Women's Basketball to Face American in Patriot League Championship

March 6, 2007

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PATRIOT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP:
The Teams: #3 Holy Cross (14-17) vs. #4 American (13-18)
Date: March 7, 2007
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center, Worcester, Mass.
Broadcast Information:
Internet: www.sportsjuice.com
Talent: Bob Fouracre and Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play
Radio: WCUW 91.3 FM
Series History: Holy Cross leads 12-2
Last Meeting: Holy Cross and American split in regular season play with the Eagles winning the first game, 59-55 (Jan. 20) and the Crusaders winning the second, 61-54 (Feb. 17).
Series Streak: Holy Cross - 1

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name               	Ht.   Cl.
G      44   Bethany O'Dell	5-8   Fr.
G      33   Brittany Keil	6-2   Sr.
G      14   Briana McFadden	5-10  Fr.
F      13   Ashley McLaughlin	6-1   Jr.
C      52   Kaitlin Foley	6-4   Sr.

THIS TIME OUT: The Crusaders play host to fourth seeded American in the Patriot League Championship Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. This game will be the 15th all-time meeting between Holy Cross and American in the 32 seasons of varsity basketball at Holy Cross. The Crusaders have a 12-2 overall series advantage over the Eagles. Holy Cross and American split in regular season play with the Eagles winning the first game, 59-55 (Jan. 20) and the Crusaders taking the second, 61-54 (Feb. 17). This will be the first time that the two teams will meet in the Patriot League Championship game in the 16-year history of the League.

PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT: holy Cross defeated sixth seeded Lafayette and seventh seeded Lehigh over the weekend to advance to the Patriot League Championship game for the 13th time since the start of the Patriot League in 1991. The Crusaders have an all-time record of 34-6 in the Patriot League Tournament including the two wins this weekend. The Crusaders own 11 Patriot League regular season titles and 10 Patriot League Tournament titles in the 16-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, which won two.

Holy Cross is 19-1 overall when playing Patriot League Tournament games at the Hart Center. The Crusaders have hosted 11 Patriot League Championships and have won all but one. This will be the first time that Holy Cross will face American in the Patriot League Finals in the history of the tournament.

LEHIGH RECAP: Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) and Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) scored 16 points each to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team past Lehigh in overtime in the Patriot League semifinals Sunday at Alumni Hall.

Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) scored 14 points and had five boards while Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) handed out a career-high 10 assists. Foley led the team with eight rebounds and O'Dell grabbed a team-high four steals.

Lehigh gained an 8-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game with Sara Ellis hitting two from the long range. Holy Cross was held to just two points until 14:38 when Foley started a 7-3 run to come within two of the Mountain Hawks (11-9) at 12:27. The Crusaders knotted the game at 20 when O'Dell sunk one from the three-point range to complete an 11-9 run. Keil and McFadden both contributed three points during the streak. The Crusaders went ahead and maintained a two point lead going into the break (33-31).

The Mountain Hawks jumped into the lead scoring 5-2 in the first minutes of the second half (36-35). Holy Cross and Lehigh exchanged the lead five times before Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) hit one from the long range and Cushnie added two as the Crusaders scored five unanswered points to take a six point lead (52-46) at 6:12. Lehigh responded with eight unanswered points to go ahead 54-52 with less than two minutes left in the game. The score remained 54-52 until Foley finished a lay up with eight seconds left in the second half to tie the game at 54 and force overtime play.

In the five minutes of overtime the score was knotted three more times, but the Crusaders outscored the Mountain Hawks 11-8 to take the win, 65-62.

Holy Cross averaged 43.6 percent from the field shooting 24 of 55 including eight from the long range while Lehigh was held to 31.9 percent from the field.

LAST MEETING WITH AMERICAN: Senior forward Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) recorded her second double-double of the season and sixth of her career as the Holy Cross women's basketball team defeated American 61-54 to break a third place tie in conference play Feb. 17 at the Hart Center.

The Crusaders started the game strong gaining a 10 point lead just 5:38 into the first half (14-4) after Foley scored six points and freshman guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) added five. The Crusaders held the Eagles at four points for the next five minutes. Holy Cross then went on a 13-3 run to increase the lead to 20 (27-7) at 6:52. During the run, freshman guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) scored five and O'Dell hit one from the long range. The Crusaders gained as much as a 22 point lead (6:18) before going into the break with a 14 point advantage (36-22).

At halftime O'Dell led Holy Cross with 11 points shooting four of nine from the field, sinking three from the three-point range. American was held to nine of 26 from the field.

Foley scored the first six points of the second half for the Crusaders while McFadden scored the next five. Holy Cross did not allow American to come any closer than 12 points until 4:18 left in the second half. The Eagles went on an 11-0 run to make it 53-46 with less than three minutes to go, but Holy Cross held on to win by seven (61-54).

