WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) notched a season-high five three-point shots made and a team-high 15 points, but could not carry the Holy Cross women's basketball team through the overtime period as the Crusaders dropped a 68-65 decision to Central Connecticut at the Hart Center. With the decision, the Crusaders move to 3-4 on the season, while the Blue Devils improve to an unblemished 5-0 overall record. Holy Cross was outscored, 10-7, in the extra minutes.
Holy Cross led by as much as five points in the first half, earning its largest lead at 12:59 as senior Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) hit her second field goal of the game. The Crusaders maintained the lead until 8:04 as a back-to-back three point shot and lay-up gave the 21-20 advantage to Central Connecticut. Smith returned the lead to Holy Cross at 6:29 on her first three-point shot of the game, bringing the score to 25-21. The Blue Devils would tie the score twice over the remainder of the half, but a jumper with 53 seconds to go by senior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) gave Holy Cross a go-ahead 31-28 lead heading into the halftime.
Central Connecticut went on a 6-0 run to start the second half to take a 34-31 lead with 17:48 on the clock. Freshman Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) hit two free throws at 14:25 to regain a Holy Cross 38-37 advantage. Three lead changes and four ties followed before another three-point shot from Smith put the Crusaders back up 53-48 with 7:01 left in the regulation. Holy Cross maintained its two-possession lead until 4:04 as the Blue Devils staged a 6-1 run at the end of the second half to send the game into overtime, 58-58. Holy Cross shot 31.5 (17-for-54) over the first two halves while Central Connecticut shot 41.3 (12-for-32).
Smith opened the overtime period with her fifth three-pointer, but two consecutive jumpers and two free throws made by the Blue Devils brought the score to 64-61 with 3:17 left in the period. Freshman Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) collected a three-point play with 2:40 to go to give her squad a 65-64 advantage, but the Crusaders could not hold on, as a lay-up with 49 ticks left gave Central Connecticut the final lead. Two made Central Connecticut free throws then tabbed the final score at 68-65.
Holy Cross had three players finish in double-digits as sophomore Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) and Ganser added 13 and 10 points respectively on to Smith's team-high of 15 points. Ganser's 10-points were a season-high. Lepley also topped the team with seven rebounds. In the game, the Crusaders shot 30.6 percent (23-for-57) while the Blue Devils shot 42.0 percent (29-for-69). The Crusaders took the rebounding edge, 45-41. The Blue Devils were led by Kerianne Dugan with 19 points on 9-for-18 shooting.
Holy Cross welcomes Maine to the Hart Center next, on Saturday, Dec. 4. The Black Bears visit Worcester, Mass. for a 1:00 p.m. game.