Women's Basketball Wraps Up 2013-2014 Season

Alex Smith

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Holy Cross Women's Basketball
2013-2014 Season Review
20-12 Overall Record
10-8 Patriot League Record (Fifth Place)

PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT: The Holy Cross women's basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Patriot League Tournament for the third consecutive season, but was defeated by Army, 68-58 on March 15 in West Point, N.Y. The Crusaders, who were the fifth seed in the tournament, defeated No. 4 Bucknell, 79-66, in the quarterfinal round on March 6. Holy Cross also upset Navy, who was the top seed in the tournament after winning the regular season championship, in the semifinals by a score of 75-56 on March 10 in Annapolis. Holy Cross senior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) and sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) were named to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team. The Crusaders' 18 appearances in the championship game are the most out of any team in the 24-year history of the league.

REGULAR SEASON RECAP: The Crusaders tied their best start in school history with a 6-0 record to begin the season. Holy Cross, however, dropped three of its next four games, including two losses to a pair of eventual NCAA Tournament teams in Fordham and Iowa State. The Crusaders bounced back and claimed four wins in a row, while they won their first three Patriot League contests of the year. Holy Cross then hit a rough patch and dropped five of its next seven contests, including a heartbreaking overtime loss to Bucknell at home. The Crusaders then found some momentum that began with a 92-85 road victory at Army and rattled off three straight victories, before they went 1-2 in their final three games to earn the fifth seed in the Patriot League Tournament and a regular season overall record of 18-11.

HOLY CROSS' HOT START TO SEASON: Holy Cross tied its best start in school history with a 6-0 mark to begin the campaign. This record tied the 1981-82 and 1982-83 teams who were also 6-0. The Crusaders also scored 70 or more points in each of their first six games this season, including 92 points at UMass Lowell. Beginning with the Bryant game and extending through the UMass, Manhattan and Northeastern contests, Holy Cross was either tied or held the lead for 151:53 straight minutes, before Fordham ended the stretch at the 19:09 mark of the game.  

PATRIOT LEAGUE'S BEST FROM DOWNTOWN: Holy Cross senior guard Alex Smith set the Patriot League record for three-pointers made in a career in the win over Quinnipiac on Dec. 18. Smith canned six three-pointers in the contest to pass Lehigh's Alex Ross mark of 286 career treys. Also during the Quinnipiac game, she set the Holy Cross record with 27 points in a single half en route to a career-best 31 points. On Dec. 1, Smith passed Bethany O'Dell for the most three-pointers in Holy Cross history. Over her four-year career Smith connected on 349 of her Patriot League-record 927 three-point attempts. Her 349 career treys made will rank in the top-20 in NCAA women's basketball history after the conclusion of the 2013-14 season.

WELCOME TO THE 1,000 POINT CLUB: Holy Cross senior Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) scored the 1000th point of her career in the win over Lafayette on Feb. 19. She became the 30th player in program history to accomplish the feat and the 87th Patriot League student-athlete to earn the milestone.

AN ELITE GROUP: Senior Alex Smith is one of eight current Division I women's basketball players who have accumulated over 1,600 points, 500 assists and 400 rebounds in a career. Smith is also the only Holy Cross player ever to achieve those numbers as she has totaled 1,644 points, 568 assists and 455 rebounds as a Crusader.

TWENTY WINS ACCOMPLISHED: With the win over Navy in the Patriot League semifinal round, the Crusaders won their 20th game of the season, which is the first time they have crossed the 20-win plateau since the 2004-05 team finished with a 20-11 record. Over the 40 years of Holy Cross women's basketball, the Crusaders have now won at least 20 contests in 21 seasons. Head coach Bill Gibbons has seventeen 20-win campaigns to his name over 29 seasons of piloting Holy Cross.

PAIR EARN PATRIOT LEAGUE AWARDS: Holy Cross senior guard Alex Smith and sophomore forward Raquel Scott were named first and second team All-Patriot League, respectively, as voted on by the conference's head coaches. This is the third consecutive year Smith has earned first team accolades, while this is the first time Scott was named to the All-League team. Smith also was named to the Academic All-Patriot League team for the second straight season, as voted on by the conference's sports information directors.

