Women's Basketball Welcomes Manhattan For WBI Quarterfinals On Sunday

Emily Parker

Click here for the full Manhattan game notes in PDf format

Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: No. 4 Holy Cross (19-14, 7-7 PL) vs. No. 8 Manhattan (17-15, 10-8 MAAC)
Date: March 18, 2012
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Unofficial Live Stats: Click here
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Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 10-7
Last Meeting: Manhattan 78, Holy Cross 69 (Philadelphia, Pa.; March 10, 1990)

CRUSADERS COMPETE IN 2012 WBI TOURNAMENT: For the first time in program history, the Holy Cross women's basketball team will continue the 2011-2012 season with competition in the 2012 Women's Basketball Invitational. The WBI was established in 2010 and consists of 16 total teams from all parts of the country. There is an eight-team east bracket and an eight-team west bracket. The contests stretch from March 14-15 through the weekend of March 24-25. Holy Cross was selected as the fourth-seed and has moved on in the tournament after topping the No. 5 seed, New Hampshire. The Crusaders will now play against the No. 8 seed, Manhattan in the quarterfinal round on Sunday, March 18. The winning team will move on to play the winner of No. 3 Bradley versus No. 2 Minnesota/No. 7 Charleston Southern. All games are single elimination. Alabama-Birmingham won last season's tournament while Appalachian State took home the first WBI title in 2010.

HOLY CROSS POSTSEASON HISTORY: Holy Cross has participated in a total of 45 postseason tournaments, including a program-high 23 appearances in the Patriot League Tournament. In all, the Crusaders have put together a record of 50-34 when playing in the postseason, collecting its 50th victory against New Hampshire on Thursday. The program is 40-12 in the Patriot League Tournament, 4-2 in the EAIAW Tournament, 4-7 in the MAAC Tournament, 0-1 in the ECAC Tournament, 0-1 in the WNIT and 1-12 in the NCAA Tournament. The team boasts a total of 13 championships, 11 in the Patriot League and two in the MAAC. The team's last championship came in the 2007 season, when the Crusaders topped American to claim the Patriot League Championship title.

SERIES HISTORY AGAINST MANHATTAN: Sunday's match-up marks the 18th meeting all-time between Holy Cross and Manhattan. The series started during the 1982-1983 season, the first season that Holy Cross played as a Division I basketball team. The Jaspers won that meeting, 69-66, on their home court. The Crusaders earned their first win against Manhattan in the 1983-1984 season as both teams competed in the MAAC. The team continued on a five-game win streak over the next two seasons with head coach Bill Gibbons taking over the reins in 1985-1986. Gibbons won his first meeting with the Jaspers, 70-53, on Jan. 11 1986. The two squads continued to compete annually until Holy Cross joined the Patriot League in the 1990-1991 season. During that 10 game stretch, Holy Cross and Manhattan split the series 5-5. The two met twice in the postseason, both times in a MAAC championship game. The Jaspers won both contests and are 2-0 in the postseason when playing Holy Cross. Seven of the 18 contests have been played in Worcester as the Crusaders are a perfect 7-0 when playing the Jaspers at home. In all, Gibbons has posted a 7-3 record against the Jaspers while current Manhattan head coach John Olenowski faces the Crusaders for the first time in his head coaching career.

HOLY CROSS AGAINST THE MAAC: Holy Cross was a member of the MAAC Conference from the 1983-1984 season through the 1989-1990 season. In program history, Holy Cross has played against all 10 teams that currently compete in thee MAAC. Sunday's match-up serves as Holy Cross' first meeting with a MAAC team this season. The last time the Crusaders played a MAAC team was during the 2008-2009 season as Holy Cross competed against St. Peter's that year. Combined, Holy Cross has registered an all-time 81-38 record against MAAC teams. Fairfield has been the most frequent MAAC opponent for Holy Cross as they have played in 26 total match-ups. The Crusaders boast winning percentages against Canisius (2-1), Fairfield (15-11), Iona (18-2), Manhattan (10-7), Marist (6-0), Niagara (2-0), Rider (2-0) and Siena (15-2). The only MAAC team with more wins than losses against Holy Cross is St. Peter's (9-14). Marist won this season's MAAC title as Holy Cross boasts two MAAC Championships of its own, coming in 1985 and 1989.

