Mark Seliger Photography
Mark Seliger Photography

Women's basketball holds off UAlbany

Holy Cross Athletics   11-25-2018

ALBANY, New York -- The Holy Cross women’s basketball team held off a late push from the University at Albany, winning 56-50 in nonconference action on Sunday, November 25.

Junior Lauren Manis led all players with her fourth double-double of the season, notching 16 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Megan Swords had 12 points and six rebounds; freshman Avery LaBarbera was also in double figures, with 11 points and seven rebounds while shooting 3-for-5 from 3-point range.

The Crusaders now move above .500 with a 3-2 record on the year; UAlbany falls to 1-5 on the season.

Holy Cross led comfortably after one, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after a layup and jumper from Manis. The Great Danes came within 5-4, but Manis had two more jumpers to put the Crusaders up 9-4. From there, Holy Cross outscored UAlbany 8-3 over the remainder of the frame, including two threes by junior Nicole Morris and LaBarbera, to give the Crusaders a 17-7 edge after one.

That momentum continued into the second quarter, with the Crusaders pushing their lead to 13, 22-9, after a layup from Morris with 8:33 to go in the quarter. Albany followed with a 13-2 run, coming within 24-22 with 3:43 to go in the half, but Holy Cross closed out the quarter on a 10-0 run to lead by 12 headed to the locker room.

Holy Cross had its largest lead of the game at 14 points, when Swords hit a layup 36 seconds into the third. However, the Great Danes began to chip away in the second half, outscoring the Crusaders 13-8 in the third, and Albany trailed by just seven points heading into the final frame.

The Crusaders were able to build their lead back to 10, 46-36, when Manis had a layup at 7:43 of the fourth. Over the next five minutes, UAlbany held Holy Cross scoreless, coming within four points, 46-42, with 3:44 to go. Junior Kathryn Pedi broke the scoring drought with a 3-pointer with 2:21 to go, but the Great Danes answered, converting on a free throw and 3-pointer to come within three points, 49-46, with 1:41 to go.

Out of a timeout, Manis hit a clutch jumper with 1:05 to go, pushing Holy Cross’s lead back to five. Freshman Oluchi Ezemma converted on both of her free throws with 26 seconds to go; from that point, UAlbany would only come as close as six points, as the Crusaders hit five of their final six free-throw attempts to stave off UAlbany’s comeback attempt.

Heather Forster had a double-double for the Great Danes with 10 points and 14 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. UAlbany outrebounded Holy Cross 44-35 in the game, including 22-10 in the offensive rebound category.

The Crusaders continue their road swing with a trip to Burlington, Vermont, to take on the University of Vermont on Wednesday, November 28. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Season and single-game tickets to see the Crusaders are on sale now. Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to see the best collegiate basketball in Central Massachusetts! Tickets for Holy Cross basketball can be purchased online at or over the phone by calling 1-844-GOCROSS.

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