Holy Cross Athletics
Holy Cross Athletics

Women's Basketball Pushes Past Manhattan in 'Get Fit With The Crusaders' Game

Holy Cross Athletics   12-19-2018
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Manhattan 11 11 10 21 53
Holy Cross 12 12 19 18 61

WORCESTER, Mass. - With 1,755 fans in attendance from Worcester-area schools, the Holy Cross women’s basketball team held off Manhattan College to earn a 61-53 victory in their annual “Get Fit with the Crusaders” game on Wednesday, December 19.

The Crusaders enter the holiday break with a 7-3 record, matching their best start through 10 games since the 2013-14 season.

Freshman Avery LaBarbera led all Holy Cross scorers with 12 points, along with three steals and four rebounds. Junior Lauren Manis had her ninth double-double of the year, recording 11 points and 10 rebounds and adding in two blocks. Freshman Oluchi Ezemma had a career-high nine points to go with three rebounds and a block.

Holy Cross got out to an 11-0 lead just four minutes in after two threes from junior Madalyn Smith, a three from junior Kathryn Pedi and a layup from junior Megan Swords. However, the Jaspers stormed back to tie the contest at 11 apiece with three minutes to go. After nearly two-and-a-half scoreless minutes, Manis broke the deadlock with a free throw, giving the Crusaders a one-point lead after one quarter.

LaBarbera scored Holy Cross’s first eight points of the quarter, draining two threes and a floater to put Holy Cross up 20-13 with 6:36 to go in the half. Manhattan pushed again, tying the game at 22-22 with 1:57 to go. Manis again broke the tie, converting on a layup with 29 seconds left to give Holy Cross a 24-22 lead at halftime.

Ezemma took over for Holy Cross with a dominant third quarter, recording six points to give the Crusaders a seven-point lead with 4:47 to go in the frame. Holy Cross’s lead grew as high as 13 points in the quarter after a three from freshman Madison Demski; the Crusaders held an 11-point lead after three.

Manis scored the first six points of the fourth for Holy Cross, pushing the Crusaders’ lead to 17, 49-32, with 6:46 to go. After a basket from the Jaspers, Ezemma converted on a three-point play to give Holy Cross its largest lead of the game at 18 points, 55-37, with 5:32 to go. Manhattan began to climb back in, climbing within nine points with 1:43 to go; however, senior Miranda Nixon, Smith and senior Maggie Locke made clutch free throws down the line to hold off any further push.

Manhattan falls to 2-9 on the year. Center Courtney Worley led all scorers with 13 points and eight rebounds, while D’Yona Davis had 11 points and five rebounds.

The Crusaders will return following the holidays for their final nonconference contest of the year, set for December 30 at Bryant University. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:

  • The Crusaders now have a 5-1 record at home, with their only loss at the Hart Center coming against Brown on November 18.
  • Manis has now posted double-doubles in nine of her 10 games this season, ranking second in Division I in that category.  
  • Holy Cross improves its series record to 14-10 all-time against the Jaspers.
  • Junior Nicole Morris returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday, making her second start of the season. She recorded a game-high four assists; she leads the Patriot League in assist-to-turnover ratio this year, at 2.3.
  • Demski made her second appearance of the season, recording her first collegiate points with her 3-pointer in the third quarter.  

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 GoHolyCross.com/tickets or over the phone by calling 1-844-GOCROSS.


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