Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (6-13, 2-2 PL) vs. American (13-5, 3-1 PL)
Date: January 22, 2010
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: Bender Arena (3,044), Washington, D.C.
Holy Cross Radio: Stretch Internet Radio, www.goholycross.com; Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play
Patriot League All-Access: www.patriotleague.org/allaccess/
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 14-7
Last Meeting: American 70, Holy Cross 61 (February 20, 2010, Washington, D.C.)
SERIES HISTORY AGAINST AMERICAN: Saturday's match-up will be the 22nd meeting between Holy Cross and American. The Eagles became the most recent member of the Patriot League during the 2001-2002 season and have been an annual competitor for Holy Cross since Jan. 26, 2002. The teams first met on Dec. 3, 2000 in the St. Joseph's Classic championship game. The Crusaders topped the Eagles, 67-62, to earn the championship title. Holy Cross then went on to win the following five meetings with its Patriot League opponent, scoring at least 60 points in every triumph. The Eagles broke the six-game slide on Feb. 20, 2004 at Bender Arena by a score of 81-65. The Crusaders then put together another five-game win streak, including a 57-49 victory over the Eagles in the 2006 Patriot League Tournament. Head coach Bill Gibbons is responsible for the 14-7 record while current American head coach, Matt Corkery, stands at 3-1 after earning his third win against the Crusaders, 70-61, on Feb. 20, 2010. American leads the series 5-4 when playing on its home court, as it has won the last four contests at Bender Arena.
HOLY CROSS AGAINST CONFERENCE FOES: The 2010-2011 season marks the 22nd year of Patriot League competition for the Crusaders. After Wednesday's loss to Navy, Holy Cross stands at 2-2 in league play, sitting in fourth place. The last time Holy Cross started 2-2 in league competition was the 1993-1994 season, when they topped Fordham, lost to Army, beat Lehigh and then fell to Colgate. The 1993-1994 squad finished 10-4 in the league, good for a second place finish. Over the last 21 seasons, the team has competed in a total of 292 league match-ups, winning 229 and dropping 63 games total for a .784 winning percentage. The team was seeded fifth in the tournament last season, a program low, but proved that it could not be counted out, topping Army, 57-53 in the quarterfinal round before falling to the 2010 champion, Lehigh, in the semifinals. The squad also recorded its first losing season in Patriot League play in 2009-2010, going 5-9. Holy Cross boasts two unblemished Patriot League seasons, going 12-0 in the inaugural season, 1990-1991, and doing it again in 1996-1997. Head coach Bill Gibbons has been along for the entire ride and is responsible for the 229-63 league record. In all, Holy Cross has made 20 appearances in the Patriot League Tournament, boasting 11 championships and a 38-9 all-time record. The Crusaders are most successful against Colgate as they have mounted a 41-3 all-time record against the Raiders. The team also boasts a 44-8 record against Lafayette. Army and American have given Holy Cross the most trouble, as the two have combined for 24 of the 63 wins against the Crusaders. Lehigh has put up 11 wins against Holy Cross as well.
PLAYING THE EAGLES: The nickname Eagles is the most frequently used name of four-year college mascots, with a total of 76 institutions holding the title. Holy Cross has already played one other team with the Eagles mascot this season, Boston College. Out of the other 74 colleges, the Crusaders have played against four schools with the Eagles mascot. Boston College and American have been annual competitors for Holy Cross while two other Eagles opponents, Coppin State and Eastern Michigan, have been on the Holy Cross schedule. The Crusaders traveled to play the Eagles of Eastern Michigan in the first game of head coach Bill Gibbons' career on Nov. 23, 1985, winning 90-58, and then played against the Coppin State Eagles on Dec. 29, 1991 at the St. John's Classic. In all, Holy Cross has collected a 24-32 all-time record against Eagles opponents.
CRUSADERS PLAY IN 1,000TH GAME: Saturday's game against American serves as the programs 1,000th game played, dating back to the 1974-1975 season when Holy Cross was established as a Division III institution. Here are some milestones of Holy Cross through the years:
Game 100: Head coach Togo Palazzi's team falls to Stonehill, 62-39, in 1980 as a Division II program.
