Women's Basketball Falls Short, 67-60, Versus Fordham

Amy Lepley

BRONX, N.Y. – Fordham's Erin Rooney had game-highs of 20 points and six assists to lead the Rams to a 67-60 victory over Holy Cross in non-conference women's basketball action on Sunday, Jan. 6 at the Rose Hill Gymnasium. The Crusaders fall to 7-7 overall, while the Rams improve to 10-5 on the season. During this afternoon's contest, Holy Cross senior forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) became the 28th Crusader to score 1,000 career points. 

With 12:30 left in the second half, Fordham held the commanding 51-35 lead. Holy Cross went on its best rally of the game with an 18-4 scoring surge to cut the deficit to 55-53 at the 4:48 mark. Junior Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) and sophomore Clare Sullivan (Belmont, Mass.) each had four points during the rally.

After baskets by both teams made the score 57-55, Fordham slowly pulled away and went on a 7-2 run to take the 64-57 with 30 seconds left in regulation. The Rams hit three of their four shots from the charity stripe over the final seconds to close the contest with a 67-60 win.   

To begin the game, HC jumped ahead 7-4 at the 15:41 mark of the first half on the back of a junior forward Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) layup. The Rams countered with a 12-4 rally over the next seven-plus minutes to gain the 19-11 advantage with 8:26 on the clock.

The Crusaders' offense found their rhythm and went off for a 13-5 run to knot the score at 24-24 with 4:41 remaining in the first half as Ganser and Malone netted four points apiece during the spurt. Holy Cross gained the 27-26 lead on a Lepley three-pointer at 1:02, but back-to-back buckets by Fordham gave it the 30-27 lead at the half.

Fordham exploded out of the gate to begin the second half as it went on a 21-8 run over the first 7:30 to push ahead 51-35, which set up the late game dramatics. The Rams' Mariah Strickland scored 12 points during the rally.

Ganser led the Crusaders with her second career double-double as she posted 17 points and 10 rebounds. Lepley added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Malone posted nine points and five rebounds. Strickland finished the contest with 16 points for Fordham.

Holy Cross shot 46.2 percent from the field (24 of 52), while Fordham connected on 26 of its 59 shots from the floor (44.1 percent). The Crusaders shot well from behind the arc, as they hit 38.1 percent of their attempts from downtown (8 of 17). Holy Cross held advantages in blocks (3-0), defensive rebounds (21-19), and bench points (11-0). The Rams only committed four turnovers in the contest, compared to Holy Cross' 11 miscues.

The Crusaders return to the Hart Center for their first game there since the end of November, when it will host Brown on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 11:30 a.m. The game will be Holy Cross' second annual "Get Fit with the Lady Crusaders Game," in which over 1700 Worcester Public School students will be in attendance.