The Crusaders held the Eagles to just 33.3 percent from the field. Foley led Holy Cross with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three steals while O'Dell had 14 points and five assists, and McFadden added 13 points.

SCOUTING AMERICAN: The fourth seeded Eagles knocked out fifth seeded Navy in the Quarterfinals (68-55) and then defeated eighth seeded Colgate (68-45) to advance to the Championship game. Liz Hayes leads American with 14.4 ppg while Nicole Ryan averages 11.7 ppg.

IN THE LEAGUE: The Crusaders lead the Patriot League in assists. Holy Cross is second in three-point field goals made and ranks third in field goal percentage. The Crusaders are fourth in scoring offense and assist-turnover ratio.

FROM THE LINE: Holy Cross leads the league with a .741 free throw percentage shooting 370 of 499 from the line. Senior center Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) is third in the league averaging .842 from the line (101-120).

1,000 CAREER-POINTS: Senior Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) was named to the 2006-07 first team All-League for the second consecutive year. On Feb. 20, she became the 23rd Crusader in the history of Holy Cross women's basketball to score 1,000 career-points when she scored 23 points in against Colgate. She now totals 1,053. Foley totaled 37 points over the weekend scoring 21 in the quarterfinals against Lafayettte and 16 against Lehigh in the semifinals. She recorded her second double-double of the season and sixth of her career when she scored 18 points and had 10 boards against American (Feb. 17). The six-foot-four center grabbed her 400th career-rebound against Bucknell (Feb. 9) and currently has 445. Foley had 15 points against Navy (Feb. 13), 13 against Bucknell (Feb. 9), and 12 points and five rebounds against Lafayette (Feb. 3). She was named Patriot League Player of the Week (Jan. 29) after scoring a season-high 24 points in the win against Lehigh (Jan. 27). She leads the team with 13.5 points per game and is third with 5.0 rebounds per game. Foley is ranked eighth all-time at Holy Cross with 76 career-blocks. She played in her 100th career-game against Rhode Island (Dec. 17) where she scored a team-high 16 points. The senior co-captain had her first double-double of the season and fifth of her career when she scored 21 points and added 10 rebounds against St. Peter's (Nov. 12). Foley holds a career-high of 27 points in a game (2-7-06). In addition to ranking third in the league in free throw percentage Foley leads the league with a .549 field goal percentage, ranks fourth in scoring, eighth in blocked shots (0.65) and 10th in offensive rebounds.

FROM THE ARCH: Freshmen guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) was named to the second team All-League and was a 2006-07 All-Rookie-Team pick. O'Dell scored 28 points last weekend scoring 12 in the quarterfinals and 16 in the semifinals. She matched her season-high of seven rebounds against Colgate (Feb. 20), she scored a career-high of 24 points against Colgate (Jan. 24) and matched it against Navy (Feb. 13) and Lafayette (Feb. 3). With 28 starts as a rookie she is second on the team with 11.9 points per game. O'Dell sunk six three-pointers against Navy (Feb. 13) and five against Lafayette (Feb. 3). She leads the team with a .410 three-point field goal percentage (77-188). O'Dell leads the Patriot League with 2.57 three-point field goals made, she ranks third in three-point field goal percentage, is 10th in scoring and is 11th with 2.33 assists. O'Dell was named the Patriot League Rookie of the week six times throughout the 2006-07 season.

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM: Freshman guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) was named to the 2006-07 Patriot League All-Rookie team, she was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week three times this season. McFadden had a career-high 10 assists in the semifinal game against Lehigh this past weekend in Annapolis, Md. scored 12 points against Colgate (Feb. 20), 13 points against American (Feb. 17) and 15 against Navy (Feb. 13). She scored a career-high 20 points against Lafayette (Feb. 3) and had a career-high of seven boards vs. Army (Jan. 10). She had a career-high four steals and played 40 minutes for the Crusaders in the win against Navy (Jan. 16). McFadden has started in 28 games and averages 9.2 points per game. She is seventh in the league with a .780 free throw percentage, eighth in assists (2.52), ranks 11th in three-point field goals made (1.52) and 12th with a .324 three-point field goal percentage.