HOME IS WHERE THE HART IS: Holy Cross, who is now 10-4 at the Hart Center this season, will continue home action on Sunday against Manhattan. The squad has topped New Hampshire, Colgate, Lafayette, Army, Bucknell, Dartmouth, Quinnipiac, UMass, Northeastern and Bryant and lost to Fordham, American, Lehigh and Navy. The Crusaders currently have a 77 home victory percentage (305 wins, 91 losses) since becoming a Division I program as the 2011-2012 season marks the 38th season of women's basketball competition at the Hart Center. The win over Dartmouth on Jan. 3 was the program's 300th win as a Division I squad. The program holds an all-time 344-116 advantage in Worcester and has posted 29 winning records and six losing seasons, including last year's 6-7 record. A total of 47 teams have never won at the Hart Center, including Sunday's opponent. Combined, the Crusaders have won 164 of 201 meetings (81.6 percent) against this year's home opponents.

PATRIOT LEAGUE HONOREES: Three members of the squad were named to All-Patriot League teams for the 2011-2012 season. Sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) earned first team honors after being named to the All-Rookie squad last season. Junior Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) was named to the second team and was also named to the second annual Academic All-Patriot League team. Freshman Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) rounded out the awards for Holy Cross as she was named to the All-Rookie team. Holy Cross has had one freshman named to the All-Rookie team three years in a row. Smith and Lepley were also honored for their postseason play as both were named to the 2012 Patriot League All-Tournament team.

Sophomore Alex Smith and junior Amy Lepley showed their opponents why Holy Cross boasted a winning record after the regular season. Lepley currently leads the team with 13.3 points per game while Smith follows close behind with 12.5 points per game. Lepley ranks third in the league in scoring while Smith sits in fifth place. Army's Anna Simmers finished her season as the league's top point producer, ranking first with 14.8 points per game. Colgate's Jhazmine Lynch ends her season in second with 13.5 points per game while Black Knight Jen Hazlett finished between Lepley and Smith in fourth with 12.9 points per game. Combined, the two have led the team in scoring in 23 of the team's 33 games, including 10 of the 14 conference games. Lepley led the team in scoring against Patriot League opponents, averaging 13.6 points and also led the squad with a 15 points per game average in Patriot League postseason competition. 

TURNOVER TENACITY: Sophomores Alex Smith and Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) are showing off their seasoned skills, leading the team not only with their scoring capabilities, but also their ability to create shots for their teammates. The two have combined for 299 of the squad's 558 assists (53.6 percent) and account for only 217 of the total 5341 turnovers. Through the 33 games, Smith leads the Patriot League with a 1.6 assist/turnover ratio (183 assists, 116 turnovers) while Malone is fifth with a 1.2 ratio (116 assists, 100 turnovers). Both tallied 11 assists in one game, Smith doing so against Harvard and Malone against Morgan State. Their output ranks in a tie for fifth in Holy Cross single-game records. Combined, the two have led the team in the assist category in 32 of the 33 total games as they tied with a team-high three assists against Navy in the Patriot League Championship. As a team, Holy Cross posts a 1.03 a/t ratio, the best in the league.

SPREAD THE WEALTH: One of the biggest reasons for Holy Cross' success this season is its ability to spread out the offense. Through the 33 games, seven of the 11 players on the roster have scored in double-figures. Alex Smith and Amy Lepley lead the pack with a combined 47 double-figure outings. All five of the team's regular starters have hit the double-figure mark at least once while Christine Ganser adds six double-figure outings, including three of the last six contests. Ashley Cooper became the seventh player to hit the mark with an 11-point outing against Navy on Feb. 8. Six different players have led the team in scoring this season as Emily Parker has led the team in scoring seven times. A season-high of five players reached the double-digit mark against Colgate to close out the regular season.

OFFENSE ON TOP: The Holy Cross women's basketball team has hung onto its offensive tempo all season, leading the league with a combined averaged of 63.1 points per game. When playing non-conference opponents, the Crusaders averaged 64.4 points per game and averaged 62.2 points per game against league foes. In all, the team has put up 2,081 points in 33 contests. The second-highest scoring team in the Patriot League through all games is Lehigh, who wrapped up its season with an average of 59.3 points per game, a difference of 3.8 points per game. The squad's outburst of 82 points against Bryant was a season-high while a season-best 32 field goals were made against Brown. The team's overall field goal percentage, 41.3, is a league best as it has combined to make 776 of 1,883 shot attempts. The team is averaging 24 field goals made per game. Against league opponents, the Crusaders hit 41.5 percent of their field goals (357 of 861). Altogether, the team is 14-4 when playing in games where it's scored over 60 points and 14-4 when shooting better than 40 percent. When scoring under 60 points, the team is 2-9.