Game 200: Feb. 26, 1984; Palazzi leads the Crusaders to a first round victory over Fairfield, 70-68, in the MAAC Tournament.
Game 300: Jan. 13, 1988; Head coach Bill Gibbons, in his third season as head coach, picks up a 92-69 win over Iona on the road.
Game 400: Feb. 16, 1991; The Crusaders take a 63-57 win on the road against Army in the program's first season of Patriot League competition.
Game 500: Dec. 9, 1994; Holy Cross boasts a 67-59 victory over Central Connecticut on the Blue Devils' home court, serving as the Crusaders' fifth win all-time over the Central Connecticut program.
Game 600: Jan. 10, 1998; The Crusaders double up Patriot League foe Army, topping the Black Knights 79-56 at the Hart Center.
Game 700: Feb. 24, 2001: Holy Cross is handed an 87-71 loss to Army in the final game of the 2000-2001 regular season.
Game 800: Dec. 1, 2004; The Crusaders fall, 69-61, against in-state rival Boston College at the Hart Center.
Game 900: Dec. 29, 2007; Holy Cross tops North Carolina-Asheville, 79-60, in the consolation game of the State Farm Classic held in Gainesville, Fla.
ROADWOES: Holy Cross returns to its traveling schedule starting Jan. 22 and continuing through Jan. 29, traveling to American (Jan. 22) and Colgate (Jan. 26). Road trips have not been too kind to the Crusaders, as they are 2-6 when playing on the road this season. Overall, the team is averaging 54.5 points per road game. Home teams average 66.6 points and are knocking down 40.9 percent of their baskets, while the Crusaders shoot 33.3 percent as the visitors. On a neutral floor, as in the Cavalier Classic, Holy Cross posted 65.0 points per game and allowed an average of 82.5 points to be scored. The Crusaders are also out-rebounded by an average of 9.9 rebounds when playing on the road.
HOME IS WHERE THE HART IS: Holy Cross, who has played in nine home match-ups so far, returned to the Hart Center on Jan. 13 against Army for three games after spending seven contests on the road from Dec. 8 through Jan. 13. The Crusaders are now 4-5 when playing on their home hardwood this season, winning against New Hampshire, Harvard, Maine and Bucknell, and falling to Yale, Central Connecticut, Boston College, Army and Navy the last time out. The Crusaders currently have a .775 home victory percentage since becoming a Division I program as the 2010-2011 season marks the 36th season of women's basketball competition at the Hart Center. The program holds an all-time 332-110 advantage at home and has posted 29 winning records at home and just five losing seasons, including last year's 4-9 record. Combined, the Crusaders have won 155 of 195 meetings against this year's home opponents, including a 124-23 record against Patriot League foes (1-2 this season).
ALL-AROUND AMY: Sophomore starting forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) is continuing to show off her full strength and versatility on all sides of the basketball court this season. Through the 19 games played, Lepley is averaging 9.5 points, a team-best 5.4 rebounds per game and has the best shooting percentage, 41.2 percent (73-for-177), amongst starters. She has already recorded two double-doubles this season, an 18-point, 11-rebound outing against Yale and a 13-point, 12-rebound effort in the team's first win against Quinnipiac. Her 12 rebounds against Quinnipiac were a career-high while her 17 field goal attempts against Yale were also a career-best. She tied her career-high with nine made field goals against the Bulldogs as well. Lepley has recorded nine double-digit scoring outings this season; 13 points against Central Connecticut, 10 points against Maine, 10 points against Boston College, 12 points against Bryant, 13 points against East Tennessee State, 14 points against North Carolina A&T and 10 points versus Navy. She has led or tied the team-high in rebounding in nine out of the 19 games, including six rebounds against Navy the last time out. She has led the team in points twice (against Yale and North Carolina A&T), in steals four times and in assists three times. Amongst Patriot League leaders, Lepley ranks ninth in assists (2.5), eighth in steals (1.5), 11th in rebounding and 15th in scoring. She has also played in an average of 27.0 minutes per game after playing 29 minutes in the last game against Navy. Lepley was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie team last season after playing a full season of basketball for the first time since her junior year in high school, averaging 23.7 minutes, 6.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Lepley also claimed six Patriot League Rookie of the Week awards. The Massachusetts native also finished the season with a 44.2 field goal percentage, a team-high, and led the team in rebounding in four contests, including a season-high 10 rebounds twice.
