EASTON, Pa. – Holy Cross senior forward Amy Lepley (Needham, Mass.) scored a game and season-high 23 points and hauled in six rebounds to help lead the Crusaders to a 69-58 triumph over Lafayette in women's basketball action Wednesday evening at the Kirby Sports Center. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 14-12 overall and move into a tie for third place in the Patriot League with American at 6-5. The Leopards fall to 11-15 overall and 4-7 in the conference.
Holy Cross began the contest on a 12-5 rally over the first four minutes as Lepley scored nine points for the Crusaders. Lafayette worked the deficit to four points twice over the next two minutes as HC led, 14-10, with 14:03 on the clock. The Crusaders then erupted on a 12-1 run to grab the 26-11 lead with 9:40 left in the half, as junior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) scored five points during the surge. Holy Cross pushed the lead to 17 points (30-13) at the 5:37 mark on the back of a Lepley layup. However, the Leopards gained some momentum and ended the half on a 14-4 rally to head into the locker room down 34-27.
The Crusaders jumped back ahead by double-digits after the intermission (38-28) less than a minute into the second half, but the Leopards rallied with a 10-3 run to cut the deficit to three points (41-38) with 14:07 on the clock. Holy Cross battled back and countered with an 8-0 spurt to grab the 49-38 lead just over 90 seconds later.
The Crusaders pushed the lead to 12 points (56-44) at the 9:08 mark on the back of a Lepley three-pointer, but Lafayette rallied with nine straight points to trail by three (56-53) with 5:25 on the clock. After a layup by Holy Cross freshman center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) and a free-throw by junior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.), the Crusaders went back on top, 59-53 (4:00), but a layup on the other end by the Leopards made it a four-point game.
Holy Cross freshman forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) drilled a pair of free-throws with 2:53 on the clock to begin a 6-0 rally for the Crusaders as they increased the lead to 65-55 at the1:30 mark of the second half. Holy Cross ended the game on a 4-3 run to claim the final 69-58 victory.
In addition to Lepley for Holy Cross, Malone scored 15 points and dished out a game-best eight assists. Smith tallied 13 points to go along with six rebounds, as she has now hit a three-pointer in 29 straight contests. Hourigan added eight points and six boards, while sophomore forward Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) registered four points and a team-high nine caroms. Lafayette's Emily Homan notched a 22 point, 11 rebound double-double to lead the Leopards.
The Crusaders shot 49.1 percent from the field (28 of 57), while the Leopards connected on 21 of their 62 shots from the floor (33.9 percent). Both Holy Cross and Lafayette went 5 of 16 from behind the arc (31.3 percent). The Crusaders held advantages in rebounds (39-38), assists (17-16), blocks (5-0) and points in the paint (34-24).
Holy Cross will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Hart Center as it will take on Bucknell at 2:00 p.m. on "Senior Day."