Women's Basketball Drops Tight Contest to Colgate in Patriot League Opener
WORCESTER, Mass. — The Holy Cross women’s basketball team opened its 2019 and Patriot League slates with a close defeat, 70-67, against Colgate University on Thursday, January 3.
Juniors Lauren Manis (11 points, 12 rebounds) and Megan Swords (13 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks) each posted a double-double; freshman Avery LaBarbera had 17 points and four assists to lead the Crusaders in scoring. Junior Kathryn Pedi scored 12 points and was 4-for-5 from 3-point range, while junior Madalyn Smith chipped in eight points and eight assists.
Holy Cross moves to 8-4 overall and 0-1 to open Patriot League play; Colgate improves to 5-6 overall and 1-0 in conference.
Though the Raiders led by as much as five early in the first quarter, 7-2, the Crusaders went on a 10-0 run over the span of 1:36, capped by a layup from freshman Oluchi Ezemma to go up 12-7 with 6:04 to go. Colgate climbed back within one point on multiple occasions, but Swords drained a basket at the buzzer to give Holy Cross a three-point lead at the end of the first.
Holy Cross built its lead as high as eight points with 5:28 to go in the second after a jumper by Manis, but Colgate still remained close, again cutting the lead down to one point after a pair of free throws with 1:09 to go. Manis had another basket to put the Crusaders back up by three for a 35-32 halftime score.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, as the Crusaders led by as much as five before Colgate went on a 7-1 run to go ahead by one point, 40-39, with 7:39 to go. LaBarbera drained a three to put Holy Cross back up by two, before Ava Williams tied the contest with a layup. LaBarbera answered with another three; Chelsey Koren had a three of her own to tie the game again. The Crusaders and Raiders would trade baskets before Colgate ended the period on a 6-0 run to lead by four points, 58-54.
Holy Cross answered with a 6-0 run of their own to go back up by two; from there, the Crusaders either led the contest or the game was tied until Nia Ahart drained a three-pointer with 32 seconds remaining. Holy Cross could not score on the ensuing possession, and Summer King made her the first of two free throws with eight seconds remaining to put the Raiders up 70-67. Smith grabbed the rebound on the missed second shot, but LaBarbera could not convert on a last-second, game-tying 3-pointer.
The Raiders had three players in double figures, led by 17 points from Keelah Dixon. Rachel Thompson had 12 points, while King added 11 points off the bench.
Holy Cross returns to action on Sunday, January 6 with a road contest against Lafayette College. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- This is the second time this season that four players have scored double-digit points for the Crusaders. In the team’s season opener on November 11 against Rider, the quartet of Manis, LaBarbera, Pedi and Swords also reached double digits.
- Thursday’s loss marks just the second time in the past six seasons that Holy Cross has dropped its Patriot League opener.
- This was the smallest margin of defeat for the Crusaders this season; the next-closest loss came on November 18, an 89-85 loss to Brown.
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.