February 12, 2014

Women’s Basketball Outduels Army, 92-85

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Holy Cross sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) totaled a career-best 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the season to help lead the Crusaders to a 92-85 triumph over Army in Patriot League women's basketball action on Wednesday evening at Christl Arena. With the win, Holy Cross hands the Black Knights their first home loss of the season and improves to 15-9 overall and 7-6 in the league. Army falls to 17-6 on the season and 9-3 in the conference.

In addition to Scott for the Crusaders, senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) tallied 23 points on four of eight shooting from behind the arc, while sophomore guard Kate Gillespie (Washington, D.C.) scored a career-best 16 points and canned five of six from downtown. Second year center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) recorded nine points, 10 rebounds and a career-high eight blocked shots. Army was led by sophomore Kelsey Minato, who set a school record with 49 points, while going 26 of 26 from the free-throw line.

The teams went back and forth to begin the contest, as Holy Cross held the 10-9 lead with 14:57 on the clock. The Crusaders used a 5-0 rally to make the score 15-9 (11:23), but Minato responded with a three-pointer to cut the margin to 15-12. Holy Cross then embarked on a 23-8 surge over the next 8:43 to gain the 38-20 advantage (2:49) – its largest of the contest. Gillespie had nine points during the run, while Smith and senior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) had four apiece. Army cut its deficit to 10 points (40-30) with 18 seconds left, but a three-pointer by Smith to close out the half gave the Crusaders the 43-30 lead at intermission.

In the second stanza, Holy Cross held the 11-point margin (51-40) with 16:26 on the clock, but back-to-back treys by Smith pushed the Crusaders ahead 57-40 (15:46). Army countered with an 11-3 rally to make its deficit single digits (60-51) with 13:26 left in the half, but Holy Cross responded and pushed the lead to 11 points (68-57) at the 10:16 mark on the back of a Gillespie three.

With a 12-point deficit to overcome (72-60), the Black Knights got back into the contest with a 12-2 surge to make the score 74-72 with 6:51 on the clock. Out of a Holy Cross timeout, Smith canned a huge three-pointer to put the Crusaders on top by five (77-72). Holy Cross held the lead over the final 6:35 of the contest, as it did not allow Army to get any closer than five points for the remainder of the game.

Holy Cross connected on 27 of its 55 shots on the night (49.1 percent), while it limited Army to 36.2 percent shooting from the floor (21 of 58). The Crusaders canned 52.9 percent from downtown (9 of 17), while the Black Knights hit six of 18 from behind the arc (33.3 percent). Army shot incredibly well from the free throw line as it hit 37 of its 41 attempts (90.2 percent).

The Crusaders held advantages in assists (14-7), blocked shots (10-3), points in the paint (26-22) and second chance points (14-9), while they were outmatched in rebounding (39-35) and points off turnovers (18-15). Both teams were in foul trouble for the majority of the game, as there were 58 combined personal fouls.

During the contest, Smith moved into eighth place all-time in Holy Cross history in total points, as she now has 1,546. Hourigan also is now in seventh place in school history with 84 blocked shots in her career, as the eight blocks tonight were the second most by a Crusader in a single game. The 92 points scored by Holy Cross tied its season-high and it was also the most allowed by Army all season.

The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, Feb. 15, when they will host Lehigh at the Hart Center for a 3:00 p.m. tipoff. The team will host its annual "Pink Zone" game and honor its graduating players on "Senior Day."