Women's Basketball Falls Short At Army
WEST POINT, New York – Despite a late push, the Holy Cross women’s basketball team fell to Army West Point, 60-53, on Wednesday, February 20.
Freshman Oluchi Ezemma had her first career double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds -- her first time in double-figure rebounds -- along with a block and two steals. Junior Megan Swords had 10 points and four rebounds, while junior Madalyn Smith added in eight points and five assists.
Holy Cross snaps a four-game winning streak and moves to 15-10 overall and 7-7 in the Patriot League. The Black Knights have now won three straight games and are 11-14 overall and 6-8 in conference play.
Though Swords had the first basket of the game, Army got out to an 11-4 lead to begin the contest, prompting a Holy Cross timeout just three-and-a-half minutes in. Junior Lauren Manis had a three right out of the timeout, but the Black Knights’ lead grew to 10; Holy Cross was able to push within five points by the end of the quarter, 21-16, after junior Nicole Morris hit a pair of late free throws.
Army went on an 8-0 run to begin the second quarter, but Smith hit a three to stop the scoring drought. However, Army’s lead grew to 33-19 with 6:15 remaining, and the Black Knights outscored the Crusaders 16-7 overall in the quarter to hold a 37-23 lead at the half. The Black Knights continued to roll, outscoring HC 12-3 to begin the third and building their lead as high as 23 points, 49-26, with 4:13 left in the third.
But from there, the Crusaders went on a 9-0 run to close out the third quarter and cut back within 14 points, 49-35, after a layup from Ezemma with 1:37 to go in the third. Holy Cross kept pushing to begin the fourth, and freshman Madison Demski drained a three in the corner to cut the Army lead to single digits, 54-45, with 6:18 to go. Swords hit a basket to cut the lead to seven, and though Army’s Madison Hovren had one on the other end, Swords again secured a layup to pull the Crusaders back within seven with 4:10 left.
A jumper from freshman Avery LaBarbera brought the Crusaders within five points, 56-51, with 3:28 left. Though the Black Knights continued to miss shots, they made two free throws to go back up seven points; Smith hit a layup with 17 seconds left to cut back within five, but that would be as close as the Crusaders could get for the remainder of the game, as Army hit two final free throws to seal the contest.
Hovren led the way for Army with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Kate Murray had 12 points, three assists and three blocks, while Alisa Fallon added in seven points, nine rebounds and two assists.
The Crusaders return home for Senior Day on Saturday, February 23 with a crucial Patriot League matchup against Bucknell. Tipoff is set for 1:05 p.m.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Ezemma becomes the fourth Crusader this year to record a double-double, joining Manis, Swords and LaBarbera. Ezemma is the second Holy Cross player this year to record at least 15 rebounds in a single game.
- Senior center Miranda Nixon made her first appearance since Holy Cross’ last contest against Army on January 23, playing five minutes in Wednesday’s contest.
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.