WEST POINT, N.Y. – Sophomore Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) poured in 17 points, hitting all six of her field goal attempts off the bench to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a 59-50 victory over Army in the quarterfinals round of the Patriot League Tournament at Christl Arena. With the final, the Crusaders move on in the tournament with a record of 17-13 while Army completes its season at 14-16. Holy Cross will now play in the semifinal round of the tournament at No. 1 seed American.
The Crusaders made their first three baskets, taking a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes of the first half. Six straight points from Ganser boosted the Holy Cross offense as the squad took a 12-5 lead at 12:37. An 8-2 run allowed Army to pull within one-point, 14-13, at 7:38. The Crusaders answered with six unanswered points, retaking a 20-13 edge at 5:07. The squad hung on to its lead in the closing minutes despite an 8-6 Black Knight scoring run, taking a 24-19 lead into the halftime break. Holy Cross shot 37 percent (10 of 27) over the first 20 minutes of action as Ganser led all scorers with 10 points.
The Crusaders continued to hold the lead six minutes into the second, 34-29, as freshman Ashley Cooper (Colts Neck, N.J.) posted two three-point shots to pick up the team's offense. Two consecutive three point shots made by Ganser and fellow sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) continued to propel the offense as Holy Cross took a nine-point lead, 42-33, at 9:25. Army pulled within five points with five minutes to go in the game, 48-43, but a tough lay up by freshman Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) forced the Black Knights to take a time out with 4:09 on the clock, down 50-43. Ganser broke a two minute field goal drought for the Crusaders, sinking a lay up at 1:48 to keep the team ahead, 55-49. Senior Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) hit a lay up with 40 seconds to go as the final shot made in the game, sealing the Crusaders 59-50 win.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 41.7 percent from the floor (20 of 48) while Army shot 35.8 percent (19 of 53). Lepley added 10 points and five rebounds while 25 of the Crusaders' 59 points were scored by the bench. The Black Knights won the rebounding battle, 37-31 as Parker led Holy Cross with six rebounds. Army had three players score in double figures, including a team-best 13 points from junior Anna Simmers.
Holy Cross moves on to the semifinal round of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament, playing No. 1 seed American on Monday, March 5. The game will be played at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C. beginning at 7:00 p.m.