WORCESTER, Mass. – Navy seniors Alix Membreno and Kara Pollinger scored game-highs of 17 points apiece, as they helped lead the Mids to a 60-53 victory over Holy Cross in Patriot League women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center. With the win, Navy improves to 16-3 on the season and 8-0 in the conference, while the Crusaders fall to 12-7 overall and 4-4 in the league.
Navy grabbed the early 13-7 lead in the contest (15:30), but an old-fashioned three-pointer by Holy Cross sophomore center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) sliced the margin to 13-10 with 14:42 on the clock. The Mids, however, erupted on an 18-0 rally over the next 6:53 to gain the 31-10 advantage at the 7:49 mark of the first half. The Crusaders finally ended the run and went on an 8-3 spurt to make the score 34-18 (1:43), but Navy concluded the half on a 7-5 run to grab the 18-point halftime lead of 41-23. The Mids shot 57.1 percent from the field in the first half (16 of 28) and canned six of 10 from behind the arc (60.0 percent).
In the second half, the Crusaders found their rhythm and went on a 14-5 run to cut the deficit to single digits (46-37) midway through the stanza. Navy responded to the Crusaders rally and went on a 6-0 surge to gain the 52-37 advantage at the 7:27 mark of the half. Holy Cross, however, countered with its best run of the game, as the Crusaders embarked on a 14-2 rally to make the score 54-51 with 1:36 left in the contest. Holy Cross senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) got the run started with a three-pointer, as sophomore guard Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) led the Crusaders with five points during the late charge. Navy, who came into the contest averaging 59.2 percent from the free-throw line, was able to ice the game over the final minute, as it went six of six from the charity stripe to claim the 60-53 victory.
The Crusaders were led by sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.), who notched her Patriot League-leading 10th double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Mifsud also led the Crusaders with a team-best 12 points, while Smith totaled 11 points and six assists. Hourigan added seven points, a career-high nine rebounds and a game-best five blocks for Holy Cross, while senior forward Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) tallied eight points in her first start of the season.
Holy Cross shot 32.3 percent from the field (21 of 65), while the Mids hit 22 of their 49 in the contest (44.9 percent). The Crusaders connected on eight of 25 from behind the arc (32.0 percent), while Navy drilled 40 percent from downtown (6 of 15). Holy Cross held advantages in assists (15-12), points off turnovers (15-9) and offensive rebounds (11-9), while it was outmatched in total rebounds (42-30), points in the paint (30-22) and second-chance points (11-9).
During the game, Smith crossed the 500 career assist milestone, as she is now one of only six current division one woman's basketball players who have accumulated over 1,400 points, 500 assists and 400 rebounds in their careers.
The Crusaders return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 29, when they will travel to new Patriot League member Loyola (Md.) for a 7:00 p.m. contest.