February 16, 2005

Crusaders Host Colgate On Senior Day

Feb. 16, 2005

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GAMEDAY QUICK FACTS:
GAME #25 VS. COLGATE
DATE: Saturday, February 19, 2005
TIME: 2:00 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Worcester, Mass.
ARENA: Hart Center
CAPACITY: 3,500
TEAM RECORDS : Colgate 9-15 (5-6 Patriot League)
Holy Cross 15-9 (10-1 Patriot League)

SERIES HISTORY: Holy Cross, 30-2
LAST MEETING: Holy Cross, 66-65 (January 15)
STREAK: Holy Cross, 2

BROADCAST INFORMATION:
TELEVISION: College Sports Television (CSTV; channel 318 on Charter Cable in Worcester)
TALENT: Bob Socci, Leah Secondo
INTERNET: www.sportsjuice.com
TALENT: Bob Fouracre

 PROBABLE STARTERS: 
G - #10 Sarah Placek, Jr., 5-3, 9.0 ppg, 2.6 apg
G - #05 Laura Aloisi, Fr., 5-9, 3.4 ppg, 4.7 apg
G - #34 Maggie Fontana, Sr., 5-11, 9.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg
F - #33 Brittany Keil, So., 6-2, 9.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg
C - #00 Lisa Andrews, Sr., 6-3, 12.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg

RESERVES:
G - #23 Jessica Conte, Jr., 5-7, 6.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg
G - #11 Caitlin Agostinacchio, Sr., 5-9, 1.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg
G - #15 Shannon Bush, Jr., 5-11, 5.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg
C - #31 Ashley Brennan-McBride, So., 6-5, 2.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg
F - #13 Ashley McLaughlin, Fr., 6-1, 4.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg
F - #52 Kaitlin Foley, So., 6-4, 2.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg

Tonight's game is the 33rd all-time meeting between Holy Cross and Colgate in the 30 seasons of varsity basketball at HC.

THE SERIES: Holy Cross owns a 30-2 series advantage over Colgate, and is 14-0 when playing at the Hart Center. Last season, Colgate beat Holy Cross, 90-80 as the two teams split during the regular season. Prior to that, an 83-67 decision during the 1993-1994 campaign was the only other time the Raiders defeated the Crusaders. The last six contests between the two have been decided by 12 points or less.

LAST TIME: Lisa Andrews poured in a career-high 25 points and Brittany Keil tied a career-high with 17 points as Holy Cross topped Colgate, 66-65 in Hamilton, N.Y. The Raiders took a one point lead into the break, but the Crusaders used a 10-4 run with 3:52 left in the game to go up 58-53. Colgate got within one less than a minute later, but Keil converted on two free throws with seconds remaining and the Crusaders were able to hold on for the victory. Allison Lipinski finished with 23 points to lead Colgate, while preseason PL Co-Player of the Year, Emily Braseth added 14 points and Leandra Fuller grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

STREAK ENDS AT 10: With Sunday's 73-63 loss at Lehigh, Holy Cross' ten-game winning streak was snapped. The Crusaders are, however, still in first place in the league standings, and have wrapped up a top two seed and home court advantage for atleast the first two rounds of the upcoming Patriot League tournament.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS: With three regular season games remaining, Holy Cross can win the Patriot League regular season title with a win today and a win at Army next Saturday. Army is currently in third place with a 6-5 record overall, followed by American and Colgate, both at 5-6. It is likely that one of those three teams-or Navy-will finish the season in third place. In order to win the title, the Crusaders will have to have gone 2-0 against the third place team during the regular season. Since HC has already gone 2-0 against American, Navy and Lafayette, a win against Colgate today and another at Army next week would give the Crusaders the 2004-05 title.

ANDREWS SCORES 1,000TH POINT: Last Sunday at Lehigh, Lisa Andrews became the 21st player in HC women's basketball history to score 1,000 career points. Going into the game, Andrews needed just two points to reach the 1,000 point plateau and scored her milestone basket on a jumper just 5:33 into the game. The 6-foot-3 center finished the contest with a game-high 21 points, and currently has 1,019 for her career. Andrews needed just 17 points to reach 1,000 going into the weekend trip at Lafayette and Lehigh, but with 6:14 remaining in the Lafayette game, she collected her fifth foul and had to sit out. She had 15 points up to that point.