WARD LEADS SQUAD: The lone senior on the roster, Meredith Ward, was named captain for the 2011-2012 season. Ward was also named a tri-captain for the 2010-2011 season. She is the veteran leader in the backcourt and has started at guard in all 33 games this season, averaging 30.6 minutes, 6.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Her playing time has increased dramatically during her senior season as she averaged 21.3 minutes over her first three years. Her point and rebound averages have also improved as she is averaging 2.1 more points 1.7 more rebounds than her career averages (4.1 points, 1.9 rebounds). Ward has notched four double-digit scoring outings, highlighted by her first career double-double against UMass on Nov. 22. She scored 14 points and tallied a career-best 12 rebounds, almost doubling her previous high of seven rebounds. Against Brown, Ward led the squad with 16 points, knocking down a season-high seven field goals. She followed with a career-high eight assists at Lafayette, leading the team. Her other double-figure games include Quinnipiac (15 points) and Fordham (12). Against Lehigh on Feb. 4, Ward tied the team-high with eight rebounds, recording the second game this season where she's topped out in the rebounding category. Her free throw shooting remains strong as well, as she hits 75.6 percent (31 of 41) from the line. As a junior, Ward registered a Holy Cross single-game record when she went 12-for-12 from the free throw line against Quinnipiac and finished the season as the team's top free throw performer, making 84 percent of her attempts. In her career she has scored 568 points, recorded 283 rebounds and 243 assists.

SMOOTH SMITH: Sophomore guard Alex Smith was named to the first team All-Patriot League as she continues to grow in her sophomore season. Smith's other awards include a spot on the Miami Classic All-Tournament team and Patriot League Player of the Week (12/12). Her numbers are impressive, as she has led the team in scoring in 12 games, putting up an average of 12.5 points per game. Highlighting her scoring efforts was a 26-point outburst versus Army on Jan. 25. Smith reached new heights as she sank a career-best nine field goals, five coming from three-point range. She has recorded a career-best four 20-point outings this season has 22 double-digit outings on the season. Her other double-figure games include a team-high 20 points vs. UNH, 17 points vs. Colgate, 12 points at Navy in the conference championship, 13 points at Army, 10 points at American, 12 points vs. Navy, 18 points vs. Lehigh, 14 points vs. Bucknell, 15 points at Brown, 11 points at Lehigh, 10 points vs. Dartmouth, 19 points vs. Morgan State, 11 points at Miami, 11 points vs. Bryant, 17 points at Boston College, 22 points at Harvard, 20 points vs. Northeastern, 15 points at Central Connecticut, 14 points versus UMass, 14 points versus Quinnipiac and 11 points at Yale. Smith topped out in the assists category against Harvard, collecting 11 to notch a career-high and record her first-ever double-double. She has 183 total assists on the season, notching a career-high and ranking fourth on the Holy Cross single-season records list. She leads the team and Patriot League with 5.5 assists per game and has led the team in the assists category in 13 of the last 14 games. She is once again a three-point threat, sinking a season-high of five three-point shots in one game four times so far (vs. Northeastern, Boston College, Morgan State and Army). She has hit multiple three-pointers in 26 of the 33 contests, including four in the win over New Hampshire the last time out. Smith averages 2.5 three-pointers made per game, leading the league. She has 48 career games where she's made at least two three-pointers. As a freshman, Smith ranked second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.1 point per game. She also ranked first on the team in minutes played per game (32.0) and assists (98). She finished the season with 82 three-pointers made, ranking second-highest in the Holy Cross single-season records. In her career, Smith has recorded 732 points, 216 rebounds and 283 assists.

