Women's Basketball Endures 83-55 Loss At Lehigh

Whitney Fremeau

BETHLEHEM, PA. – The Holy Cross women's basketball team was outscored 44-25 in the second stanza after being down nine points at halftime against Lehigh, dropping an 83-55 decision at Stabler Arena in the final game of the 2010-2011 regular season. With the final tally, the Crusaders head into the Patriot League Tournament with a record of 10-19 (6-8 PL), while the Mountain Hawks go into the postseason with a record of 20-9 (10-4 PL). Holy Cross will now play as the No. 6 seed in the postseason, traveling to No. 3 American on Saturday, March 5.

Three three-pointers were scored in the first four minutes of action, with Lehigh going ahead 8-5 early, making two of the treys. Senior Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) knotted the score, 15-15, on a three-point shot at 12:13, adding to Holy Cross' 11-0 run, started by a three-point shot made by sophomore Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.). The Crusaders stepped up their defensive pressure, keeping Lehigh scoreless for four minutes and taking a 21-15 edge with just over nine minutes left in the front half. The Mountain Hawks came back to tie the score at 24-24 with 6:02 to play and then continued on an 11-4 run, going up 35-28 at 3:13.  Senior Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) sank the squad's last basket of the half with 1:40 to go as Lehigh added four more points, sending the Crusaders into the locker room down, 39-30. Both teams shot an equal 35.3 percent in the first 20 minutes, making 12 of 34 field goal attempts. Lehigh hit seven three-pointers, however, while Holy Cross made four. Lepley led the team with 11 points in the half as well.

Lehigh came out firing in the second half, outscoring Holy Cross 13-5 to take a 52-39 lead at 16:33. The Crusaders fell into a four-minute scoring drought next as Lehigh went ahead 60-39 at 12:10. Freshman Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) broke the scoreless streak with 9:55 to go in the game, making two free throw attempts as the Crusaders still could not make a field goal, finding themselves down 62-41. Malone hit the team's lone field goal at 8:56, but Lehigh followed with four more points to make it a 68-43 game. Malone, freshman Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) and Fremeau combined for the Crusaders' next nine points, but could not find the offensive spark the squad needed, as Lehigh kept climbing, moving ahead by 28 points, 80-52, with 2:25 left in the game. Freshman Kristen Fuery (Dresher, Pa.) hit her first collegiate three-point shot with 31 seconds left in the game, rounding out the team's scoring. With the basket, Holy Cross fell by the final 83-55 tally.

Fremeau led the Holy Cross offense with 15 points, making seven of her 12 field goal attempts. Lepley followed with 12 points while Malone tallied 11 scores. Lepley also led the team defensively with six boards. In the game, the Crusaders shot 34.5 percent (20-for-58) while the Mountain Hawks shot 40 percent (28-for-70). Lehigh also took a 46-45 rebounding edge and was led by senior forward Courtney Dentler with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Holy Cross will now play at American in Washington, D.C. for the quarterfinals round of the Patriot League Tournament, held on March 5. Start time is now set or 2:00 p.m.