WORCESTER, Mass. – Army sophomore guard Kelsey Minato led the Black Knights to a 70-57 victory over Holy Cross in Patriot League women's basketball action with a 23 point performance at the Hart Center on Wednesday evening. With the win, Army improves to 12-4 overall and 4-1 in Patriot League play, while the Crusaders fall to 11-5 on the season and 3-2 against conference opponents.
Army set the tone early in the first half with a 7-2 run to start the game. The Black Knights were able to steadily build on that lead, going up 26-12 with 7:15 remaining in the half, but Holy Cross cut the margin to eight (26-18) after a jumper by sophomore center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) with 3:55 left on the clock. Army would work the advantage back to 14 (34-20) with 39 seconds to go before halftime, but a layup by Holy Cross sophomore guard Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) at the buzzer took the Crusaders into the locker room down 34-22 at the break.
The second half started with a three-pointer by Minato to put the Black Knights up 37-22. Holy Cross cut the deficit to 10 points (46-36) with 11:44 left in the half with a senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) three-pointer. A crafty spin move led to yet another open jumper for Minato to put Army up 51-36 with 9:35 left in the game. A 7-3 Holy Cross run brought the score to 54-43 in favor of the Black Knights with 6:48 on the clock. Freshman guard Madelyn Ganser (Needham, Mass.) hit a late jump shot with 28 seconds remaining to cut the score to 68-55 in favor of the Black Knights, but it would not be enough, as Army came away with a 70-57 win over the Crusaders.
Smith led the Crusaders in scoring with 19 points, as she also added four assists and three rebounds. Mifsud played well with 12 points, six assists and four rebounds for Holy Cross, while sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) joined in with 15 points, two assists and five rebounds. Hourigan set a career high with six blocks on the night. Minato led Army with 23 points, five assists and four rebounds, while senior guard Jen Hazlett added 16 points, four assists and two rebounds for the Black Knights.
The Crusaders hit 35.3 percent of their shots from the field (18 of 51), while the Black Knights connected on 27 of their 53 shot attempts (50.9 percent). Holy Cross canned four of its 13 attempts from behind the arc (30.8 percent), while Army drilled eight of 14 from downtown (57.1 percent). The Crusaders shot 70.8 percent from the charity stripe (17 of 24). Holy Cross held the advantage in fast break points (6-2) and blocked shots (6-2), but was outmatched in points in the paint (28-24), second chance points (9-2) and rebounding (32-27).
Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 18, when it will make the trip to Bethlehem, Pa. to take on Lehigh at 2:00 p.m.