Mark Seliger Photography
Mark Seliger Photography

Women's Basketball Cruises Past Loyola

Holy Cross Athletics   01-12-2019
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Loyola (Md.) 14 14 8 24 60
Holy Cross 29 16 22 11 78

WORCESTER, Mass. - A balanced effort guided the Holy Cross women’s basketball team to its first Patriot League victory of 2018-19, a 78-60 final, against Loyola (Md.) on Saturday, January 12.

Junior Lauren Manis posted a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds to go with four assists and three blocks. Junior Megan Swords had 14 points, making her first seven field goal attempts, along with four rebounds. Freshman Avery LaBarbera chipped in 10 points along with six rebounds, three steals and three assists, while fellow rookie Oluchi Ezemma had a career-best 10 points along with five rebounds.

Holy Cross never trailed in the contest, and also had a season-high 21 assists on 33 made field goals, paced by junior Madalyn Smith’s seven in the game. From the field, the Crusaders also shot a season-best 61.6 percent.

The Crusaders improve to 9-6 on the year and 1-3 in conference play. The Greyhounds are now 1-14 on the year and 0-4 in the Patriot League.

Smith set the tone early for Holy Cross, hitting a three right out of the gate; the game was tied at 5-5 a minute-and-a-half in before Holy Cross went on a 15-4 run, leading 20-9 with 3:47 to go. Loyola cut the lead to six, but the Crusaders rattled off nine straight points to close out the quarter – including a buzzer-beater from Smith, who heaved the ball from midcourt and drained a 3-point basket as time expired to give Holy Cross a 29-14 lead after one.

Manis had a jumper to open the scoring in the second quarter and push the Crusaders’ lead to 17, but Loyola continued to press, cutting within nine points with 4:06 to go. Over the remainder of the frame, though, Holy Cross went on a 10-2 run, capped by a pair of layups from Ezemma.

The third quarter was all Holy Cross, as the Crusaders outscored the Greyhounds 22-8 in the frame. The lead grew as high as 31 points by the end of the quarter, when Manis hit a jumper with three seconds remaining. Though Loyola went on a 12-2 run to close out the fourth quarter, it was not enough as Holy Cross won by an 18-point margin.

Three players were in double figures for the Greyhounds: Isabella Therien (16 points, nine rebounds), Alexis Gray (15 points) and Bri Betz-White (11 points, six steals).

Holy Cross returns to action on the road at Navy on Wednesday, January 16. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.


  • The Crusaders improve to 6-2 at the Hart Center this year.
  • This is the fourth time this season that Holy Cross has had four players reach double-figures in a contest.
  • Ezemma is the third rookie to score in double digits for the Crusaders this year, joining LaBarbera and Madison Demski.

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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