Women's Basketball Faces Top-Seeded Bucknell in Patriot League Semis
The Holy Cross women’s basketball team continues its postseason journey with its first appearance in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals in five seasons, as the fifth-seeded Crusaders travel to take on top-seeded Bucknell on Thursday, March 14. Tipoff in Lewisburg, Pa., is set for 6 p.m.
Things to Know About the Crusaders (18-12):
- After trailing by 12 points early in the third quarter, Holy Cross rallied back and sophomore Jenay Faulkner hit the game-winning shot with two seconds remaining to down No. 4 Boston University, 72-70, in the Patriot League quarterfinals on Monday, March 11.
- Freshman Oluchi Ezemma had a career-high in points, notching 17 points and 13 rebounds for her second collegiate double-double. Junior Lauren Manis had a team-high 20 points along with seven rebounds, and Faulkner and freshman Avery LaBarbera had 11 points each.
- Manis has scored 20 or more points in her last three contests; she has posted 20 or more points in 12 games this year.
- Junior Madalyn Smith has recorded five or more assists in each of the past three games, including a six-assist showing at BU on Monday.
- Holy Cross is 7-3 in its last 10 games.
Things to Know About the Bison (26-5):
- Bucknell cruised to an 88-63 quarterfinal victory over eighth-seeded Loyola (Md.) on Monday.
- With the victory over Loyola, the Bison senior class of Rachel Dumiak, Kyi English, Maegan Mikkelson, Kaitlyn Slagus and Kate Walker have posted 100 career wins, setting a new Patriot League record for victories by a single class.
- Four were in double figures for the Bison in their quarterfinal win: Ellie Mack (17 points), English (14 points), Walker (12 points) and Abby Kapp (11 points).
- Bucknell owns the best offense in the Patriot League, with an average of 73 points per game. On average, the Bison outscore their opponents by 14.6 points; they shoot 74.3 percent from the free-throw line, 46 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from 3-point range. Bucknell ranks sixth in Division I in 3-point percentage, led by Kapp, who ranks 15th nationally with a 42 percent success rate beyond the arc.
- The Bison won the regular-season title in 2018-19, finishing with a Patriot League record of 16-2.
Last Time They Met:
- Holy Cross stunned the top-ranked Bison at the Hart Center on February 23, with Smith hitting a buzzer-beating three with 0.7 seconds on the clock to earn a 72-70 win.
- LaBarbera led the Crusaders with 16 points in that game, while Manis had 12 points and nine rebounds. Junior Megan Swords was in double figures with 11 points.
- Smith’s game-winning shot reached No. 8 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays and was the NCAA Women’s Basketball Top Play of the Week.
- The Crusaders fell in a tight matchup in Lewisburg on January 26, 75-71.
- Holy Cross last competed in the Patriot League semifinals during the 2013-14 season, beating Navy 75-56 to advance to the Patriot League Championship game.
- The Bison ended Holy Cross’ season a year ago in the quarterfinal round, with a 67-53 result in Lewisburg.
- Bucknell fell in the semifinal round of the Patriot League Tournament to Navy a season ago. The Bison previously won the Patriot League title in 2017.
- Manis has averaged 15 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game in four career postseason games.
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.