Women's Basketball Plays #1 Connecticut On Wednesday

Dec. 2, 2008


Complete Release in PDF Format

The Teams:
Holy Cross (1-5, 0-0 PL) vs. Connecticut (5-0, 0-0 Big East)
Date: December 3, 2008
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Gampel Pavilion (10,176), Storrs, Conn.
Television: CPTV, Bob Picozzi, play-by-play; Meghan Culmo, color.
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester, www.worcesterpike.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play.
Connecticut Radio: WTIC 1080 AM/UConn Radio Network, Bob Joyce play-by-play, Kara Wolters, color.
Series Record: Connecticut leads, 16-2
Last Meeting: Connecticut 91, Holy Cross 36 (November 14, 2007, Storrs, Conn.)

Pos.  No.  Name                    Ht.      Cl.    PPG    RPG
F      33   Whitney Fremeau    5-10   So.    7.5     4.5
F      30   Elizabeth Campbell  6-3    So.    2.7      2.0
G     14    Briana McFadden     5-10  Jr.     19.7    3.8
G     44    Bethany O'Dell        5-8    Jr.     13.3    4.2
G     10    Alyssa May             6-0    So.    5.0     3.8

THE SERIES WITH CONNECTICUT: The Crusaders and the Huskies will make their 19th appearance on the hardwood with Connecticut holding an impressive 16-2 series advantage. The Crusaders picked up their two wins against Connecticut at the Hart Center on February 1, 1984 by a score of 89-57 and on December 4, 1986, winning 65-49. The last win for the Huskies was on Nov. 14, 2007, with a 91-36 victory at Gampel Pavilion.

Overall: Connecticut, 16-2
In Storrs: Connecticut, 7-0
At Gampel Pavilion Connecticut leads, 4-0
Bill Gibbons vs. Connecticut 1-14
Geno Auriemma vs. Holy Cross 15-1
Current Win Streak: Connecticut 14 games

MCFADDEN NAMED PATRIOT LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) has been named the women's basketball Patriot League Player of the Week, for competition from Nov. 25-30. McFadden led the Crusaders to a triple overtime victory against Missouri scoring a career-high 31 points on Saturday, Nov. 29, in the DoubleTree White Invitational, hosted by Northwestern. In the third overtime period, McFadden scored all nine Holy Cross points including the game-winning basket with eight seconds remaining to give the Crusaders the 94-93 victory against Missouri. In addition to her 31 points, she tallied three assists, three steals and two rebounds. On Sunday, Nov. 30, McFadden scored 20 points and had three rebounds, three assists and two steals in the 64-55 loss to Western Illinois. Earlier in the week, against St. Peter's, McFadden finished with 12 points, five assists, two rebounds and one steal.

TRIPS MAKES HISTORY: The Crusaders made history this past weekend playing in the first triple overtime game ever in women's basketball at Holy Cross. The Crusaders defeated Missouri, 94-93, at the DoubleTree White Invitational on Sat. Nov. 29. Holy Cross has played five games in double overtime (3-2) and 19 games in one overtime period (9-10). The Crusaders have played past regulation in 25 games with an overall 13-12 record (.520).

STRONG SCORING VERSUS MISSOURI: Holy Cross scored 94 points against Missouri on Sat. Nov. 29, marking the first time the Crusaders have scored more than 90 points in a victory in the last three seasons. The last time Holy Cross put up at least 90 points in a win was on Dec. 3, 2005, when it defeated Memphis, 91-66, during the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic held in Temple, Ariz.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: After opening the 2008-2009 season with a four-game home stand at the Hart Center, the Crusaders are currently on a eight-game road trip, traveling to No. 1 Connecticut on Wed. Dec. 3, Vermont on Sat. Dec. 6, Rhode Island on Tues. Dec. 9 and Northeastern on Mon. Dec. 22. Holy Cross will conclude its road trip at the Hawk Classic on Dec. 28-29, hosted by St. Joseph's in Philadelphia, Pa. The Crusaders will play at home next on Friday Jan. 2, when they host Maine at 7:00 p.m.

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).

HOLY CROSS COMPETES IN NORTHWESTERN TOURNAMENT: The Crusaders finished 1-1 in the DoubleTree White Invitational, hosted by Northwestern on Nov. 29-30. Holy Cross picked up its first win of the season in a dramatic 94-93 triple overtime win against Missouri on Saturday. On Sunday, the Crusaders were downed be Western Illinois, 64-55. Briana McFadden and Bethany O'Dell were named to the 2008 Double Tree White Invitational All-Invite Team.

TAKING ON # 1: The Crusaders have faced No. 1 ranked teams four times during the regular season, all being games against Connecticut, with a 0-4 overall record. The last time Holy Cross competed against a No. 1 ranked team was against the Huskies on Nov. 28, 2003, with Connecticut posting a 76-42 victory over the Crusaders.

THAT'S MINE!!!: Holy Cross has started off strong in forced turnovers, totaling 111 in six games, averaging 18.5 per game. In the Crusaders' season-opener against Yale, Holy Cross forced 24 turnovers, matching last year's season-high. Against Missouri on Nov. 29 and Boston College on Nov. 18, the Crusaders had 21 forced turnovers. 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.