SMOOTH SMITH: Freshman Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) has completely emerged into her role as a starting guard for the Crusaders. On the season, Smith ranks second on the team with 11.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 36.2 percent from the floor (72 of 199). Fifty-six of her field goals made have come as three-point shots, which now rank eighth in the Holy Cross single season records list for three-pointers made in a season. One hundred-fifty four of her field goal attempts have come as three-point shots as well, as she is sinking 36.4 percent of her three-point tries. Against Navy the last time out, Smith scored nine points, making three of her seven three-point shot attempts. Smith reached new heights in the game against Northeastern, as she poured in a season-best 22 points, the most points a Holy Cross player has put up this season. She also marked season-bests with eight field goals made, including six treys, which ranks third amongst the program's single-game records. Smith has either led or tied for the team lead in points in six out of the 19 games played and has also posted double-figures in seven of the last 10 games. She has notched 12 double-digit scoring affairs in all (12 vs. UConn, 16 vs. New Hampshire, 14 vs. Harvard, 15 vs. Central Connecticut, 21 vs. Maine, 14 vs. Bryant, 22 vs. Northeastern, 16 vs. East Tennessee State, 10 vs. North Carolina A&T, 10 at Dartmouth, 17 at Lafayette, 11 vs. Bucknell). According to the Jan. 16 NCAA rankings, Smith sits at 17th in the nation in three-pointers made per game (2.9). She is first amongst league leaders in that category as well. She is ninth in three-point field goal percentage and 13th in scoring average amidst league leaders. She also has two Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors under her belt (11/29 and 12/6), was named AT&T Crusader of the Week on Dec. 20 and named to the Cavalier Classic's All-Tournament Team. Smith showed off her versatility against Dartmouth as she led the team in rebounding for the first time this season, bringing down a season-high eight rebounds, while also collecting six steals, another season-high. She is now the team-leader in assists, collecting 59 in all. In the league, she ranks within the top-10 in assists (third), steals (fifth) and minutes played (sixth). In those categories, Smith is averaging 3.1 assists, 1.7 steals and 31.9 minutes.
FREMEAU BREAKS LOOSE: Senior forward Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) continues to be one of the team's biggest offensive threats and defensive presences so far this season. Currently, Fremeau leads the team with a 12.8 points per game average, adds 4.3 rebounds per game and is making and taking the team's largest number of shots (101-for-257 from the floor). She poured in a career-high 20 points in the team's win over Quinnipiac on Nov. 17, finishing the game making seven of her 17 field goal attempts, both season-highs. Fremeau has attempted a season-high of 17 field goal attempts in a total of three games (Quinnipiac, North Carolina A&T and Dartmouth) and has attempted at least 10 shots in 17 of the 19 games played. She tied her career-high with eight field goals made against Lafayette on Jan. 8, scoring 19 points to lead the team. She has posted a total of 15 double-digit scoring outings this season, including the last nine games. Her double-digit outings comprise of; 13 vs. Yale, 20 at Quinnipiac, 16 vs. New Hampshire, 15 vs. Harvard, 13 vs. Maine, 16 vs. Boston College, 19 vs. Northeastern, 10 vs. East Tennessee State, 10 vs. North Carolina A&T, 15 at Dartmouth, 13 at Massachusetts, 19 at Lafayette, 12 vs. Army, 15 vs. Bucknell and 12 vs. Navy. She has also led or tied the team in scoring eight times. She currently averages 14.5 points per game against Patriot League opponents. In all games, Fremeau ranks fifth amongst Patriot League individuals with her 12.8 scoring average. She also averages 30.4 minutes per game (eighth in the league) and is shooting 39.3 percent from the floor (12th in the league). Her 2.6 assists per game ranks eighth in the league as she has a total of 49 assists. She has also led or tied the team-high in rebounding in three of the last five games and posted a season-high seven rebounds against Army on Jan. 13. In her 105 career games played, Fremeau has recorded 910 points, 410 rebounds and 194 assists.
