Nov. 26, 2007
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS: Television: None. Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Bob Fouracre and Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play. Buffalo Radio: WLVL 1340 AM, Buffalo; Ben Wagner, play-by-play. Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester. Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 3-0. Last Meeting: Holy Cross 69, Rhode Island 55 (November 24, 2006; Buffalo, N.Y.)
PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG F 10 Alyssa May 6-0 Fr. 3.2 3.3 F 14 Briana McFadden 5-10 So. 14.8 3.3 C 13 Ashley McLaughlin 6-1 Sr. 5.7 5.0 G 5 Laura Aloisi 5-9 Sr. 7.5 3.5 G 44 Bethany O'Dell 5-8 So. 12.8 4.2
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: This will be the fourth meeting between the Crusaders and the Bison on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series with a perfect 3-0 record. Last season, the Crusaders recorded a 69-55 victory over the Bison at the Alumni Arena in Buffalo, N.Y. Laura Aloisis led the Crusaders in points (18) and rebounds (seven), while chipping in four assists and a steal. Briana McFadden had 11 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals while Bethany O'Dell contributed 12 points, six rebounds and two assists. For the Bison, Rachelle Matthys had 18 points, three rebounds, one assit and one steal.
SERIES QUICK FACTS: Overall Holy Cross, 3-0 In Worcester Holy Cross, 1-0 At Hart Center Holy Cross, 1-0 Bill Gibbons vs. Rhode Island 3-0 Linda Hill-MacDonald vs. Holy Cross 0-1 Current Win Streak Holy Cross, three games
ROOKIE APPEARANCES: Freshman guard Alyssa May started in both games during the LIU Turkey Classic this week, averaging 20 minutes played, 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. Freshman center Elizabeth Campell appeared in both games, chipping in three points against LIU while freshman guard Whitney Fremeau saw nine minutes of action against LIU and netted one free throw.
SHE'S BAAAAACK: Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell returns for her second season to lead the Crusaders to another successful year. In six starts for Holy Cross, she is averaging 12.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game. This season, O'Dell was named to the Patriot League Preseason All-League Team. Last year, O'Dell was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year and received Rookie of the Week honors six times. She also was named to the All-Patriot League Second Team and Patriot League All-Rookie Team. During her debut season, O'Dell made 30 starts in 32 games while averaging 12.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game. She also led the Patriot League in three-point field goals with 87 on the season.
RECORD BREAKERS: Sophomore guard Briana McFadden set new career records in points and three-pointers scored in a game during the LIU Turkey Classic versus Albany. Against the Great Danes, McFadden scored 28 points, including six three-pointers on seven attempts. McFadden had already edged her former record of 20 points in a game this season after scoring 21 points against Rhode Island on Tuesday, November 20. Before recording six against Albany, McFadden had scored three three-pointers seven times last season.
HITTIN' THE THREES: Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell and and sophomore forward Briana McFadden have wasted no time leading the Crusaders from the three-point line in the last two games. During the Crusaders 65-56 victory over URI, O'Dell hit four of ten 10 attempts, scoring all four in the first half while McFadden chipped in three on six attempts. Against Maine, O'Dell scored five on nine attempts while McFadden scored three on five attempts as the Crusaders went on to win 79-50.
ALOISI ON HER MARK: After missing 29 games last season due to a knee injury, senior guard Laura Aloisi is getting back into the swing of the things real quick, already starting in all six games this season. In the LIU Turkey Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. this past week, Aloisi averaged 4.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals during the tournament. Against URI, Aloisi recorded a season-high 15 points and three steals while tying her season-high of four rebounds in a game. Versus Maine, Aloisi recorded seven points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Aloisi now averages 7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game. MCLAUGHLIN ON THE BOARDS: Senior forward Ashley McLaughlin leads Holy Cross in contributing to the Crusaders' 33.2 rebounds per game, recording 30 in six games for 5.0 per game. McLaughlin had a season-high in the Crusaders' season-opener versus Vermont, grabbing eight boards.
NEWS ON COACH GIBBONS: Coach Bill Gibbons is in his 23rd season as head coach of the women's basketball team with an overall career record of 445-217 and 182-42 in the Patriot League. Last season, Gibbons led his team to its 11th Patriot League tournament title, beating American 56-48, in the championship game. With the win, coach Gibbons led the Crusaders to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time. Holy Cross fell to Duke in the first round of the NCAAs, 81-44, to end the 2006-2007 season. Currently coach Gibbons ranks second all-time at Holy Cross in victories for all sports. Gibbons has also led the women's basketball team to more victories than any other coach in Holy Cross history during his 22-tenure. He has won 20 or more game in 10 of his last 14 seasons. Gibbons is also ranked 28th 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. This past summer, Coach Gibbons was selected to be an assistant coach at the 2007 Pan-American Games, in which his team won the gold medal.
LEADER OF THE PACK: Holy Cross holds the record for the most Patriot League tournament titles won, winning 11 of the 17 league titles. During its 17 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 Walker (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), Anna Kinne (99-00) and Maggie Fontana (02-03). 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).
THE BIG TIME: Holy Cross has made 11 NCAA appearances during Coach Gibbons' tenure including nine in the last 13 years. The Crusaders' most recent appearance came last season as they fell to Duke, 81-44, in the first round of the tournament.
TAKING IT TO THE HART: The Crusaders' hold an overall record of 309-85 and a 270-62 Division I record at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. Holy Cross lost its first game at the Hart Recreation Center, 66-34, to Williams in 1975. The Crusaders have hosted the 1991 NCAA tournament, 13 Patriot League tournaments, two MAAC tournaments, and several invitationals during the 32 seasons played at the Hart Center.
ALOISI AND MCLAUGHLIN NAMED CAPTAINS: Senior guard Laura Aloisi and senior forward Ashley McLaughlin have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2007-2008 season. Both players are three-year letterwinners for the Crusaders, and will take over the leadership role from Brittany Keil, Ashley Brennan-McBride and Kaitlyn Foley who served as the captains during the 2006-2007 season.
2007-2008 SEASON PREVIEW: The Holy Cross women's basketball team heads into the 2007-2008 season looking to defend its place as a top contender in the Patriot League and its 2007 Patriot League Championship title. After clinching the league title, the Crusaders fell to Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 81-44, ending the season that marked the 11th Patriot League Championship for the Crusaders in 17 seasons. With the return of senior guard Laura Aloisi to the court as well as several returning underclassmen, Holy Cross will be a force hard to slow down. The Crusaders are coming off a 15-18 overall record, finishing third at 7-7 in the Patriot League. In addition to last season's success, the Crusaders picked up their seventh league title in 10 years. Holy Cross finished first in the league in two categories: assists (14.36 per game) and free throw percentage (.741). The Crusaders were also ranked fourth in four different categories including scoring offense (57.8 per game), field goal percentage (.400), three-point field goal percentage (.317) and assist/turnover ratio (+0.76).
CRUSADERS PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2007-2008 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in third place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 77 total points in the poll, trailing only first-place Bucknell (92 points) and second-place Army (83 points). Holy Cross received one first-place vote in the poll, with the Bison earning 10 first-place votes and Army tallying four. Following the Crusaders in the poll were American (fourth, 62 points and one first place vote), Lehigh (fifth, 46 points), Lafayette (sixth, 33 points), Navy (sixth, 33 points) and Colgate (eighth, 22 points).
NEXT UP FOR THE LADY `SADERS: Holy Cross hosts Quinnipiac on Saturday, December 1 at 1:00 p.m.