is shooting an impressive 52.9 percent from the floor this year, which is among the best in the Patriot League.

KEIL STYLE: Junior guard Brittany Keil put together another strong game for Holy Cross with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes of action on Saturday at Lehigh. Keil was coming off an 11-point, seven-rebound outing against Colgate last Tuesday. She also had five assists and three steals against the Raiders. Keil recorded her fifth double-double of the season with a 16-point, 10-rebound performance against American on Jan. 21. 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 five games, Keil has averaged 13.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. Keil had a standout game against #2 Duke on Jan. 16 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 (6.2 rebounds per game) and is third on the team in scoring (9.7 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.

PLAYMAKER: Sophomore point guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) had a tremendous all-around game Saturday night at Lehigh. The five-foot-nine floor general totaled seven points and six assists, tied a career-high with six rebounds, and tied a season-high with five steals against the Mountain Hawks. Aloisi had a stellar night against Colgate last Tuesday as well, recording a season-high 11 points, to go along with six assists, five steals and three rebounds. Aloisi has averaged 6.4 points, 6.0 assists and 3.8 rebounds in the last three outings, helping Holy Cross to three straight wins. Aloisi is also leading the team in assists (76 assists) and assists per game (4.2 assists per game) again this season. The second year playmaker now has 195 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).

MINI MILESTONES: Senior guard Shannon Bush played in her 100th career game Saturday at Lehigh, just one game after fellow senior Sarah Placek started in her 100th career game against Colgate. Placek played in her 100th career game on Dec. 29 against Virginia and has started 100 out of the 107 career games she has played in. Meanwhile, senior Jessica Conte played in her 100th career game on Dec. 28 against Boston University. Conte and Bush have 19 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 eight regular season games remaining, Placek needs to average 4.1 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).

BUSH LEADS HC CHARGE: Senior guard Shannon Bush recorded nine points, three steals and two rebounds in HC's 69-63 win at Lehigh on Saturday, helping the Crusaders to their fifth conference win of the season. Bush had totaled eight points, four rebounds and three assists coming off the bench last Tuesday night against Colgate. Bush also scored 15 points to spark the Crusader charge over American on Jan. 21. 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 a 10.9 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.

PLACEK STEPS UP: Senior guard Sarah Placek has scored 10 or more points in three of her 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 she has played in and is currently fourth on the team in scoring with a 8.7 points per game average. She is also second on the team in assists with 53.

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 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting at Lehigh, just one game after scoring a then-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.

SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Senior guard Jessica Conte had eight points and six rebounds and tied a season-high with four assists on Saturday at Lehigh. The five-foot-eight New York native also tied a season-high in minutes played with 35 against the Mountain Hawks. 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 (22 three's). 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 19 games this season and leads the team in steals (35 steals). Additionally, she is third on the team in rebounding (3.9 rebounds per game), and is tied for fifth in the league in steals (1.84 spg).

ATTA BABY!: Freshman forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) came through in the clutch last Saturday at Lehigh. Up two with less than eight minutes on the clock, Gruzynski ripped down an offensive rebound off of a Brittany Keil miss and made good on the putback to give the Crusaders a little breathing room before the ensuing media timeout. From that point on, Holy Cross managed to extend its lead to 12 and did not look back, while recording its fifth conference win if the year. Gruzynski finished the game with four points and two rebounds in 11 miuntes of action. 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 19 games, Holy Cross is 6-1 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.

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.

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.