THE FROSH IMPACT: Through the 19 games played so far this season, the five-member freshman class is showing why head coach Bill Gibbons has so much faith in their immediate impact on the program. So far, the newcomers have scored 479 of the team's 1,138 total points, are bringing down 220 out of 658 rebounds and add 102 of the 292 assists and 76 of the 167 total steals. Together, the five are averaging 5.1 points, 2.3 rebounds per game and have made 158 of their 458 field goal attempts (34.5 percent). Freshman Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) led the team in scoring for the first time against Army, notching a season-high 15 points and followed with a team-high nine rebounds against Bucknell. In all, the freshman class has led the squad in scoring eight times and in rebounding seven times.
WILLFUL WARD: Junior Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.), who began the season as the team's sixth-man off the bench, moved in to the starting role at guard against New Hampshire on Nov. 23. After starting 11 games and coming off the bench in eight, Ward averages 6.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 32.1 percent from the floor (36-for-112) on the season, almost doubling her career average of 3.4 points and 1.5 rebounds. Against Navy, Ward brought down two rebounds and collected one assist. In her second consecutive start against Harvard, Ward broke out for a career-best 17-point outing, sinking seven of her 11 field goal attempts. Her seven field goals made were a career-high as she also posted six assists, a season-best. Ward now has five double-digit scoring outings in 18 games played (14 vs. Quinnipiac, 10 at Fordham, 11 vs. New Hampshire, 17 vs. Harvard and 12 vs. East Tennessee State). In the first day of action at the Cavalier Classic, Ward attempted a season and career-high with 12 field goal attempts against East Tennessee State, making four of them. She is extremely calm and collected at the free throw line this season, as she has made 44 free throws in 50 attempts (88.0 percent) including a perfect 12-for-12 performance at Quinnipiac. The 12 free throws attempted and made set a new single-game record for the program. Her free throw percentage is amidst the nation's best, as she ranks 21st amongst all NCAA leaders as of Jan. 16. She also ranks first amongst Patriot League leaders. In all, Ward has led the squad in scoring twice (Fordham, Harvard) and has led or tied the team in assists six times (Harvard, Central Connecticut, Boston College, Bryant, Northeastern and North Carolina A&T). She has a total of 45 assists this season, averaging 2.4 per game, which also ranks 11th amongst Patriot League leaders. In her 77 career games played, Ward has collected 317 points, 143 rebounds and 123 assists.
GOOD GRABS BY GANSER: Freshman Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) is emerging as a great force underneath the basket for the Crusaders this season as she currently averages 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 19 games off the bench. She also shoots 37.9 percent (25-for-66) from the floor and averages 15.5 minutes played per game. She recorded her best offensive outing of the season in the big win against Lafayette, tallying season-highs with 15 points on five of nine shooting. She also ranks third on the team with her 4.1 rebounding average. Ganser has a total of three double-digit outings thus far (10 vs. Central Connecticut, 12 vs. North Carolina A&T and 15 at Lafayette) and has at least one rebound in the last 10 games. She brought down a season-best eight rebounds three times against Fordham, New Hampshire and Harvard. The Needham, Mass. product is also one of the team's best free-throw shooters, sinking 47 of 63 free throw attempts (74.6 percent), ranking eighth amongst league individuals.
DEFENSE MAY'S WAY: Senior Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.), who is listed as a 6-0 forward/guard, leads the team with 10 blocks so far this season. She recorded a career-best four blocks against East Tennessee State on Dec. 28 and ranks 13th amongst Patriot League players with 0.5 blocks-per-game. Her 10 blocks are a career-high, besting her eight blocks from the 2009-2010 season as she has recorded a block in seven games this season. On the season, May is averaging 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds. She scored a career-high 12 points against Boston College on Dec. 8 and posted a season-best nine rebounds against Harvard on Nov. 28. She is quick with her hands too, as she averages 1.5 steals per game (11th amongst top league performers), collecting a total of 28 steals thus far. In her 72 career games played, May has recorded 412 points, 269 rebounds and 134 assists.