LEAPS FOR LEPLEY: Junior forward Amy Lepley returns for her third-straight season as one of the team's starting forwards and earned a spot on the second team All-Patriot League for her efforts. She is at full strength as she currently ranks first on the team and third in the Patriot League in scoring average, putting up 13.3 points per game. Lepley's numbers continue to impress as she has notched a team-high 25 double-figure outings this season, highlighted by a season and career-high 24 point outburst against American in the semifinals of the 2012 tournament. She registered her fifth 20-point effort of the season, sinking nine field goals in 13 attempts. She also scored 20 points at Bucknell on Feb. 18, scoring almost half of the team's points and earned Patriot League Player of the Week honors for her performance. Lepley has hit double figures in 14 of the last 17 games and has led the team in scoring 13 times this season. She has also recorded double-figures against New Hampshire (10), Navy (11, 10), Lehigh (22, twice), Army (10), Colgate (10), Lafayette (11), at Lafayette (21), at Colgate (19), Bucknell (12), Brown (14), Dartmouth (13) Morgan State (19), Bryant (18) Boston College (11), UMass (15), Harvard (15), Fordham (14), Quinnipiac (13) and Yale (12). Lepley is the team's best shooter, making 49.9 percent of her field goal attempts (185 of 371). Her field goal percentage ranks third amongst league players. She is a true double-threat as she leads the team and ranks ninth in the league in rebounding, averaging a career-best 6.4 rebounds per game. She picked up six boards in the squad's last game, breaking the 500 career rebound mark. She led the team in rebounding in six of the 14 league contests, including a career and team-best 14 rebounds at Colgate. Against the Raiders, Lepley secured her fifth career double-double, scoring 19 points and tallying the 14 rebounds. She followed with her sixth career double-double in the final game of the regular season against Colgate, scoring 10 points and leading the squad with 12 boards. She is the first Crusader since Amy O'Brien in 1998-1999 to lead the team in both scoring and rebounding during a season. Originally playing as a guard in high school, the converted forward led the team in rebounding (5.6 per game) and blocks (13) in 2010-2011. In her career she has scored 935 points, recorded 503 rebounds and 188 assists.

PICK-ME-UP PARKER: Freshman forward Emily Parker got her Holy Cross career off to a great start, posting a double-double in her first game in a Crusaders uniform. Her 17-point, 10-rebound performance at Yale marked the first time in 15 years of Holy Cross basketball that a freshman posted such high numbers in her first-ever performance. The feat landed her Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors on Nov. 15. She picked up a total of four Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors this season and was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie team. Parker has recorded double-figure outings in 12 of the last 18 games, including 13 points in the last contest against UNH. She registered a season and team-high 20-points against Quinnipiac and has led the team in scoring seven times. Her other double-figure outing include 16 points at Army, 14 points vs. Colgate, 15 points vs. Lafayette, 15 points vs. Lehigh, 19 points at Colgate, 15 points vs. Army, 10 points at Lafayette, 10 points at Brown, 15 points vs. American, 12 points at Navy, 10 points at UNH, 13 points against Northeastern and 11 points over Bryant. She averages a total of 10.1 points per game, ranking third on the team and 15th in the Patriot League. She continues to be one of the team's top rebounders as she earned her second double-double with 12 rebounds along with the 12 points at Navy on Jan. 11, leading the team in rebounding. She averages 5.9 boards per game after pulling down nine rebounds in the last contest. She ranks second on the team in rebounding and has led the squad in that category in eight games this season. She is the team's top shot-blocker as she notched a season-high four blocks against the Midshipmen on Jan. 11. She has posted a total of 36 blocks on the season, an average of 1.2 blocks per game, ranking eighth amongst Patriot League players. She has registered 11 games with multiple blocks, the most by any other Crusader this season.

COMEBACK MALONE: Sophomore guard Brisje Malone, who did not start the two exhibition games for Holy Cross this fall, came back to earn the third starting guard spot in 32 of the 33 games this season. Malone is aiding the team's top offense as she has tallied 15 double-digit scoring affairs and averages 8.8 points per game, ranking fourth on the team 18th in the league. She has hit a season-high of 15 points three times, coming at home versus Lafayette on Feb. 15, at Lafayette on Jan. 18 and at UNH. Against the Leopards, Malone hit a career-best eight free throws, sinking all eight of her attempts from the line. Her overall free throw percentage, 74.6, ranks second on the team and seventh in the league. She has also scored double-figures against Colgate (10), Bucknell (10), American (12), Dartmouth (11), Morgan State (10), Bryant (14), Boston College (10), Northeastern (11), UMass (10), Harvard (13), Central Connecticut (11) and Yale (13). Malone hits her stride in the clutch, scoring 162 of her 290 total points in the second half of games (56 percent). Malone notched a career-best 11 assists against Morgan State. She became the second player on the team to notch a point, assist double-double this season, as her 11 assists were a career-best. Her versatility stretches to the defensive side of the ball as she ranks fourth on the team with 4.5 rebounds per game, leading the team in rebounding in four games, including a career-best 10 rebounds against New Hampshire in the first round of the WBI Tournament. She is also second on the team and third in the league with 3.5 assists per game. As a freshman, she averaged 26.1 minutes and 7.1 points per game. In her career she has scored 486 points, brought down 225 rebounds and dished out 173 assists.  