FONTANA SETS NEW HC MARK: Maggie Fontana's consecutive free throw streak ended at 33 last Friday at Lafayette when the 5-foot-11 guard/forward went 7-for-8 from the line on the night. Fontana fell one free throw shy of tying the all-time Patriot League record of 34 consecutive free throws. Fontana's streak is a record around the league this season, however, as Colgate's Allison Lipinski's consecutive streak ended at 31 last week. Fontana's 33 straight foul shots across a seven-game span also set a new HC women's basketball record, crushing the previous record of 23 consecutive set by Beth Godfrey during the 1992-1993 season.

FONTANA MOVES UP AGAIN: With her five boards on Sunday at Lehigh, Maggie Fontana moved into eighth place on Holy Cross' all-time rebounding list. The Illinois native now has 719 rebounds and is just a handful of caroms away from moving up to the sixth slot (732). The 5-foot-11 G/F is averaging 5.2 boards per contest.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: As a team, the Crusaders rank first in eight of 19 team categories among the Patriot League statistics. HC is tops in scoring defense, scoring margin, free throw percent, field goal percent defense, three-point percent defense, assists, steals and turnover margin. The Crusaders are also ranked second in field goal percent and assist to turnover ratio, and are ranked third in scoring offense and blocked shots. TOUGH 'D': Holy Cross is 11-0 when holding its opponents to 60 points or less this season. The Crusaders have held seven opponents to 50 points or less thus far, including a three-game streak where the Purple and White held three consecutive opponents to 48 points. The Crusaders are also 13-2 when they force 20+ turnovers.

HC IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: According to the latest release (Feb. 14), Holy Cross is ranked in the Top 50 nationally in three different categories. The Crusaders rank highest (28th) in both assists per game (16.5) and free throw percentage (74.7). Leading the nation in assists per game is DePaul (19.9), one of the Crusaders opponents earlier this year. HC is also ranked 44th in steals per game at 10.9 behind national leader North Carolina at 14.6.

HOME IS WHERE THE HART IS: Holy Cross has an all-time record of 249-53 at the Hart Center, including an 8-3 mark at home so far this season. HC has posted a record of 46-15 (.754) at home over the course of the last four seasons.

GIBBONS GETS NO. 408: Holy Cross head coach Bill Gibbons continues to move up the history charts, having picked up his 408th career win last Friday after a 68-62 win over Lafayette. 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.

THIS TIME OUT: The Crusaders had their 10 game winning streak snapped last week, but are still in first place in the league with a 10-1 conference record. HC is 15-9 overall going into today's match-up with Colgate. The Crusaders are 8-3 at home this year (6-0 vs. PL teams) and have a 5-3 record when they play during the day. HC is also 3-0 when playing on Saturdays this season and is 3-1 in February thus far. Colgate is currently 9-15 overall and 5-6 in conference play, putting them in a fourth-place tie with American. The Raiders are coming off a 73-59 loss to American last Sunday.

LAST TIME OUT: Lehigh avenged its three point loss to Holy Cross just three weeks ago with a 10 point victory (73-63) over the Crusaders on Sunday. The Mountain Hawks are the first team since #4 Duke on January 4 to have beaten HC. The Crusaders started slow offensively, missing their first five shots, but then took over the final 15 minutes of the half, and went into the break with a 36-26 lead. Lehigh, however, came out in the second and outscored the Crusaders 47-27, to get the win. Lehigh went to the line 40 times on the afternoon, and scored 29 points from the charity stripe alone, while the Crusaders put up 12 points on just 16 attempts from the foul line. Lisa Andrews recorded a game-high 21 points, including the 1,000th of her career. The 6-foot-3 center also grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Junior guard Shannon Bush added 11 points, and freshman guard Laura Aloisi tallied 10 points and tied for game-high honors with five assists. Lehigh was led by Jess DePalo's 20 points and six rebounds. This week's PL Player of the Week, Mary Hynoski contributed a double-double with 12 boards and 10 points, while Jenny Callan and Sara Ellis pumped in 17 and 14 points, respectively.

