WORCESTER, Mass. - The Holy Cross women's basketball team came back to tie the score twice during in second half but was unable to take full control, falling to American 64-51 at the Hart Center. With the loss, the Crusaders drop their second-straight and post a 5-15 record (1-4 Patriot League) while American continues its winning streak, picking up a 12-7 overall record (5-0 Patriot League). Senior Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) led the team with 16 points, making six of 10 field goal attempts.
McFadden got the Crusaders going early, knocking down the first field goal of the game, a three-point shot to put the team ahead, 3-0. Three lead changes and three tie scores followed over the next six minutes of play, as a jump shot by McFadden knotted the score at 11-11 at 13:18. American went ahead by five points before sophomore Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) marked her fourth and fifth points with a jump shot, stopping the short-lived run to get her team back within one possession (16-13). The Eagles would continue to pull ahead, however, as they went up by nine points, 25-16, at 7:45. Two quick field goals from senior Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and junior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) got the team back within five points, 25-20, with a little over six minutes to play but proved to be not enough as American finished out the half on a 10-6 run. Carper knocked down a jump shot with two seconds left to finish out the first stanza, bringing the score to 35-26 as both teams headed to their locker rooms. Holy Cross made nine of its 28 field goal attempts in the half (.321) while American tallied 12 of its 35 shot attempts (.343).
The Crusaders started the second half strong, outscoring the Eagles 9-3 behind seven points from McFadden to get back within three points, 38-35 at 13:37. Holy Cross continued to mount a come back as Ward hit her second three-point shot of the game to tie the score at 40-40 with 11:00 on the clock. American would take the lead again before Carper hit her third three-point shot of the season to tie the score for the second time, 46-46, at 8:45. American collected an 8-0 run to follow, going back ahead by two possessions, 54-46, two minutes later. The run ultimately doomed the Crusaders as American went on to earn an 11-point lead, 61-50, with less than two minutes left on the game clock. Holy Cross was only able to muster an additional six points in the final six minutes of the game as American combined for nine more points to earn their sixth straight victory, 64-51, over the Crusaders.
McFadden, who tallied 10 of her 16 total points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, led the team in scoring. Ward tallied her second-consecutive double-digit scoring contest with 11 points, second most on the team. She also led the team defensively, bringing down a career-best seven rebounds. Carper finished the game tying her season-high with nine total points. American was led by junior Michelle Kirk's 21 points and eight rebounds. The Crusaders finished the game shooting 33 percent from the field while American shot 38 percent.
Holy Cross continues its two-game home stand with a match-up against Colgate on Wednesday, Jan. 27. The game will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. and serves as the 43rd meeting between the teams all-time.