13 to 1,000 CAREER-POINTS: Senior Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) is just 13 points away from becoming the 24th Crusader in the history of Holy Cross women's basketball to score 1,000 career-points. Keil scored her 900th career-point against Colgate (Jan. 24) where she scored 14 points. Earlier this season she scored her 800th career point against Maine (Dec. 7) where she scored a career-high 22 points. Keil leads the team with 6.5 rebounds per game and is fifth on the team with 8.9 points per game. The six-foot-two guard had a season-high 10 boards in the win against Lafayette (Feb. 3). Keil has totaled 21 blocks so far this season and is fifth all-time in career blocks at Holy Cross (83). She recorded her eighth career double-double and second of the season against Lehigh (Jan. 27) when she scored 12 and had 10 rebounds. Her first double-double of the season came against Dartmouth (Jan. 18) with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Keil grabbed her 500th career-rebound in the game against Oregon State (Dec. 30.) and currently totals 622 . In the league Keil ranks in the top 10 in four different categories including fourth in defensive rebounds, sixth in rebounding, sixth in blocked shots (0.69), and ninth in steals.

300 CAREER-REBOUNDS: Junior forward Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) grabbed her 300th career-rebound in the game against Lafayette (Feb. 3) and now totals 337. She had a career-high nine rebounds against American (Jan. 20) and a career-high five assists vs. Lafayette (Feb. 3). McLaughlin is fourth on the team averaging 4.6 rebounds per game and is sixth with 5.5 points per game. McLaughlin scored a season-high 13 points to match her career-high against Bucknell (Jan.13). She has started in 30 games averaging 28.6 minutes per game and matched her career-high of 38 minutes on the floor at American (Jan. 20). Earlier this season McLaughlin grabbed her 200th career rebound against Rhode Island as she tied with Keil for a team-high five rebounds.

STEPPING UP: Freshman Christy Cushnie (Vienna, Va.) has come off the bench and has contributed significantly handing out a career-high six assists against Colgate (Feb. 20), scoring a career-high 12 points and grabbing a career-high four rebounds against Lehigh (Jan. 27). Cushnie played a season-high 34 minutes against Lehigh (Mar. 3). In the game against Lafayette (Feb. 3) the rookie guard from Vienna, Va. recorded a career-high of two steals.

CAREER-HIGH: Sophomore Kathy Gruzynski (Elk, Gorve, Ill.) matched her career-high of nine points last time out against Lehigh (Feb. 24). Gruzynski had a career-high seven rebounds against Lafayette (Jan. 6).

NCAA TALK: Freshman Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) is ranked 18th in three-point field goals per game and 22nd in three-point field goal percentage while Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) is 32nd nationally in free throw percentage. Holy Cross ranks 37th in free throw percentage.

OUT FOR THE SEASON: Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) tallied 68 assists and 30 steals this season before hurting her knee in the game against Maine (Dec. 7). Aloisi had a career-high five steals against the Black Bears. She totals 315 career assists and 141 career steals. Aloisi leads the league with 6.80 assists, a 1.31 assist/turnover ration and 3.00 steals. Aloisi recorded two double-doubles before her injury scoring 11 points and handing out 10 assists in the win over Harvard (Nov. 18) and totaling 14 points and 10 assists in the game against Quinnipiac (Nov. 14). Aloisi scored a season-high 20 points in the Crusaders first game of the season against Yale (Nov. 10). She holds a career-high of 21 points in a game (3-4-06)

HC SIGNS TWO TO NATIONAL LETTERS OF INTENT: Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, NH) and Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) will join the Holy Cross women's basketball program in the fall of 2007. Fremeau is a 5-foot-10 guard who plays at Manchester Central High School in Manchester, NH and May is a 6-foot guard who plays at River Dell High School in Oradell, N.J.

NEW ENGLAND BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME: The Holy Cross women's basketball team was acknowledged by The New England Basketball Hall of Fame in September as they announced a new award that recognizes New England college basketball programs, which encourage classroom achievement, athletic success, and post-graduate career success. 2005-06 CRUSADERS: The 2005-06 Crusaders posted an overall record of 16-14, including a 10-4 showing in Patriot League play, marking the 14th time the program has won 10 or more games in conference play while a member of the Patriot League.

OFF THE COURT: Five Crusaders were named to the 2006 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll last season. Included on the list are last year seniors Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.) and Shannon Bush (Doylestown, Pa.) as well as current seniors guard Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) and center Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.), and sophomore forward Jessica Merrihue (Holtsville, N.Y.).

WHERE TO FIND HOLY CROSS BASKETBALL

ON TELEVISION Wednesday night's Patriot League Championship game between Holy Cross and American will be shown live on ESPNU at 6 p.m.

ON THE RADIO Tonight's game will be broadcast on WCUW 91.3 FM, Bob Fouracre and Jeremy Lechan will do the play-by-play.

ON THE INTERNET Games that broadcast over WCUW 91.3 FM or WTAG 580 AM, can also be heard on www.sportsjuice.com. In addition, each game will be linked from the Holy Cross website.

THE HOLY CROSS WOMEN'S BASKTEBALL SHOW Tune in to WCTR TV-3 Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. and Friday nights at 10:30 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 2006-2007 Patriot League Championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.