WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross women's basketball team battled with Northeastern for a full 40 minutes, earning a game-winning jumper from freshman Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) with thirty seconds to go in the game to capitalize on a 70-68 victory at the Hart Center. With the final, the Crusaders move to a record of 5-4 on the season while the Huskies combine for a record of 1-8. Sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) poured in a team-high 20 points, hitting a season-high five three-point shots while Parker added 13 points and six rebounds.
Holy Cross made five of its first six field goals to open up first half action with a 13-7 lead, led by five points from junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.). Northeastern came back with a 20-2 run, capitalizing on seven missed field goals by the Crusaders and taking a 25-15 lead at 11:33. Smith was the only Crusader to net field goals over the next four minutes, hitting two three-point shots to pull her team within seven, 29-22. Freshman Ashley Cooper (Colts Neck, N.J.) and Smith then pulled the team within two points, 32-30 at 4:56 on consecutive three-point shots. Holy Cross finished out the half strong, scoring eight additional times, but could not regain the lead and headed into the halftime break down 41-38. Holy Cross shot 40 percent in the half (14 of 35) and was led by Smith with 14 points.
Holy Cross outscored Northeastern 7-4 in the opening minutes of the second half as Smith knotted the score, 45-45, at 16:16 on a jumper. Sophomore Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) gave the Crusaders a one-point edge on a long jump shot, 49-48, four minutes later, tallying the Crusaders first lead since the 14:39 mark of the first half. The lead changed four times over the next five minutes, with Holy Cross going ahead 60-58 at 7:45 as Cooper and Smith combined for three straight three-point shots. Northeastern put together a 7-2 run, regaining a 65-62 edge at 3:56 after hitting a three-point shot with one second left on the shot clock. Senior Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.), who had been quiet all night, hit her second field goal of the game at 2:10 to retie the score at 65-65. The Crusaders did not let up the intensity level and gained a big offensive rebound and made free throws from Parker, taking a 67-66 lead with 1:33 left in the second. Northeastern came up with a big rebound of its own and hit a jump shot with 38 seconds left to go ahead 68-67. It was Parker who came up big again, hitting another jump shot and making a free throw in the final 30 seconds, boosting the team to a 70-68 win.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 40.4 percent from the floor (23 of 57) while Northeastern shot 43.9 percent (25 of 57). The Crusaders won the rebounding battle, 41-33, as Lepley led the Crusaders with seven rebounds. The Huskies were led by Jewel Tunstull with 19 points.
Holy Cross returns to action after finals, traveling to in-state foe Boston College on Sunday, Dec. 18. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.