WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Holy Cross women's basketball team saw an 18-point lead evaporate but rallied together to push past an aggressive Army team, topping the Black Knights 57-50 at Christl Arena. With the winning decision, the Crusaders improve to a record of 9-15 (5-4 PL) on the season, while the Black Knights go to 11-12 (5-4 PL). Freshman Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) hit two clutch three-point shots to get Holy Cross back in the game, finishing with a team-high 18 points. Senior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) also added 17 points, moving past the 1,000 career-point mark.
Holy Cross jumped out to a 7-3 lead behind Fremeau's five points. The Crusaders kept their edge, 11-8, at the 11:42 mark as senior Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) hit her first field goal of the game. Fremeau then posted seven more points, boosting Holy Cross to a nine-point lead, 19-10, at 8:59. Freshman Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) gave the team its first double-digit lead at 6:57, hitting a long jumper to bring the score to 23-13. Army would pull back within six points, but no closer, as Fremeau knocked down her sixth field goal at 1:32, marking her 1,000th career point. Fremeau's field goal was the last basket in the half, as Holy Cross went into the locker room up 27-18. The Crusaders hit 35.5 of their first half field goals, going 11 of 31. Army shot 25 percent from the floor, going 7 of 28. Fremeau led all scorers with 16 points at the break as well.
Holy Cross took back a 10-point lead, 28-18, in the opening minutes of the second half. Big defense kept Army from scoring through four minutes of play, as a jump shot from sophomore Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) gave the Crusaders a 32-18 lead. Back-to-back baskets Smith expanded the Holy Cross lead, taking a 39-21 edge at 14:38, the team's largest lead in the game. Fouls would get the Crusaders in trouble, however, as Army put together an 8-0 run to get back within 10 points, 39-29 at 11:25. Lepley broke Holy Cross' four minute scoring drought at the midway point of the final half, but consecutive three-pointers from Army made it a five point game, 41-36, at 7:37. Holy Cross kept it a two-possession game until 6:10 as Army hit two free throws to bring the score to 42-50. Army then followed with four unanswered points to take a 44-42 edge at 4:45. Smith hit a three point shot to give Holy Cross back a 45-44 lead 20 seconds later. After Army tied the score again at 48-48, Smith remained clutch, hitting another three-point shot to put Holy Cross ahead, 51-48, with just over one minute to play. Army would have one last attempt to tie it, but Holy Cross took a huge charge and hit its last four free throw attempts to finish ahead by a 57-50 final tally, breaking a six-game slide at Christl Arena.
Holy Cross also out-rebounded the Black Knights, 42-31, as May led the squad with eight boards. In the game, the Crusaders shot 36.7 percent (18-for-49) while the Black Knights shot 28.3 percent (15-for-53). Army was led by senior forward Erin Anthony with 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
Holy Cross continues its three-game stretch on the road, traveling to Bucknell next for a Saturday evening match-up on Jan. 12. The Crusaders visit the Sojka Pavilion in Lewisburg, Pa. for a 7:00 p.m. game against the Bison.