I'LL TAKE THAT: The Holy Cross squad averages 8.8 steals per game through 19 games this season. That average ranks first amongst Patriot League teams as they have totaled 167 steals in all. Alex Smith is the team's top thief, recording 32 total steals . She notched a single game-high with six steals against Dartmouth. The team as a whole topped out with 16 steals against New Hampshire on Nov. 23 and has made more steals against their opponents in seven games so far.
HELPING HANDS: Holy Cross also ranks first amongst Patriot League teams in the assists category. Through 19 games, Holy Cross averages 15.4 assists per game (292 total) as Alex Smith leads the way with 59 assists, leading the team in the category in five of the last six games. The team ranks second in assist/turnover ratio, averaging 15.7 assists to 19.2 turnovers (0.8 ratio). The team recorded a season-best 26 assists versus Maine on Dec. 4 and also had 24 assists against Harvard on Nov. 28. Amy Lepley and Whitney Fremeau have both recorded seven assists, a single game-high for the Crusaders. Lepley recorded seven assists against New Hampshire while Fremeau recorded her seven in the season-opener against Yale. In all, the Crusaders have recorded more assists than their opponents in 11 games.
TURNOVER TENACITY: Turning the ball over has not been a problem for the Crusaders this season, as they currently own a +0.6 turnover margin through 19 games. The margin is second-best in Patriot League ranks. Altogether, the team has turned the ball over just 359 times while opponents have turned the ball over 373 times. The team is 4-1 in games when they commit fewer turnovers then their opponents while they stand at 0-9 when they commit more turnovers. The team committed a season-low 14 turnovers in the win over Quinnipiac and most recently committed 14 turnovers next to Navy's 13 turnovers in the loss on Jan. 19.
HEAD COACH BILLGIBBONS: 26th SEASON: Bill Gibbons is in his 26th season at the helm of the Holy Cross women's basketball program and 30th as a member of the Holy Cross basketball family in 2010-2011. He has compiled a 482-259 record as head coach (.650 winning percentage), including a 6-13 record at the helm this season. He ranks 28th on the active Division I win leaders list as well. His quarter-century pledge to the team has made a major impact on all aspects of the women's basketball world and especially in the surrounding community. He has led the Crusaders to nine Patriot League Championships in the last 15 years. He has also made 12 postseason appearances (11 NCAA Tournaments and one WNIT) in his 25 years as head coach. With sixteen 20-win seasons under his belt, Gibbons has cemented himself and the women's basketball program as one of the best in the East. The sixth coach of the women's program at Holy Cross, Gibbons has enjoyed the longest tenure in the position. He has led the Holy Cross women's basketball program to more victories than any other coach, and is the winningest coach in Holy Cross Basketball history. With his 358th victory, he surpassed George Blaney (357 wins as head coach of the Holy Cross men's basketball program), who had hired him to be his assistant coach in 1981. Now with more than 450 wins, Gibbons is the second-winningest coach in Holy Cross Athletics history, behind legendary baseball coach Jack Barry, who totaled 616 wins from 1921-1960.
CRUSADERS PICKED FIFTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross was picked to finish fifth in the 2010-2011 Patriot League preseason poll, receiving 42 votes. American was chosen to finish first, receiving nine first-place votes as senior forward Michelle Kirk was also voted Preseason Player of the Year. The Eagles earned a league-high 93 points and was followed closely behind by reigning Patriot League Champion, Lehigh, who received seven first place votes and 91 points. Navy was picked third with 70 points, while Army (59 points) and Holy Cross (42) were selected fourth and fifth respectively. Colgate and Lafayette tied for sixth place with 40 votes and Bucknell wrapped up the standings in eighth place with 31 points.
