Crusaders Take Down Bryant, 82-62

Kaitlin Cole

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross women's basketball team combined for a season-high 82 points and 27 assists, downing Bryant by a final score of 82-62 at the Hart Center in front of a crowd of 1,516. With the final, the Crusaders improve to a record of 6-5 on the season while the Bulldogs move to 6-4. Junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) led the squad with a game-high 18 points and also added six rebounds and five assists as four of the team's five starters finished in double-digits.  

Holy Cross jumped to a double-digit advantage early on in the first half, taking a 14-3 lead at 16:17 on a layup by sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.). The squad then moved ahead to a 16-point advantage, going ahead 23-7 at 12:46. The Bulldogs would bring the Crusaders' lead down to eight points, 31-23, with just over five minutes left in the half but Holy Cross surged back, rounding out the half on a 10-4 run. Lepley scored four of those 10 points to give her team a 41-27 advantage at the halftime break. The Crusaders shot 48.5 percent (16 of 33) from the floor over the first 20 minutes as Lepley led all scorers with 13 points.

Holy Cross continued its hot shooting in the second half, pulling ahead by 20 points, 52-32, at 18:31 on a layup from freshman Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa). The team remained ahead by the five-possession margin through the halfway point of the second, taking a 64-42 lead on a jumper by sophomore Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.). The teams traded baskets over the next five minutes as sophomore Kaitlin Cole (Springfield, Pa.) boosted the Crusaders to their largest lead in the game, 77-54, on her third basket made. Bryant never found its groove as Holy Cross added 11 more points, finishing ahead by the final 82-62 score.

In the game, Holy Cross shot a season-best 52.5 percent from the floor (31 of 59) and held Bryant to a season-low 25.4 percent (18 of 71). The Crusaders also won the rebounding battle, 52-33 as sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) led the Crusaders with eight boards. Smith also finished with 11 points and a team-high eight assists. Parker and sophomore Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) added 11 and 14 points apiece. Bryant was led by Katie Whittington with 15 points, 10 coming from the free throw line.

Holy Cross will enjoy the holidays and return to action on Dec. 28-29 at the Miami Holiday Classic. The Crusaders face the host Hurricanes in the first round at 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 28 at the BankUnited Center in Miami, Fla.