WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) notched her third career double-double with 18 points and a career-high 11 rebounds but could not lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a comeback victory as the squad fell to Yale, 74-71, in the 2010-2011 season opener for both teams at the Hart Center. Lepley led the team in both points and rebounds while also tying her career-high with nine field goals made. With the loss, the Crusaders begin the year at 0-1, while Yale opens up at 1-0.
Holy Cross went up 4-0 early behind two quick field goals by freshman guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) and senior forward Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) to start the first half. The lead did not last long, however, as Yale went on an 11-0 run to bring the score to 11-4 at 13:27. It was the Bulldogs who maintained the lead throughout the rest of the half, going up by their largest tally of 11 points, 40-29, with 53 seconds left to go in the stanza. Malone closed the half out with a layup to bring the score to 40-31 as both teams headed into the locker rooms. Yale collected eight three-point shots in the half, tallying a 16-for-35 shooting performance overall through the first 20 minutes. Holy Cross went 13-for-28 behind 10 points from Lepley and Malone. Turnovers were a problem for Holy Cross in the first half as well as Yale turned 16 first half Crusader turnovers into 13 points.
Malone and Lepley continued their hot shooting, tallying two points each to bring the score to 40-35 with just under two minutes gone in the second half. The Crusaders continued to outscore the Bulldogs over the next four minutes as freshman Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) tied the score at 43-43 at 14:01. Holy Cross and Yale remained in a one possession battle until freshman Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) gave the Crusaders a one-point lead, 63-62, with 4:45 left on the clock. Yale would not back down, however, as the lead changed four times over the course of the next two minutes. Lepley tied the game at 69-69 with 2:08 up on the game clock, but the Bulldogs came back to score five more unanswered points to close out the game with a 74-71 victory.
Four Holy Cross players collected double-digit performances behind Lepley's 18 points. Fremeau and Hamner put up 13 points a piece while Malone finished with 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting. Yale was led by sophomore guard Megan Vasquez who led the Bulldogs with 17 points. In the game, Holy Cross shot 50 percent (18-for-34) while Yale shot 46.8 percent (29-for-62). The Crusaders also took the rebounding edge, 40-28, but made 26 turnovers in the contest.
Holy Cross returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 14, when it plays against the reigning National Champions and No. 1 ranked Connecticut. The Crusaders travel to Storrs, Conn. to play the Huskies in their home opener starting at 2:00 p.m. at the Gampel Pavilion.