FREMEAU, MAYANDWARD NAMED 2010-2011 TEAMCAPTAINS: Whitney Fremeau, Alyssa May and Meredith Ward were named captains for the 2010-2011 season. Fremeau topped the team in rebounding last year, ranking 10th in the league as well with an average of 5.4 rebounds per game. She is also a threat not only on defense but on offense as well as she also posted a 12.3 scoring average, ranking seventh amongst league individuals and third on the team last season. She was named to the second team All-Patriot League for her efforts. May is the veteran starting in the backcourt, as she returns as the team's best defensive player. As a junior, she averaged 22.1 minutes, 3.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Her 4.1 rebound average was second highest on the team. Ward is also listed among the veterans in the backcourt. Ward saw action in all 31 games last season, averaging 26.8 minutes, 5.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. She ranked second on the team and ninth in the Patriot League with 72 assists, averaging 2.3 assists per game. Combined, the three scored 661 out of the 899 points posted by the team's returning letterwinners. They also pulled down 348 out of the 502 rebounds collected by this year's returners. Through the 19 games of action, the captains have put up 441 points, 205 rebounds and 130 assists.
WELCOME TO WORCESTER: There are two new faces handling front office duties for the 2010-2011 Crusader basketball squad, assistant coaches Chante Bonds and Kristin Drabyn. Bonds spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Fairleigh Dickinson University women's basketball team. She was a four-year letter winner on the Bentley women's basketball team, graduating in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in Informational Design and Corporate Communication. Drabyn spent the previous two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for the women's basketball team at Texas Tech. Drabyn was also a four-year member of the University of Maryland Baltimore County women's basketball team. She graduated as the school's all-time record holder in free throw percentage (90%) and in made three pointers (169). She co-captained the squad as a senior and was an All-Conference selection in 2008. A 2008 graduate of UMBC with a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Communications and Exercise Physiology, Drabyn earned her Master's degree in Sports Management from Texas Tech in 2010.
RETURNING TO GLORY: The 2010-2011 season is the first instance under Gibbons' tutelage that a player on the roster has not participated in the NCAA Tournament. The last time a Holy Cross team made the NCAA Tournament was the 2006-2007 season. Holy Cross has played in the Big Dance 12 times, posting a 1-12 all-time record. It received a team-best seventh seeding in 1985 and played as the 16th seed in its last appearance, 2007. The Crusaders have also participated in the WNIT, playing in the 2002 season.
HOLY CROSS AMONGST THE NATION'S BEST: Holy Cross has gained recognition with many of the nation's top teams and players after the sixth round of the NCAA Division I rankings was released on Jan. 16. Currently, the Crusaders rank 39th in assists per game (15.4), 92nd in assist/turnover ratio (0.82) and 215th in scoring offense (59.9). Alex Smith remains a top the nation's three-point performers as she ranks 17th in three-point shots made per game (2.9) and 112th in three-point percentage (36.4). Lastly, Meredith Ward ranks 21st on the national scene with her 88.0 free throw percentage.
NEXTUP FOR THE CRUSADERS: Holy Cross continues its travels to Hamilton, N.Y., for a mid-week match-up with Colgate. The Crusaders and Raiders will face-off for the 45th time in program history on Wednesday, Jan, 26 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be played on Cotterell Court.
13-5 (3-1 Patriot League)
HEAD COACH: American head coach Matt Corkery is in his third season at the helm of the Eagles women's basketball program. Corkery took over the reins at American in the spring of 2008 and owns a 54-27 career record with his Eagles, including his 13-5 record in the 2010-2011 season. He is also 22-6 against Patriot League opponents, which includes the 3-1 league conference record this season. In total, Corkery has been on the American staff for five seasons, dating back to the 2004.
2010-2011 SQUAD: This year's American team enters Saturday's game with a 13-5 record, 3-1 in the Patriot League. The squad was one of three league opponents to start its season with a 3-0 league record, before losing to Army (64-50) on Jan. 19. Prior to that loss, the Eagles had won 11 straight games, one contest shy of a school record. In league play, American topped Lehigh (64-51), Bucknell (60-55) and Colgate (66-59) before losing to Army. They went 10-4 in non-conference play and are a perfect 5-0 when playing on their home hardwood; Bender Arena. The team returns eight letterwinners, including three of the five starters from last season. Senior forward Liz Leer leads the team offensively and defensively with 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.7 percent (89 of 169) from the floor. Junior guard Lisa Strack follows with 11.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. American finished 22-10 overall in 2009-2010, including an 13-1 mark in Patriot League contests, finishing as the runner-up.