WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) did it again, sinking five three-point shots and finishing with a team and season-high 21 points to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a 79-69 victory over Maine at the Hart Center. With the final result, the Crusaders even their record at 4-4 on the season, while the Black Bears move to 1-6 overall. Smith also sank all six of her free throws to boost the team to the win.
Maine took a four-point edge early into the front half, going up 10-6 at 16:07. Holy Cross came back to take a two-point lead, 12-10, at the 14:28 mark as Smith knocked down a three-point shot. Five ties and two lead changes followed before the Crusaders held a one possession-lead from the 9:51 mark until 5:39. A three point shot from senior Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) gave the team a two-possession edge next, bringing the score to 30-26. The teams traded baskets over the next four minutes before the Black Bears came back to score five unanswered points, taking a 39-37 lead with 28 seconds to go in the first half. With one second left, senior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) hit a jumper to knot the score at 39-39 heading into the halftime. In the half, Holy Cross shot 46.9 percent (15-for-32) while Maine sank over half of its shots, making 14 of 26 field goal attempts.
Holy Cross out-scored Maine 13-9 over the first five minutes of the second half, taking a 52-47 edge at 15:22. The Black Bears remained strong, knotting the score at 57-57 with just over 10 minutes to go in the game. A jumper by freshman Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) at 9:22 sparked a 12-2 Crusaders run, as the squad went up by 10 points, 69-59, with 4:16 ticks on the clock. Maine would not be able to come any closer, as two free throws by Smith gave Holy Cross its largest lead of the game, 75-63, at 1:23. The squad would round out the final minute of the game making four of six of its free throw attempts, finishing the game up by the final tally of 79-69.
Holy Cross had three players finish in double-digits as Fremeau and sophomore Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) also added 13 and 10 points respectively. Five players finished with a team-high five rebounds, including a career-high in rebounds from Kaitlin Cole (Springfield, Pa.). In the game, the Crusaders shot 48.3 percent (29-for-60) while the Black Bears shot 50.9 percent (28-for-55). Maine took the rebounding edge, 33-32. Maine was also led by sophomore guard Katelyn Vanderhoff with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Holy Cross wraps up its five-game home stand with a contest against in-state rival Boston College on Wednesday, Dec. 8. Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass.