MIAMI, Fla. – Sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) scored a team-high 11 points while fellow sophomore Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) brought down a season-high seven rebounds as the Holy Cross women's basketball team fell to 10th-ranked Miami, 89-49, at the BankUnited Center. With the final, the Crusaders collect a record of 6-6 on the season while the Hurricanes move to 10-2. Both players led the team in limited minutes of action.
Three different Crusaders scored in the first four minutes of action as Miami held an 11-6 lead early on. Smith and Malone scored the next two baskets, tying the score at 11-11 before the Hurricanes came back to take a 16-11 lead at 13:44. Miami picked up the defensive pressure over the next six minutes of action, holding Holy Cross to five points and taking a 28-16 advantage at 6:11. The Crusaders' offense continued to struggle as Miami went ahead by 20-points, 38-17, at 2:53. Holy Cross scored seven more points in the half, including three points from Malone and found itself down, 47-22, at the break. The Crusaders shot 30 percent (9 of 30) from the floor over the first 20 minutes as Smith led all scorers with eight points.
The Hurricanes continued their hot offense as Holy Cross added two baskets in the first five minutes of the second half, staying down 63-26. The Crusaders fell into a scoring drought, not making a field goal until the 12:21 mark with Smith hitting her second three-pointer to make it a 67-32 game. Miami pulled ahead by a 40-point margin, 76-33, at 9:12. Junior Alexis Nicholas (Jamaica, N.Y.) hit a free throw at 6:20 to get the Crusaders to the 40-point mark but second-chance shots kept the Crusaders from scoring consistently as Miami remained ahead 85-42 at 5:08. Holy Cross finished the game outscoring Miami 7-4, adding a three-point shot made by freshman Ashley Cooper (Colts Neck, N.J.) and falling by the final 89-49 score.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 32.1 percent from the floor (18 of 56) while Miami shot 45 percent (36 of 80). The Hurricanes won the rebounding battle, 56-38 as Malone led the Crusaders with seven boards. Miami was led by senior guard Riquna Williams, who scored a team-high 18 points. Fellow senior guard Shenise Johnson added a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Holy Cross will match-up with first game loser, Morgan State, in the consolation round of the tournament tomorrow, Dec. 29. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m. at the BankUnited Center.