SMITH NOMINATED FOR PAIR OF AWARDS: Alex Smith was nominated for both the Senior CLASS Award for Division I women's basketball and the Allstate Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Team. The Senior CLASS Award recognizes NCAA student-athletes who have notable achievements in four area of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. In its second year, the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team honors players at all levels of college basketball who represent the sport's finest in the areas of leadership and charitable achievements amongst their peers. A total of 84 women's basketball players from all levels of collegiate play were listed as nominees for the Allstate Good Works Team.

CRUSADERS LEAVE MARK IN HC RECORD BOOKS: Multiple players from this years' team have left their mark in the Holy Cross career, season and single-game record books. Alex Smith set the Holy Cross record for three-pointers made (349), three pointers attempted (927), minutes played (4,395), games played (127) and games started (125). She ranks third in Holy Cross history in field goals attempted (1,479); fifth in points scored (1,644), assists (568) and three point percentage (.376); seventh in steals (210); eighth in field goals made (589) and ninth in career scoring average (12.9). For single season records this season, Smith ranks second in three-pointers made (89) and attempted (230) and had the eighth-most assists (165). Brisje Malone finished her career with the ninth most games played (120) and games started (109) in Holy Cross history, as well as the ninth most minutes played (3,572).  She also ranks eighth all-time in assists (460) and 10th in free-throws made (289). Her 1,101 career points also rank 22nd all-time as she joins Smith and Maggie Fontana as the only players in Holy Cross history to accumulate over 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists in a Crusader uniform. Holy Cross sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) recorded the third most rebounds in a single season with 304 total caroms in 2013-14. Her 28 double-digit scoring games this season are the fourth most in Holy Cross history, while her career rebounds per game of 7.5 ranks fifth on the all-time list. Scott also set the Holy Cross record for most free throws attempted in a game (18) and tied for the most free throws converted in a single contest (13). Crusader sophomore center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) recorded the fourth most blocked shots in a single season with 77 this year. She jumped up to fifth all-time in Holy Cross history with 108 career blocks, while junior forward Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) ranks sixth all time with 92 swats. Hourigan also registered the second most blocked shots in a single game with eight.

HIGH OCTANE OFFENSE: The Holy Cross offense was a big part of its success this season. As of March 15, the Crusaders lead the Patriot League in scoring offense (70.5), assists per game (18.2) and field goal percentage (43.3), while they rank fourth in three-point percentage (33.7) and scoring margin (+4.4). Holy Cross scored 70 or more points in 19 games this season, which is the most since the 2001-02 team scored 70 or more in 22 contests. The Crusaders also tallied 90 or more points on three occasions this year, which ties them with the 2001-02 squad, who also scored 90+ in three games. Holy Cross also had five players on the team (Raquel Scott, Alex Smith, Emily Parker, Lisa Mifsud and Brisje Malone), who all averaged double-digit points. The closest team in the Patriot League, Navy, has three players on its roster who average double-digit points per game. Last year, the Crusaders ranked first in the Patriot League in points per game (59.9), field goal percentage (.414) and second in the conference in three-pointers per game (5.7) and three-point field goal percentage (.332).

