Women's Basketball Hosts Boston College On Tuesday

Nov. 17, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams:
Holy Cross (0-1, 0-0 PL) vs. Boston College (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Date: November 18, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester, www.worcesterpike.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play.
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Worcester Series Record: Boston College leads, 21-9
Last Meeting: Boston College 77, Holy Cross 58 (December 5, 2007, Chestnut Hill, Mass.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.   Name                     Ht.    Cl.  PPG   RPG
F       33   Whitney Fremeau   5-10   So.  9.0    8.0
G       14   Briana McFadden    5-10   Jr. 24.0    7.0
C      42   Kathy Gruzynski      6-2    Sr.   0.0    0.0
G      21   Meredith Ward        5-8    Fr.   0.0    0.0
G      44   Bethany O'Dell        5-8    Jr.  10.0   4.0

THE SERIES WITH BOSTON COLLEGE: This will be the 31st meeting between the Crusaders and the Eagles on the hardwood. Boston College holds a 21-9 advantage in the all-time series, including a 77-58 victory over Holy Cross on Dec. 5, 2007. The Eagles have won the last 10 games, with the Crusaders picking up their most recent victory on Dec. 9, 1997 by a score of 80-68.

MERRIHUE AND PEARSON NAMED CAPTAINS: Senior forward Jessica Merrihue (Holtsville, N.Y.) and senior guard Jessica Pearson (West Chester, Pa.) 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 will take over the leadership role from Laura Aloisi and Ashley McLaughlin who served as the Crusaders' captains as seniors during the 2007-2008 season.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: In a series which began in 1979, Holy Cross and Boston College will make their 31st appearance against each other on the court this season. The Eagles hold an impressive 21-9 series advantage, including an 8-5 record at the Hart Center. The last win for Holy Cross when hosting Boston College was on Dec. 6, 1996, downing the Eagles, 68-56.

CRUSADERS PICKED FIRST IN PRESEASON POLL: The Holy Cross women's basketball team has been 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).

LAST TIME OUT: Briana McFadden had 24 points but it wasn't enough as the Holy Cross women's basketball team fell to Yale, 65-63, at the Hart Center on Saturday, Nov. 15. McFadden led the Crusaders from the free-throw line, making 12 of 13 attempts. In the opening five minutes, Yale went on a 7-2 run, led by a pair of perfect free-throws by Melissa Colborn and Briana Segerson. Less than four minutes later, at the 8:19 mark, Whitney Fremeau led a 9-2 run with seven points, bringing the Crusaders within five, 18-13. With 2:49 left in the first half, the Bulldogs went a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, giving them a 10-point lead, 31-21. Yale closed out the half ahead by eight, 35-27. Less than four minutes into the second half, at the 16:13 mark, the Bulldogs grabbed their largest lead of the game, going on a 12-4 run with Haywood Wright scoring four points. Holy Cross would get within two points with two seconds on the clock, but Yale held on for a 65-63 victory. In addition to her 24 points, McFadden had seven rebounds and three assists. Bethany O'Dell scored 10 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists. Fremeau recorded career-highs in points with nine and rebounds with eight while chipping in two steals, one assist and one block.

MCFADDEN NAMED PATRIOT LEAGUE PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Junior guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) was selected as the 2008-2009 Patriot League preseason Player of the Year, in addition to being a member of the preseason All-League team. Junior guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) was also chosen as a member of the preseason All-League team.

THE DYNAMIC DUO RETURNS: Juniors Briana McFadden and Bethany O'Dell will be the leaders of an experienced and deep Crusader backcourt this year. In the Crusaders' season-opener, McFadden led the team in scoring with 24 points while tallying seven rebounds and three assists. 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 is also coming off a very strong sophomore year. Opening the season against Yale, O'Dell finished with 10 points, four rebounds, one block and one steal. Starting in all 32 games, O'Dell finished 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).

FRONT AND CENTER: Senior center Kathy Gruzynski has moved into the starting lineup for the 2008-2009 season, starting against Yale in Holy Cross' season-opener. Making 30 appearances and three starts last year, Gruzynksi emerged in her role as the first Crusader off the bench. She set several career-highs as she played totaling 408 minutes, scored 134 points, 96 rebounds, 18 assists, 13 blocks and 10 steals. Her season averages included 13.6 minutes played, 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. During league play, she appeared in 12 games and made one start. She averaged 16.0 minutes played, 6.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. In her best performance of the season, Gruzynski scored a career-high 20 points and chipped in six rebounds against regular season champion American.

