WORCESTER, Mass. – A total of five players scored in double-figures, including 10 points from junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) who secured her sixth career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds as the Holy Cross women's basketball team came back from an eight-point deficit to defeat Colgate, 74-72, in the final game of the regular season at the Hart Center. With the final, the Crusaders conclude the regular season with a record of 16-13 (7-7 PL) while the Raiders go to 8-21 (5-9 PL). And with the result, the Crusaders will now play as the fifth seed in the 2012 Patriot League tournament.
The Crusaders took an early 4-0 lead over the first four minutes of the first half as Lepley and freshman Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) collected baskets. Colgate rallied back to take a three-point lead at 14:11 as the teams continued to battle back and forth. The Raiders took the first two-possession lead of the game at the midway point before back-to-back three-pointers by sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) gave the Crusaders a 19-17 edge one minute later. The game remained close over the next five minutes, collecting five ties and three lead changes up until the 4:52 mark. Colgate then put together a 10-2 run to take the largest lead of the half, 37-29, at 2:48. Sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) led the Crusaders back into the game, putting together five points, including a big three-point play as Holy Cross came back to tie the score, 40-40 entering the halftime break. Holy Cross shot 48.5 percent (16 of 33) over the first 20 minutes of action as Smith led all scorers with 15 points, including three three-point shots made.
Holy Cross held a one possession edge through the first five minutes of the second half, with Parker leading the way with four points. Colgate retook the lead on a three-point shot at 15:01 and continued to pull ahead, going ahead by seven points, 61-54, at 9:26. The Crusaders cut the lead to one-point, 63-62, with 6:28 on the clock as sophomore Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) hit a jumper. The Raiders would hold on to the lead, advancing back out to an eight-point edge, 70-62, two minutes later. The Crusaders kicked their offense into high gear, going on a 8-0 run to tie the score at 70-70 with 1:24 left in the game. Colgate retook the lead one final time at 1:12 before free throws made by Parker and a game-winning layup from Lepley secured a 74-72 victory for the Crusaders. The team did not miss a free throw in the game, finishing at 15-for-15 from the line.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 45.9 percent from the floor (28 of 61) while Colgate shot 46.7 percent (28 of 60). Smith led all scorers with 17 points while Parker, Malone and Ganser finished with 14, 10 and 15 points respectively. The Crusaders won the rebounding battle, 36-30. Colgate was led by freshman Missy Repoli with a team-best 22 points.
Holy Cross will now play as the fifth seed in the conference tournament. The squad will play the quarterfinals round of the Patriot League tournament at the fourth seed, Army, on Thursday, March 1. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Christl Arena in West Point, N.Y.