March 7, 2007
WORCESTER, Mass. - Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) tallied 20 points while Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y) and Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) added 14 each to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team past American, 56-48 to win its 11th Patriot League Title Wednesday night at the Hart Center. With the win the Crusaders gain an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Foley recorded her third double-double of the season and seventh of her career with 14 points and 15 rebounds. O'Dell scored all but two of her 20 points from the three-point range hitting six of 12. McFadden had a team high six assists while Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) grabbed 10 boards.
Holy Cross got off to an 8-2 start in the first four minutes of the game with McFadden scoring four and Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) and Foley adding two each. The Eagles then came back with six unanswered points to tie the game at eight (13:25). The two teams matched each other with seven points to kept the game tied with 8:22 left in the first half (15-15). American then scored seven unanswered points to take the lead at 5:16 (22-15). The Eagles took a 12 point lead (29-17) on a 7-2 streak and went into the break with a 10 point advantage (29-19).
The Crusaders came out of the locker room on fire as O'Dell and McFadden each hit one from the long range to cut their deficit to four (29-25). McFadden and O'Dell hit another from the three and Foley added two from the line to tie the game at 33 (14:01). The game was tied four times in the next 10 minutes at 38, 40, 42, and 44. O'Dell stepped up with two from the arch to put the Crusaders up by six, 50-44 with 2:18 left in the second half. Holy Cross scored six more points and held on to win the game by eight (56-48).
Holy Cross scored just 19 points in the first half then turned around and held American to 19 points in the second half while they put away 37 points shooting 13 of 34 from the field including seven from the three-point range.
This will be the 12th NCAA Tournament Appearance for the Crusaders. Ten of those appearances were under current head coach Bill Gibbons. Holy Cross will find out Monday who they will face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when the selections are aired live on ESPN at 8 p.m.
2007 Patriot League All-Tournament Team
Liz Hayes, American (46 points, 10 assists)
Nicole Ryan, American (50 points, 9 3fgm)
Kaitlin Foley, Holy Cross (51 points, 30 rebounds)
Briana McFadden, Holy Cross (35 points, 18 assists)
Bethany O'Dell, Holy Cross (48 points, 11 3fgm)
Adrienne Blount, Lehigh (35 points, 27 rebounds)
2007 Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player
Bethany O'Dell, Holy Cross