NEXT TIME OUT: The Crusaders travel to Lewisburg, Pa. Wednesday, February 23 for a 7:00 p.m. match-up with Bucknell at the Sojka Pavilion.

SCOUTING THE RAIDERS: Colgate comes into this afternoon's game having lost two straight, but has won of five of its last seven games. The Raiders are currently 9-15 overall and are tied for fourth in the league with a 5-6 conference record. The Raiders are led by preseason Co-Player of the Year Emily Braseth (E. Grand Rapids, Mich.) who is averaging 16.1 ppg and 7.6 rpg. Five-foot-eight senior guard Allison Lipinski (Garfield Heights, Ohio) is putting up 14.7 ppg and 3.3 rpg, while leading the team in both three-pointers made (68) and three-point field goal percent (39.5%). Five-foot-six junior guard Megan Ballard (Atlanta, Ga.) leads the team in assists with 81, and is also third on the team in scoring (8.1 ppg). Six-foot-two senior forward Leandra Fuller (Harrisburg, Pa.) is the Raiders' leading shot blocker with 35 on the season.

HOLY CROSS IN PATRIOT LEAGUE PLAY: Holy Cross is currently 10-1 in conference play after a 73-63 loss to Lehigh last Sunday. Twentieth-year head coach Bill Gibbons has compiled a 163-30 (.844) record in Patriot League play, including HC's 10-1 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.

GETTING TO THE LINE: The Crusaders are tops among PL teams (all games and conference games) in team free throw percent, and boast a 10-2 record when they record more free throw attempts than their opponents. The Crusaders' 20 made free throws against American on February 6 tied a season high (Buffalo) for The Cross. As a team, HC also shot 87% (20-for-23) from the line against AU which was its second best perfomance (93.8%; 15-for-16 vs. Boston College) this season.

SHARPSHOOTERS: As a team, Holy Cross ranks third in three-point shooting percent (all games - 33.1%). Sophomore Brittany Keil ranks first (all games), shooting 42.6% (26 for 61) from behind the arc. Junior Jessica Conte ranks seventh at 34.8% (24 for 69), and junior guard Sarah Placek is ranked 13th (30.4%; 24 for 79).

FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE: Holy Cross ranked first from the foul line, shooting a League-best 76.4% (conference games only) and 74.7% (all games). Maggie Fontana has a Patriot League-best 89.1% (41-for-46) rate at the line (conference games only) and leads the team with an 81.4% rate (70-for-86). Brittany Keil is also converting on 81.0% (34-for-42), while Lisa Andrews is shooting an impressive 80.8% (59-for-73) when she gets to the line. Her 30-for-36 (83.3%) performance in conference games so far is good for third-best in the league. Through 24 games, Crusader players have made good on 295 of 395 attempts.

BLOCK PARTY: Lisa Andrews is currently ranked second in blocked shots in overall games among PL players. She is also ranked third in PL games in the same category. The 6-foot-4 center has turned away a team-leading 38 shots so far this season. Andrews is averaging 1.58 blocks per game. She finished last season ranked 21st in the country with 2.5 blocks per outing.

BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: The Crusaders are 7-0 when outrebounding their opponents, and have a losing record (8-9) when their opponents win the battle of the boards. The Crusaders have been outrebounded in 17 of 24 games this season, including a streak of eight straight games earlier this season where HC opponents pulled down more boards.

RE-WRITING THE RECORD BOOKS: On Sunday, January 30, Maggie Fontana converted 11-of-11 foul shots, breaking the Holy Cross women's basketball single-game record. The previous best was a 10-for-10 performance by Beth Godfrey vs. Indiana on January 3, 1993. Fontana's 11 free throws also marked a new Patriot League single-game high this season.

