HAMILTON, N.Y. – Junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) notched her fifth career double-double with a team-high 19 points and career-best 14 rebounds but trouble from the free throw line doomed the Holy Cross women's basketball team as it fell, 74-69, to Colgate at Cotterell Court. With the final, the Crusaders move to 13-9 (4-3 Patriot League) on the season while the Raiders collect a record of 5-17 (2-5 PL). The Raiders scored 45 points in the second half to earn the come-from-behind win.
Colgate held a slight 7-5 edge five minutes into the action as senior Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) tallied all five scores for the Crusaders. Two lead changes and one tie followed as Colgate maintained a two-point edge, 13-11, halfway through the first. Lepley found her groove, sinking two consecutive three-pointers to put the Crusaders ahead by two-possessions, 22-18, at 7:31. Two back-to-back three pointers by freshman Ashley Cooper (Colts Neck, N.J.) gave Holy Cross a seven-point lead, 30-23, with five minutes left in the half. Colgate outscored Holy Cross 6-2 in the final five minutes, but the Crusaders held on to a 32-29 lead at the break. The Crusaders shot 38.7 percent (12 of 31) from the floor over the first 20 minutes as Lepley and Cooper led all scorers with eight points apiece.
Colgate pulled within three points, 39-36, early in the second before sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) knocked down her first three-pointer in the game to keep Holy Cross ahead by two possessions, 42-36. The Raiders mounted a 10-0 run, capitalizing on Crusader turnovers to take a 47-45 lead, their first since the first half, at 11:42. The teams battled back and forth over the next four minutes as Colgate continued to hold the momentum, taking a 57-53 lead with a long jump shot at 7:51. The Crusaders put together a comeback of their own after being down six points, scoring three unanswered baskets to take a 63-61 lead at 4:42. Two ties and two lead changes followed with Colgate taking a final momentum swing, pulling out by four points, 71-67, with just under 40 seconds to play. Freshman Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) made one of two free throws to make it 71-68, notching her 19th point of the game. A steal by sophomore Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) with 10 seconds left gave the Crusaders one final shot, but the team could not convert from the free throw line as Colgate, in turn, made its final free throws to win by the final 74-69 score.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 39.7 percent from the floor (25 of 63) while Colgate shot 38.7 percent (29 of 75). The Raiders won the rebounding battle, 46-45, as sophomore Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) added eight rebounds to Lepley's team-high 14 rebounds. Holy Cross shot just 48 percent from the free throw line (12 of 25). Colgate was led by senior center Tricia Oakes with 25 points and 17 rebounds.
Holy Cross begins round two of Patriot League action on Feb. 4 against Lehigh. The Crusaders take on the Mountain Hawks at the Hart Center with tip time set for 1:00 p.m. The team will hold its annual "Think Pink Day" as part of the school-wide Breast Cancer Awareness Month.