HANOVER, N.H. – Holy Cross senior forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) registered her eighth career double-double with a 10 point, 10 rebound effort to help propel the Crusaders to a 64-52 triumph over Dartmouth on Jan. 3 at Leede Arena. Holy Cross improves to 7-6 on the season, while the Big Green fall to 1-12 overall.
Both teams traded baskets over the first 8:30 in the contest, as the score was knotted at 8-8 with 11:27 on the clock. Holy Cross then went on an 8-0 rally to grab the 16-8 lead at 6:41 of the first half. Junior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) had four points during the stretch for Holy Cross.
The Crusaders kept up the pressure and went on an 8-3 run over the next 4:38 to claim a 13-point lead (24-11). Smith and sophomore guard Ashley Cooper (Colts Neck, N.J.) each hit a trey during the rally. Holy Cross worked the lead to 28-17 with eight ticks on the clock, but Dartmouth's Kamala Thompson hit a three pointer with one second remaining to go into the locker room at 28-20.
Holy Cross kept up the pace and jumped out on an 8-2 surge to begin the second half as it took the 36-22 lead with 16:29 on the clock. The Crusaders stingy defense allowed them to go up 16 points, as they led 45-29 at the 10:11 mark of the second half. Less than three minutes later, Holy Cross pushed ahead with an 8-2 run to grab its largest lead of the contest at 53-31.
However, Dartmouth countered with a quick 7-0 spurt to cut the deficit to 53-38 at 5:56 and then worked the margin to 12 points (57-45) just over two minutes later. The Big Green got as close as 11 points on two occasions over the finals minutes, before Holy Cross made it a 64-52 final.
Smith scored a game-high 12 points to go along with four assists, as she tied a career-best with six steals. Freshman center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) posted a career-high 10 points and also hauled in six boards. Junior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) had a solid all-around game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists and four swipes. Faziah Steen led Dartmouth with nine points.
Holy Cross shot 45 percent from the field (24 of 53), while it was able to hold Dartmouth to 27 percent shooting from the floor (17 of 63). Both teams struggled from behind the arc, as the Crusaders connected on 24 percent of their shots from downtown (4 of 17) and the Big Green converted three of its 19 chances from long range (16 percent).
The Crusaders held advantages in assists (16-9), steals (20-13), points in the paint (38-18), points off turnovers (28-13) and fast break points (12-2). Dartmouth heavily out-rebounded HC, 52-32, with a 25-9 advantage on the offensive glass.
Lepley is now eight points from becoming the 28th Crusader to reach the 1,000 career points plateau.
Holy Cross returns to action on Sunday, Jan 6, as it will conclude its eight-game road stretch at Fordham for a 2:00 p.m. tipoff.