RECORDS TO WATCH: Senior guard Maggie Fontana is moving up in a number of all-time Holy Cross statistics lists. Fontana is currently ranked ninth in scoring with 1,467 points. She is currently tied for third in steals with 241, and she is ranked eighth in rebounds (719). 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 (399), 13th in rebounds (719), and 14th in points (1,467). With her three rejections against Lafayette on January 28, Lisa Andrews moved into the third slot in all-time blocked shots in both Patriot League and Holy Cross history. Andrews currently has 184 blocks, 10 away from former HC player Karen Juda (`96), who occupies the second spot in both Holy Cross and Patriot League history with 194 blocks.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: 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.

2004-2005 WEEKLY HONORS: Maggie Fontana earned her first Player of the Week award on January 31 after putting up 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds against Lafayette and Lehigh. Lisa Andrews earned her second Patriot League Player of the Week honor on January 17 after she averaged 21.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg, and blocked three shots against Army and Colgate. Andrews' first POW nod was on Nov. 22 after she 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. Laura Aloisi was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Nov. 29 after her performances in the Iona (six assists, three steals), UAB (career-high 14 points), and UMass games (career-high 11 assists).

PATRIOT LEAGUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ON CSTV: Today's game featuring Holy Cross and Colgate 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.

HOLY CROSS PICKED TO WIN PATRIOT LEAGUE CROWN: 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.

2004-2005 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.

HEAD COACH BILL GIBBONS: Bill Gibbons is entering his 20th season as head coach of the Holy Cross Women's Basketball program. The name Gibbons has become a fixture in the world of women's basketball. He has led the Crusaders to nine Patriot League Championships in the last 14 years. He has also made 10 postseason appearances (nine NCAA Tournaments and one WNIT) in his 19 years as head coach. With fifteen 20-win seasons under his belt, Gibbons has cemented himself and the women's basketball program as one of the best in the Northeast. Gibbons currently has a record of 408-181 in his 20th year as head coach. The sixth coach of the women's program at Holy Cross, he has enjoyed the longest tenure in this position. With his 358th victory, he surpassed George Blaney (357) to become the school's all-time winningest coach in basketball history. In 2003, Gibbons was inducted into the New England College Basketball Hall of Fame at the University of Rhode Island.

  GIBBONS ALL-TIME 
Career Record: 408-181
Patriot League Record: 163-30
Years: 20
Record at School: Same

WHERE TO FIND HOLY CROSS BASKETBALL
ON TELEVISION: Today's game will be broadcast live by College Sports Television (CSTV). Bob Socci will handle the play-by-play duties. He will be joined by Leah Secondo. Throughout the Worcester area, CSTV is channel 318 on Charter Cable.

ON THE RADIO: WTAG 580 AM will broadcast live on February 23 at Bucknell, and February 26 at Army.

ON THE INTERNET: Today's game vs. Colgate can be heard live on www.sportsjuice.com. Bob Fouracre will bring you all the play-by-play action. In addition, all games broadcast by WTAG 580 AM can also be heard live on www.sportsjuice.com. Each game will be linked from the Holy Cross website. Other information on Holy Cross basketball and all 26 other varsity sports is also available through the new Holy Cross Athletics website at: www.goholycross.com

THE HOLY CROSS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SHOW: Tune in to WCTR TV-3 Wednesday nights at 10:30 p.m. and Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. for the Holy Cross Women's Basketball Show with Head Coach Bill Gibbons. Each week, WCTR TV-3 Sports Director Kevin Shea will sit down with Gibbons and members of this year's coaching staff and team and talk about all things Holy Cross basketball, and the Crusaders quest for the 2004-2005 Patriot League Championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

MEDIA POLICIES
INTERVIEWS: Interviews with Head Coach Bill Gibbons, his staff and Holy Cross players can be set up by contacting Brianne Mallaghan in the Holy Cross Athletic Media Relations Office at (508) 793-2583 or via email at bmallagh@holycross.edu. Arrangements for interviews should be made atleast 24 hours in advance.

POSTGAME PROCEDURES: The Holy Cross women's basketball locker room is closed to the media. Members of the media should submit player interview requests to Brianne Mallaghan, the Holy Cross women's basketball contact, by the five-minute mark of the second half. Players and Coaches will be available for postgame interviews following a 10-minute cooling off period after the game.