ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy junior guard Alix Membreno registered an 11 point and 11 rebound double-double to lead the Midshipmen to a 59-35 victory over Holy Cross at Alumni Hall on Wednesday evening. With the win, Navy improves to 15-9 overall and a Patriot League best 8-1 in the conference. Holy Cross falls to 12-12 on the season and 4-5 in the league.
Navy jumped ahead 5-0 through the first four minutes of action in the first half. Holy Cross was able to keep the margin close as it trailed 12-8 with 10:32 left in the half, on the back of a junior forward Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) jumper. However, the Mids offense exploded as they went on a 14-0 run to grab the 26-8 lead with 3:11 on the clock.
Crusaders junior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) drilled a three-pointer to end the drought, but Navy answered on the other end to make the score 28-11 (1:50) in favor of the Mids. Holy Cross senior forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) hit a layup with just over a minute left in the half as Navy held the 28-13 lead at intermission. The Crusaders struggled on offense in the first half as they connected on 21 percent of their shots (6 of 28) and only hit nine percent from downtown (1 of 11).
Navy scored eight straight points to begin the second half as it led 36-13 with 16:05 on the clock. The Mids increased their lead with an 11-2 rally over the next five minutes as they led 47-15 with 11:12 left in the half. Holy Cross battled back and went on 12-5 run, to slice the deficit to 52-27 at the 7:12 mark. The Crusaders outscored the Mids, 8-7, over the final seven minutes of the game, as Navy would go on to win, 59-35.
Ganser led the Crusaders with nine points and four rebounds, while Smith posted eight points and two boards. Senior forward Kaitlin Cole (Springfield, Pa.) chipped in with five points, five rebounds and three steals off the bench. Lepley and freshman guard Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) scored four each. Smith has now hit at least one three-pointer in 27 straight games for HC. In addition to Membreno, Jade Geif led all scorers with 13 points, while Audrey Bauer scored 11 for Navy.
Holy Cross could not get anything going all night as it connected on 14 of its 55 shots from the field (25.5 percent), while Navy hit 41.5 percent of its shots (22 of 53). The Crusaders drained 14.3 percent of their shots from downtown (3 of 21) as the Mids canned 10 of 22 from behind the arc (45.5 percent). Holy Cross hit four of its five shots from the charity stripe for 80.0 percent. The Crusaders held advantages in steals (11-4), blocks (4-1) and points off turnovers (10-5).
The Crusaders will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 16 when they will host American at the Hart Center at 3:00 p.m. The game will be Holy Cross' annual "Think Pink" game in which the team will don special pink uniforms that will be auctioned off following the contest to raise money for PINK Revolution. The game will also be a part of the "40 Years of Coeducation at Holy Cross" celebration.