December 4, 2007

Women's Basketball Prepares For Boston College

Dec. 4, 2007

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS: Television: None. Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Jeremy Leehan, play-by-play. Boston College Radio: WVBC AM. Series Record: Boston College leads, 20-8. Last Meeting: Boston College 53, Holy Cross 36 (Worcester, Mass., December 1, 2006)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG F 10 Alyssa May 6-0 Fr. 2.7 3.0 F 14 Briana McFadden 5-10 So. 15.0 3.0 C 13 Ashley McLaughlin 6-1 Sr. 5.1 5.1 G 5 Laura Aloisi 5-9 Sr. 8.9 3.3 G 44 Bethany O'Dell 5-8 So. 12.4 4.3

THE SERIES WITH BOSTON COLLEGE: This is 29th meeting between the Crusaders and the Eagles on the hardwood. Boston College holds a 20-8 advantage in the all-time series record, maintaining a current nine-game winning streak over Holy Cross. Last year, Boston College defeated the Crusaders, 53-36, at the Hart Center. Larua Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) led Holy Cross in rebounds with five and chipped in six points, five assists and three steals. Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) had nine points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist. Kaydia Kentish had six points, five rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal for the Eagles. BC graduated last year's top scorer, Elisabeth Egnell, who had a team-high 14 points and chipped in eight rebounds, four assists and a steal during last year's non-conference contest.

SERIES QUICK FACTS: Overall Boston College, 20-8 In Chestnut Hill 2-11 At Conte Forum 2-11 Bill Gibbons vs. Boston College 5-16 Cathy Inglese vs. Holy Cross 11-2 Current Win Streak Boston College, nine games

MCFADDEN REACHES NEW HIGHS: Sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) set new career highs in points and three-pointers 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 career best of 20 points in a game this season after scoring 21 points against Rhode Island on Tuesday, November 20. Before hitting six against Albany, McFadden had made three three-pointers in a game seven times last season.

CARPER CONTINUES SUCCESS: Sophomore forward Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) made her first career start against Quinnipiac last week, scoring 12 points, including a perfect two-for-two from long range. Carper also led the team in rebounds with seven and had two assists. Against Buffalo, Carper set new career-highs in points, rebounds, minutes played, field goals made and field goal attempts as the Crusaders downed the Bulls, 71-57. Against Buffalo, Carper played 24 minutes, scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and went five for nine from the floor. Carper's nine rebounds were a team high for the Crusaders on the night.

HELLO DECEMBER: The Crusaders played some of its best games of the year during the month of December last season. Holy Cross fell to powerhouse Connecticut, 83-64, on December 4, 2006 at the DCU Center in Worcester, but Laura Aloisi and Briana McFadden scored 13 points each while Bethany O'Dell chipped in 12 points and the team's game-high six rebounds. Holy Cross defeated Maine, 72-64, on December 7, 2006 as O'Dell had 21 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals while McFadden chipped in four points, two rebounds, one assist and three steals. The Crusaders came from behind against Rhode Island after trailing 30-25 in the first half, to beat the Rams 61-54. O'Dell had 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal while Ashley McLaughlin led the team in rebounds with five while chipping in seven points, two steals, and an assist. For the month of December, the Crusaders shot 43.0% from the floor, 32.4% from long range, and 76.0% from the free-throw mark. Holy Cross averaged 25.5 rebounds, 15.7 assists, 7.7 steals and 2.0 blocks per game.

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, starting in all seven games this season. Versus Quinnipiac, Aloisi scored nine points, grabbed three rebounds and had five steals and four assists. Against Buffalo, Aloisi led the Crusaders in scoring with 17 points while chipping in two rebounds, three assists and a steal. In the LIU Turkey Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y., 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 8.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

HITTIN' THE THREES: Senior guard Laura Aloisi, 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. Against Buffalo, Aloisi made three of her four attempts while O'Dell and McFadden each had two three-pointers agaisnt the Bulls. During the Crusaders 65-56 victory over URI, O'Dell hit four of 10 attempts, scoring all four in the first half while McFadden hit three of her six attempts. Against Maine, O'Dell was 5-of-9 from behind the arc while McFadden scored three on five long range attempts as the Crusaders went onto win 79-50. Aloisi leads Holy Cross in three pointers, shooting 54.5% from outside the arc (12-22). MCLAUGHLIN ON THE BOARDS: Senior forward Ashley McLaughlin leads Holy Cross with 4.6 rebounds per game. During the Crusaders' 71-57 victory over Buffalo, she chipped six of the team's 38 boards. McLaughlin had a season-high in the Crusaders' season-opener versus Vermont, grabbing eight boards. Overall, Holy Cross is averaging 33.6 boards per game this year.

SHE'S BAAAAACK: Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) returns for her second season with the Crusaders. In eight starts for Holy Cross, she is averaging 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.4 assist and 0.9 steals 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, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists. 1.0 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. She also led the Patriot League in three-point field goals with 87 on the season.

ROOKIE APPEARANCES: Freshman Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) played 16 minutes against Quinnipiac, tallying four points and four rebounds. Freshman center Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) had three rebounds and one block in seven minutes while freshman guard Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) appeared in the game against the Bobcats.

GIBBONS CLOSES IN ON 450: Coach Bill Gibbons is in his 23rd season as head coach of the women's basketball team with an overall career record of 448-219 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 an assistant coach for Team U.S.A. at the 2007 Pan-American Games, helping the team won the gold medal.

LEADER OF THE PACK: Holy Cross has an amazing 11 Patriot League Tournament titles in the league's 17 years of existence. During its 17 seasons in the Patriot League, Holy Cross has finished in first place 11 times. The Crusaders have also had 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 311-87 and a 272-64 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 tourna ment, 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, 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 travels to Harvard University on Tuesday, December 18 for a game scheduled at 7:00 p.m.