HOLY CROSS' GO-TO GIRL: Junior guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) has started out strong on offense this season, leading the Crusaders in scoring in four out of the six games. McFadden has scored in double-figures in every game including a career-high 31 points against Missouri on Nov. 29 during the DoubleTree White Invitational. McFadden has also had new career-highs in minutes played (53), field goals attempted (23), free throws attempted (13), free throws (12), three-pointers attempted (nine), three-pointers (four) and blocks (three). Her season has also been highlighted by scoring 24 points against Yale, 21 versus Boston College, 12 points for Holy Cross against Saint Peter's and 10 against Harvard. 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.

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 as she has already made four collegiate starts in Holy Cross' six games. Fremeau's has had plenty of success so far as she has had new career-highs in minutes played (30), points (15), field goal attempts (13), rebounds (eight), field goals (seven), free throws attempts (three) and three-pointers (two). Her best performance on the season was against Missouri in which she finished with 15 points in 30 minutes played. Fremeau made her first collegiate start on Saturday, Nov. 15 versus Yale and put up nine points and eight rebounds while chipping in with two steals, one assist and one block in 26 minutes played. Starting against Boston College, Fremeau recorded 19 minutes played, eight points, two rebounds and one steal. During her third start of the season. 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 forward 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. Appearing in six games and making two starts this year, May has added to her career-highs, making five assists. Her season has been highlighted by her performance against Saint Peter's in which she finished with 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 25 minutes played. May played a season-high 36 minutes and had eight points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists against Missouri. Versus Harvard, she had eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and one steal in 25 minutes played. To start this year, May had 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.

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 464-233 and a 192-52 mark in the Patriot League. Last season, Gibbons led his team to its 10th consecutive 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.

CAMPBELL LOOKING FORWARD: Sophomore forward Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) returns to the Crusaders' frontcourt for the 2008-2009 season, appearing in six games and making one start. Campbell played a season-high 17 minutes versus Western Illinois. She also finished with 16 minutes played, six points and three rebounds against Yale. Campbell also played 10 minutes against Harvard, chipping in two points, two blocks, one rebound and one assist. 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.

O'DELL KEEPS CAREER RIGHT ON TRACK: Starting in all six games, junior guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) led the Crusaders in scoring in two games with a season-high 23 points against Western Illinois and 14 points versus Saint Peter's with 15 points. O'Dell is one of the many Crusaders that have hit new career-highs this season including field goals attempted (16), three-pointers attempted (14), and three-pointers (seven). Versus Boston College, O'Dell tallied 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. Opening the season against Yale, O'Dell finished with 10 points, four rebounds, one block and one steal. O'Dell stayed strong against Harvard, leading the team in rebounds with eight and finishing with six points, three assist and one steal in 38 minutes played. O'Dell is also coming off a stellar sophomore year, starting in all 32 games, and finishing 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).

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).

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 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.

PEARSON MAKES STARTING LINEUP: Senior co-captain Jessica Pearson has appeared in five games so far this season and made her second collegiate start against Saint Peter's on Nov. 25, finishing with seven minutes played and one rebound.

MERRIHUE HITS NEW HEIGHTS: Senior co-captain Jessica Merrihue has appeared in six games, making three starts. Her season has been highlighted by her performance in her first collegiate start against Boston College on Tuesday Nov 18, in which she scored six points, made three blocks and grabbed one rebound in nine minutes played. Merrihue has also added new career-highs in free throws (four), free throw attempts (five), blocks (three) and steals (three).

ROOKIE NOTES: Freshman guard Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) has made three starts and appeared in all six games so far for the Crusaders, highlighted by her performance against Boston College, tallying seven points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 27 minutes played. Freshman center Marygrace Jay (Vienna, Va.) made her second collegiate appearance against Harvard on No. 20.

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 made two starts in six games. She has also added new heights to her career, recording new career-highs in points scored (24), field goals (10), field goals attempted (13), blocks (three) and minutes played (41). Carper had a career-high 24 points in a career-high 41 minutes played in the Crusaders' 94-93 triple overtime win against Missouri. She tied leading the Crusaders in scoring against Harvard with 10 points while chipping in two rebounds, two blocks and one assist in 18 minutes played. Versus Boston College, she had nine points, three blocks, two rebounds two steals and one assist in 21 minutes played. In her start against Saint Peter's, Carper totaled six points, four rebounds and one block in 23 minutes played. 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.

FRONT AND CENTER: Senior center Kathy Gruzynski has moved into the starting lineup for the 2008-2009 season, appearing in all six games and starting in two games. She played a season-high 21 minutes versus Boston College on Nov. 18 and tallied five points, five rebounds, three blocks and one assist in 14 minutes played versus Harvard on Nov. 20. 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 with 408 minutes played, 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.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Holy Cross has grabbed 189 rebounds in its first six games of the season, averaging 31.5 per game. Whitney Fremeau leads the Crusaders with 27 boards on the season, averaging 4.5 rebounds per game. Bethany O'Dell follows with 25 on the season (4.2 per game) and Briana McFadden and Alyssa May have 23 each, averaging 3.8 per game.

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

NEXT UP FOR THE `SADERS: Holy Cross will travel to Vermont on Saturday, Dec. 6 for a game scheduled at 1:00 p.m.