DURHAM, N.H. – The Holy Cross women's basketball team rallied back in the second half as head coach Bill Gibbons earned his 500th career victory with a 61-50 win over New Hampshire at the Lundholm Gymnasium. With the final, the Crusaders move to a record of 4-4 on the season while the Wildcats combine for a record of 3-3. Junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) led the charge with a season-high 20 points, hitting six of her seven field goal attempts.
The Crusaders opened first half action on a 9-4 run, earning four points from freshman forward Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa). New Hampshire outscored Holy Cross 11-7 in the next portion of the half, but the Crusaders maintained a 15-13 edge at the 8:26 mark. Sophomore Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) sank two straight baskets to give her team back a two-possession lead, 17-13 at 7:09. Lepley followed Malone with back-to-back three point shots, helping to maintain the Crusaders lead, 23-19, at 5:06. Holy Cross rounded out the half ahead by four points, 28-24, as sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) hit her first three pointer of the game in the final five minutes. The Crusaders shot 44 percent in the half (11 of 25) and were led by Lepley with 11 points.
New Hampshire took its first lead of the game, 33-32, three minutes into the second half. The Wildcats continued on a 6-2 run to earn their first two-possession edge, 39-34, at 12:23 as the Crusaders missed four consecutive field goals. Lepley put together two consecutive baskets, leading Holy Cross on a 12-0 run, giving the squad back a 49-43 lead at 7:01. Lepley continued to hit her stride, sinking her career-best third three-point shot at 4:50 as Holy Cross took a 54-46 lead. New Hampshire was forced to foul down the stretch as the Crusaders combined for a 5 of 8 effort from the line and finished up by the final 61-50 score.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 42.6 percent from the floor (20 of 47) while New Hampshire shot 38.9 percent (21 of 54). The Crusaders won the rebounding battle, 37-28, as Malone led the Crusaders with a season-high seven rebounds and also topping her seaosn-high with 15 points. The Wildcats were led by senior Denise Beliveau who scored a team-high 15 points, notching her 1,000th career point in the first half.
Holy Cross returns to the Hart Center on Wednesday, Dec. 7 for a match-up with Northeastern. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. in Worcester, Mass.