WORCESTER, Mass. – American junior guard Jen Dumiak tallied a game-high 17 points to go along with seven rebounds, as she helped lead the Eagles to a 58-53 victory over Holy Cross in Patriot League women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center. With the win, American improves to 14-7 overall and 7-3 in the conference, while the Crusaders fall to 13-8 on the season and 5-5 in the league.
With the score tied at 4-4 early in the contest (17:45), American used a 10-3 rally to gain the 17-7 lead at the 13:50 mark of the first half. The Eagles pushed their advantage to nine (19-10), but the Crusaders scored five quick points to make the score 19-15 (11:03). The teams traded baskets over the next 6:01 as American held the 25-19 lead, but a layup by Holy Cross sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) and a three-pointer by senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) cut the deficit to one point (25-24) with 3:24 left in the stanza. The Eagles countered with five straight points from Dumiak to give them the 30-24 advantage, but a jumper by Scott made the score 30-26, in favor of American at the intermission.
In the second half, the Eagles used a pair of buckets to gain the 34-26 lead with 16:41 on the clock. The Crusaders, however, responded with a 10-2 run to knot the game at 36-36 (13:30) as senior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) scored four points during the rally. Dumiak canned a jumper on the other end, but a three-pointer by Smith (12:05) gave Holy Cross its first lead of the game at 39-38. The edge was short lived, as Ti'Asia McGeorge canned a trey on the other end to put American up by two (41-39).
The Eagles gained the four-point advantage (45-41) at the 10:26 mark, but five points in a row by Holy Cross gave it the 46-45 lead with 8:10 on the clock. American would answer with its best run of the game, as it embarked on an 11-2 surge over the next 2:56 to give it the 56-48 lead (5:14). Holy Cross tried to mount a comeback, as it cut the margin to three points (56-53) with 28 ticks on the clock, but a pair of free throws by Dumiak sealed the 58-53 victory for American.
Holy Cross was led offensively by Smith, who tallied a team-best 15 points and a game-high seven assists. She also became the 11th Holy Cross women's basketball player to reach the 1,500 point milestone in the contest and is the only Crusader in the history of the program to attain 1,500 points and 500 assists in a career.
Senior forward Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) tallied nine points and four caroms, while Scott and sophomore center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) scored eight and seven points, respectively. In addition to Dumiak for American, Geleisa George posted 12 points, while Michelle Holmes recorded eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Crusaders shot 37.0 percent from the field (20 of 54), while the Eagles canned 23 of their 52 shots from the floor (44.2 percent). Holy Cross went five of 17 from behind the arc (29.4 percent), while American hit 25.0 percent from downtown (3 of 12). The Crusaders held advantages in assists (14-12), steals (6-3) and points off turnovers (11-6), while they were outmatched in rebounding (40-27) and second chance points (8-5).
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 5, when it will host Colgate at the Hart Center for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.