GAINS FOR GANSER: Sophomore Christine Ganser, who has been a solid presence off the bench for Holy Cross this season, broke out for a career-best 21-point, four steal performance in the team's win over Dartmouth. She has shined in the team's last six games, posting 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench at Army, scoring 15 points in the team's final regular season win over Colgate and then leading the squad with 17 points on 6-for-6 shooting against the Black Knights in the quarterfinals. In tournament play, Ganser averaged 8.3 points per game as she posts 6.2 points per game overall. She tallied her first career double-double against the Black Knights on Feb. 22. Her 11 rebounds tied her career-high as she also recorded a career-best two blocks. Ganser is a big addition for the Crusaders' defense as she posts 4.5 rebounds per game, third on the team and 19th amongst league foes. She has had at least two rebounds in 18 of the last 20 contests. She also makes a team-best 76.1 percent of her free throws (83 of 105), ranking sixth amongst league players. She went five-of-five from the line in the squad's win over New Hampshire the last time out. Ganser played in all 30 games as a freshman, averaging 4.8 points and 3.8 rebounds.

HELPING HANDS: For the second season in a row, the Holy Cross women's basketball team led the Patriot League in assists. The squad has combined for 558 assists on the season, an average of 17 assists per game. Lehigh finished its season ranked second in the league with 13.3 assists per game, a difference of 3.7 assists per game. Sophomore Alex Smith is once again the team's leader in the assists category, as she averages 5.5 assists per game, also leading the Patriot League. Holy Cross' 27 assists over Bryant tallied a league-high on the season. Sophomore Brisje Malone adds 3.5 assists per game, third in the league and second on the team.

STARTERS SHINE: The starting five for Holy Cross this season have earned their roles for a reason. Through the 33 games, Crusader starters have posted 1,658 of the team's 2,081 points (79.7 percent). They have combined for 4,970 of the 6,625 minutes played (75 percent) and are shooting a combined 42.1 percent from the floor (629 of 1,494). They have also sported 774 rebounds, 481 assists and 207 steals. Against Fordham, the team's starters scored 37 of the team's 43 points. In the game against Harvard, the starters boasted 71 of 73 points. Forty-five of the team's 53 points were scored by the starting five at CCSU and 59 of the team's 61 points versus UNH were put up by starters. Fifty of the squad's 60 points were scored by starters in the Patriot League opener at Lehigh while 46 of the 55 points were posted by starters at Navy. The starting five posted 68 of the Crusaders' 73 points in the outing versus Lehigh on Feb. 4, while 39 of the 47 points scored at American were by the top five on Feb. 11. The starters have scored 101 of the squad's last 111 points.

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Another goal of the 2011-2012 season is to step up on all aspects of the defense. One of the main ways the team has accomplished its goal is to win the rebounding battle. The team has outrebounded 18 of 33 opponents thus far (Colgate, Lehigh, Bucknell twice, Lafayette, Brown, American twice, Navy, Morgan State, Yale, Fordham, UMass, UNH twice, Northeastern, Boston College and Bryant) and boasts a 13-5 record when outrebounding its opponent. When outrebounded, the team drops to a 6-9 record. Highlighting the teams rebounding efforts was a 52-33 margin against Bryant, a difference of 19 boards, a +13 difference at Navy (46-33) and a 43-29 advantage against American (+14). The 52 rebounds against Bryant were a single-game high. In all, Holy Cross posts 17 rebounds than its opponents, a 1,237-1,220 difference. The Crusaders have also stepped up their defense on another level, obtaining more blocks than opponents in 14 of the 33 games (4-2 vs. UNH, 5-4 at American, 2-1 at Army, 6-2 at Bucknell, 3-1 vs. Lehigh, 2-1 vs. Bucknell, 2-1 at Lafayette, 5-3 at Brown, 3-0 versus American, 4-2 at Navy, 4-1 versus Quinnipiac, 3-1 at Harvard, 3-2 at UNH, 4-1 versus Bryant). Emily Parker has collected 38 of the team's 77 blocks as the team posted a season-high six blocks at Bucknell on Feb. 18. The last Holy Cross team to outrebound all of its opponents during a season was in 2002-2003. That season, the squad put up 1,216 rebounds compared to 1,124 rebounds by their opponents. The team finished with a 24-8 overall record and won the 2003 Patriot League Championship.

