WASHINGTON, D.C. - Four Crusaders players notched double-digit scoring performances but could not boost the Holy Cross women's basketball to a win as American held on to take a 70-61 win at Bender Arena. After the loss, the Crusaders register an 8-19 overall record (4-8 Patriot League) while the Eagles move to an 18-8 overall record (11-1 Patriot League). Freshman Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) led the double-digit performances for Holy Cross, notching a season-high 15 points on six-for-10 shooting.
American jumped ahead early, taking a 10-4 lead, including two three-point shots made, to begin the first half. After a three minute scoring drought by both teams, Lepley marked a jump shot, bringing the score to 10-6 at 13:08. Lepley then hit another lay up to get the Crusaders within one-possession of the Eagles, 10-8, one minute later. Holy Cross would then get within one-point of American, 15-14, after back-to-back jump shots made by senior Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) at 7:58. Sophomore Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) followed with her first points of the game, giving Holy Cross its first lead, 16-15 at 6:41. Lepley then made a three-point shot as Holy Cross went up 19-17, but an easy lay up by the Eagles knotted the score at 19-19 with a little under five minutes to go in the first stanza. A shot made off the glass with 10 seconds to go in the half by American broke a three-minute tie score, as the Crusaders went into the locker room down 23-21. Each team hit 35.7 percent of its field goal attempts and Lepley led all Holy Cross performers with nine points to round out the first half.
Holy Cross would start the second half strong as it earned four of eight points from Lepley; going ahead 29-27. A 5-0 run by the Eagles followed as they retook a 32-29 lead at 16:08. American continued to pull away, outscoring Holy Cross 14-7 over the next four minutes of play, earning a 10-point lead, 46-36, at 11:57. The Crusaders remained in the game over the next stretch, pulling back within four points, 52-48, at 8:10 behind seven points from Carper. The teams continued to trade baskets before a crucial three-point shot made by senior Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) got Holy Cross within one-point of American, 58-57, at the 3:20 mark. The Crusaders would not be able to get any closer, however, as the Eagles put together a 7-0 run in the final two minutes of play, completing the game with a 70-61 final tally.
Following Lepley's team-high of 15 points was McFadden who marked 12 points and six boards, leading the team in rebounds for the second-consecutive game. Carper and O'Dell rounded out the double-digit scoring performances, marking 11 points each. American was led by junior Michelle Kirk and sophomore Lisa Strack, who tallied 17 points a piece.
Holy Cross will finish its road slate with a Wednesday night game at Colgate on Feb. 24. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. at Cotterell Court in Hamilton, N.Y.