CAMPBELL LOOKING FORWARD: Sophomore forward Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) returns to the Crusaders' frontcourt for the 2008-2009 season, tallying 16 minutes played, six points and three rebounds against Yale. 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.

THAT'S MINE!: In the Crusaders' season-opener against Yale, Holy Cross forced 24 turnovers, matching last year's season-high. The Crusaders recorded 24 turnovers in three games during the 2007-2008 season at Yale on Jan. 6, 2008, at Navy on Jan. 23, 2008 and hosting Colgate on Jan. 30, 2008.

VERSATITLY IS FREMEAU'S NEW ROLE: After joining the team last year, sophomore guard Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) looks to make a continued impact on the court in the upcoming season. Fremeau made her first collegiate start on Saturday, Nov. 15 versus Yale and put up nine points, eight rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 26 minutes played. Appearing in 25 games last year, Fremeau totaled 42 points, 20 rebounds, 16 assists, 11 steals and two blocks. This season, Fremeau's versatility will be used in both the frontcourt and the backcourt, as she will play at both foward and guard.

MAY BACK FOR MORE: Sophomore guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) had a stellar start to her career with the Crusaders during the 2007-2008 season, appearing in 31 games and making 14 starts. To start this year, May dished out seven rebounds, five assists, three points and one steal in 28 minutes played against Yale. She finished with 570 minutes played, 107 points, 103 rebounds, 34 assists, 23 steals and seven blocks. May's debut season was highlighted by leading Holy Cross in scoring with 11 points and chipping in seven rebounds in the league championship game versus Bucknell.

CARPER ADDS DEPTH FOR CRUSADER BENCH: Junior forward/guard Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) had a strong 2007-2008 season off the bench, appearing in 23 games and earning a spot in the starting lineup in four. So far this year she's chipped in three points, two rebounds, one block and one steal in eight minutes played against Yale in the Crusaders' season-opener. Last year, she tallied 80 points, 51 rebounds, eight blocks and four steals. She also finished the season with a free-throw percentage of .625, after sinking 20 of 32 attempts. Carper's season was highlighted by her career-high 14 points and seven field goals, to go along with two blocks and two steals against Colgate. In league play, Carper appeared in nine games.

THE JESUIT BASKETBALL SPOTLIGHT: The matchup between Holy Cross and Boston College is part of the nationwide Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project, using Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. Both Holy Cross and Boston College are Jesuit schools. The Crusaders will also play St. Peter's and St. Joseph's this year. The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project highlights more than 90 games this season between men's and women's teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Each of the 28 is dedicated to strong academics and teaching women and men to serve others and live a faith that does justice. The spotlight project includes awareness announcements during these designated games and during gamecasts on radio and television. Jesuit, Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. The Jesuit educational mission began in Europe approximately 500 years ago. For more information on Jesuit higher education in the United States, visit `www.ajcunet.edu'.

THE BIG DANCE: Holy Cross has made 11 NCAA appearances during Coach Gibbons' tenure including nine in the last 12 years. The Crusaders' most recent appearance came during the 2006-2007 season as they fell to Duke, 81-44, in the first round of the tournament.

THE LEADER OF THE PACK: Holy Cross holds the record for the most Patriot League tournament titles won, winning 11 in the 18 league titles. During its 18 seasons in the Patriot League, Holy Cross has finished 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 (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), and 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).

NEWS ON COACH GIBBONS: Bill Gibbons enters his 24th season as head coach of the Holy Cross women's basketball team with a overall career record of 463-229 and a 192-52 mark in the Patriot League. Last season, Gibbons led his team to its 10th consectutive 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-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 game 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.

HERE'S YOUR SECOND CHANCE: Holy Cross was fierce in second chance points versus Yale, outscoring the Bulldogs, 14-1. The Crusaders had eight points in the first half and six in the second half while Yale posted its one point in the first stanza.

ROOKIE APPEARANCE: Freshman guard Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) made her first collegiate start, grabbing two steals in 13 minutes played versus Yale at the Hart Center.

EXHIBITION RECAP: Holy Cross played one exhibition game in preparation for the 2008-2009 season, falling to Assumption, 67-54, on Nov. 11. Briana McFadden had 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals while Bethany O'Dell had 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Crusaders. Elizabeth Campbell had 10 points and three rebounds while Whitney Fremeau made her first collegiate start, chipping in seven points, three rebounds and one block. Starting in her first collegiate game, freshman guard Meredith Ward had five points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal.

NEXT UP FOR THE LADY `SADERS: Holy Cross will host Harvard at the Hart Center on Thursday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m.

WELCOME TO WORCESTER: Ann McInerney is entering her first season as an assistant coach on the Holy Cross staff.