HOLY CROSS AMONGST THE NATION'S BEST: Holy Cross has gained recognition with many of the nation's top teams and players after the 27th round of the NCAA Division I rankings was released on March 16. The Crusaders rank 10th in assists per game (16.9), 18th in assist/turnover ratio (1.03), 65th in three-point field goal percentage (32.8), 64th in field goal percentage (41.3) and 145th in scoring offense (63.1). Alex Smith ranks within the top-50 in the nation with her 5.5 assists per game (19th). Smith also ranks in the top-50 with her 2.5 three-pointers made per game, currently ranking 37th. She ranks within the top-100 in assist/turnover ratio, sitting in 65th (1.58). Amy Lepley ranks 39th nationally with her 49.9 field goal percentage.

BOWL FOR BONDS: Assistant coach Chante Bonds knows what it's like to be a champion. This past summer, Bonds was a major part of the Boston Militia, a team in the Women's Football Alliance. Her squad went 7-1 during the regular season and finished with a 3-0 record in the national conference playoffs, earning them a spot in the world championship. Facing the San Diego Surge, Bonds' Militia won the game 35-19 and was crowned the 2011 Women's Football Alliance National Champions. Bonds, who was in her third year in the women's league, earned second team All-America honors as a wide receiver. Playing as a cornerback in the championship game, Bonds stopped a San Diego drive with an interception and an 11-yard return. Bonds, born in Boston, Mass. and raised in Brockton, Mass., played Division II basketball at Bentley. A combo guard, Bonds' favorite tasks on the basketball court were diving for loose balls and setting screens for post players. On the football field, she caught on to contact and tackling quickly.

SUMMER SHAPE-UP: The Crusaders went through a tough and rigorous summer off season, working with assistant coach Chante Bonds and strength and conditioning coach Brittany Keil. In addition to the normal training regimen of strength, power, core stability and knee injury prevention, Keil and Bonds implemented a conditioning sprint test. The sprint test simulated game-like conditions, and when they ran it together as a team, they competed to see who can stay on top of the 'speed ladder'; slowest person is last in line, fastest person is at the top, and they fight to move up or keep their position on every sprint rep. Both Bonds and Keil felt that this new training segment changed the squad's mentality of being on the team and kept them training with consistency and intensity throughout the summer.

HEAD COACH BILL GIBBONS:27th Season: Holy Cross head coach Bill Gibbons began the season with 496 career wins and now boasts a career record of 516-300 as head coach (63.2 winning percentage), including a 19-14 record at the helm this season. He became the 24th active Division I coach to have 500 career wins on Dec. 3 at New Hampshire. He is in his 27th season at the helm of the Holy Cross women's basketball program and 31st as a member of the Holy Cross basketball family in 2011-2012. He has led the Crusaders to nine Patriot League Championships in the last 16 years. He has also made 12 postseason appearances (11 NCAA Tournaments and one WNIT) in his 26 years as head coach. He holds sixteen 20-win seasons under his belt and is the sixth coach of the women's program at Holy Cross, enjoying the longest tenure in the position. He has led the Holy Cross women's basketball program to more victories than any other coach, and is the winningest coach in Holy Cross basketball history. With his 358th victory, he surpassed George Blaney (357 wins as head coach of the Holy Cross men's basketball program), who had hired him to be his assistant coach in 1981. Now with 500 wins, Gibbons is the second-winningest coach in Holy Cross Athletics history, behind legendary baseball coach Jack Barry, who totaled 616 wins from 1921-1960.

SCOUTING MANHATTAN: Manhattan enters the game with an overall record of 17-15 on the season and topped the No. 1 seed, Robert Morris, in the first round of the WBI, 77-54. The Jaspers lost to Siena in the first round of the MAAC tournament after finishing the 2011-2012 regular season with a 10-8 conference record. Senior forward Lindsey Loutsenhizer leads the team offensively and defensively, posting 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Fellow senior forward Schyanne Halfkenny adds 10.8 points per game. Loutsenhizer picked up second team All-MAAC honors while Halfkenny was named to the third team. Manhattan is led by John Olenowski. He is in his third season with the Jaspers and has accumulated a career record of 39-45. He led the 2010-2011 squad to a school-record 24 wins.