WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The Holy Cross women's basketball team could not fend off sharp shooting La Salle, dropping a 65-51 decision in first round action at the Hawk Holiday Classic held at the Multipurpose Athletic Center. The Crusaders now hold a 3-9 record and will play in the consolation game against Howard while La Salle goes to 4-8 overall, playing tournament host Monmouth for the classic championship. Senior Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) led the squad with 13 points on 4-for-16 shooting and also marked a team-high eight rebounds.
La Salle senior Antonia Gale went three-for-three from the field to lead her team to an early 10-5 advantage against the Crusaders. Junior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) was able to knot the score at 10-10 with her first field goal of the game at 14:16. The Explorers continued to stay ahead by two possessions through to the midway point of the first half and earned its largest lead of 13 points with a little over one minute to go, 34-21. The Crusaders found themselves down by a score of 34-23 heading into the locker room. McFadden led Holy Cross with eight points as the team combined for a 31 percent field goal performance. La Salle shot 52 percent from the field.
After freshman Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) notched her second basket of the game, La Salle went on a 12-0 run to pull ahead 46-25 at 15:54. Each team added five points to their tally to bring the score to 50-30 at the halfway mark of the second stanza. Lepley then hit her second three-point shot to spark an 8-0 run for the Crusaders, bringing the score to 52-40 at 7:58. The Explorers did not let go of their lead, however, outscoring Holy Cross 13-11 the rest of the way to earn a 65-51 victory.
McFadden led Holy Cross with 13 points while Lepley notched her second-consecutive double-digit performance with 10 points. Sophomore Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) notched a career-high nine points. Holy Cross shot 48 percent from field goal range in the second half to total a 39 percent field goal performance in the game. The Explorers were led by senior Jamie Walsh who scored 15 points to help lead her team in a 60 percent overall field goal effort, including 75 percent in the second half.
Holy Cross will play in the consolation game of the Hawk Holiday Classic against Howard tomorrow, Dec. 30. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Multipurpose Athletic Center.