Women's basketball holds off Rider in season opener
The Holy Cross women’s basketball team opened its 2018-19 season with a 71-61 non-conference win over Rider University on November 11.
Four players scored in double digits for the Crusaders. Junior Lauren Manis led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds; junior Kathryn Pedi chipped in 13 points, including four 3-pointers, and six boards. Junior Megan Swords had 12 points and eight rebounds, along with two blocked shots. Rookie Avery LaBarbera had 18 points and three assists off the bench in her collegiate debut. Junior Madalyn Smith also added in six assists and five rebounds.
Holy Cross starts the year at 1-0 overall; Rider moves to 0-3 to begin the season.
The Crusaders began the low-scoring first quarter with an 8-4 lead, with six of the eight points coming from Manis. The Broncs hit a three with 3:49 left in the first to cut their deficit to 8-7, which would hold as the score through the rest of the frame.
Holy Cross led by as much as seven in the second quarter, aided by solid free-throw shooting by Manis – who went 14-for-16 from the line during the game. After she hit a free throw to give the Crusaders a 22-15 lead with 2:49 to go in the half, Rider’s Stella Johnson converted on a three to come within 22-18, but Manis hit two more free throws with eight seconds remaining to give Holy Cross a 24-18 edge headed into halftime.
Manis hit four straight free throws to begin the third, pushing the Crusaders’ lead to 10, before Rider began to crawl back in, coming within a score of 30-28 with 6:18 to go in the third quarter. Swords helped hold off the Rider push with back-to-back layups, giving Holy Cross an edge of 36-32 with 3:27 to go in the quarter. The Broncs got back within two on the next possession, but Pedi answered with a 3-point shot to push Holy Cross’s lead back to five. Pedi had another three with just 13 seconds left in the quarter, giving the Crusaders a seven-point edge late in the frame. But Johnson sunk two free throws with four seconds to go, keeping the Broncs within five heading into the last quarter.
The Crusaders began the fourth with a layup from Manis and another three from Pedi. Holy Cross’s lead grew to 12, 60-48, after a three-pointer from LaBarbera and a free throw and jumper from Manis. The Broncs stuck around, cutting their deficit to six with 2:08 remaining. However, the Crusaders held off any further push from the Broncs, hitting nine of their final 10 free-throw attempts.
Holy Cross is next in action on November 15, when it travels to face Boston College. Tipoff is set for 11:30 a.m.