ORONO, Maine - After a one and a half hour delay due to the lights going out, the Holy Cross women's basketball team couldn't hold on to a five-point second-half lead, falling to Penn Sate 52-48 in the Dead River Classic championship game at the Alfond Sports Arena Saturday. The Crusaders finish the month of November with a 3-4 record while Penn State moves to 5-1 on the season. Senior guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) tallied a season-high and team-high 19 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
The Crusaders held a four-point advantage, 6-2, for over four minutes in the first half before Penn State was able to tie the game for the first time, 6-6, at 12:18. The Lady Lions then jumped ahead, 14-10, for their largest lead of the half at 6:13. O'Dell hit her second three-point shot of the game at 4:41 to reclaim the lead for Holy Cross, who held on for a 24-23 advantage heading into the halftime. As a team, Holy Cross shot 32 percent from the field (8-of-25) while Penn State shot 37 percent (10-of-27).
Penn State tied the game at 25 with a little over two minutes played in the second half. A 7-0 run gave the Crusaders a five-point advantage with 12 minutes to go, capitalized by a jump shot by junior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.). The Lady Lions climbed within one point two minutes later and then retook a 38-37 advantage at 8:06 after a crucial three-point shot was made. The teams continued to battle back and forth until the Lady Lions made a late six-point run to close out the game, earning the 52-48 victory for the Dead River Classic championship title. Penn State outscored Holy Cross 29-24 in the second half and finished the game with a 40.4 percent field goal outing. The Crusaders went 15-of-49 in the game and turned the ball over a season-low 14 times.
Holy Cross had two players finish in double-digits, with O'Dell leading the way with 19 points and a team-high four assists. Fremeau tallied her fourth double-digit scoring performance of the season, nabbing 14 points and tying for a team-high five rebounds. Freshman Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) brought down a career-high five rebounds to tie the team-high as well. The Lady Lions were led by senior Tyra Grant, who was held to a season-low 13 points.
Holy Cross finishes its eight away-game tour with a visit to Cambridge, Mass., to take on the Harvard Crimson on Wednesday, Dec. 3. Tip off is set for 6:00 p.m. at the Lavietes Pavilion.