RAQ-ING UP THE REBOUNDS: Holy Cross sophomore forward Raquel Scott was a key reason for the Crusaders' success this season with her dominant play in the paint. Scott led the squad with 16.3 points and 9.8 rebounds, while shooting at a 49.4 percent clip from the field (204 of 403). Scott led Holy Cross in rebounding in 26 games this season and led the squad and also the Patriot League with 18 double-doubles. In the Patriot League championship game at Army, Scott recorded her 18th double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds. She tallied her 17th and 16th double-doubles of the season in the tournament wins over Navy (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Bucknell (27 points, 11 rebounds). In the regular-season finale at Boston University, Scott recorded her 15th double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-best 15 rebounds. In the win over Loyola, Scott totaled nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while at Navy she posted 15 points and eight caroms. She recorded her 14th double-double of the season at Lafayette with team-highs of 25 points and 10 boards, while she registered her 13th and 12th double-doubles of the year versus Lehigh (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Army (career-high 27 points, 11 rebounds). She also tied the Holy Cross single-game record of 13 free throws converted versus the Black Knights. In the win over Colgate, Scott poured in 15 points and a career-best eight assists, while at Loyola she posted her 11th double-double of the season with 16 points and a game-best 12 caroms. In the three games prior to Loyola, she recorded double-doubles versus Navy (10 points, 11 rebounds), Lafayette (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Lehigh (23 points, 16 rebounds). She also played well versus Army (15 points, five rebounds, three steals), Colgate (16 points, career-best 16 rebounds), American (15 points, 10 rebounds), Boston University (career-best 24 points, 10 rebounds), Boston College (16 points, 10 rebounds), Fordham (21 points, eight rebounds), Massachusetts (21 points, 12 rebounds), Manhattan (15 points, 13 rebounds), Northeastern (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Dartmouth (22 points, seven rebounds, five assists). On Dec. 2, Scott was named Patriot League Anaconda Sports Player of the Week, in helping the Crusaders to a pair of victories over UMass and Manhattan. For her performance against Dartmouth, Scott was named the GoHolyCross.com Crusader of the Week (11/11).

SMITH LEADS OFFENSE: Senior guard Alex Smith was a key player to this year's team at the point guard position. She was the only player on the roster to start in all 32 games and averaged 13.6 points, 5.2 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per contest. Smith also had a .409 shooting percentage (158 of 386) and drilled 89 of 230 from behind the arc (38.7 percent). In the championship game at Army, Smith totaled 16 points, while she tallied 11 points and four assists in the win over Navy. She recorded her second career double-double with 13 points and a career-best 12 assists in the win over Bucknell. In the regular-season finale at Boston University, she had 14 points and six assists and crossed over the 1,600 point plateau. Smith totaled 12 points and six assists in the win over Loyola, while she had 15 points and five helpers versus Lehigh and 23 points and five rebounds in the win over Army. At Bucknell, she totaled 12 points and five helpers, while in the win over Colgate, she canned a trio of three-pointers en route to an 11 point performance. Versus American, Smith recorded 15 points and a contest-high seven assists while also scoring her 1,500th point. She also played well versus Loyola (17 points, five rebounds), Navy (11 points, six assists), Lafayette (22 points, five assists), Lehigh (19 points, six rebounds, five assists), Army (19 points, six rebounds), Bucknell (17 points, seven assists), Quinnipiac (career-best 31 points – set Holy Cross record for most points (27) in one half), Northeastern (15 points, eight assists), Manhattan (13 points, eight assists), UMass (23 points, five three-pointers made), Bryant (19 points, five rebounds, five steals) and UMass Lowell (17 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, four steals). This season she was named Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week (Dec. 23) and the GoHolyCross.com Player of the Week (Feb. 17).

MIFSUD WITH INCREASED ROLE IN BACKCOURT: Crusader sophomore guard Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) played a significant role in the backcourt this season for Holy Cross. She started in 29 games this year and averaged 10.1 points, 3.2 assists and 2.0 rebounds per contest. Mifsud has also drained 29.5 percent of her shots from behind the arc (39 of 132), which is second on the team. She totaled 11 points and five assists at Navy and 14 points and five assists at Bucknell. She scored 20 points in the win over Lafayette, while she led the team at Bucknell with 16 point and five assists. In the win over Colgate, she posted 12 points and four assists, while at Loyola, Mifsud scored 10 points and went five of six from the charity stripe. She scored a team-high 12 points versus Navy, while in the win over Lafayette, she recorded 19 points and a team-best six assists, as she was five of eight shooting from behind the arc. She also played well versus Lehigh (15 points, seven assists), Army (12 points, six assists), Bucknell (career-high 23 points), Colgate (10 points), American (nine points, three assists), Boston College (11 points), Fordham (11 points, four assists), Manhattan (11 points, three three-pointers), UMass Lowell (15 points, seven assists, five rebounds) and Dartmouth (12 points, four helpers).

MALONE PUTS UP GREAT NUMBERS: Senior guard Brisje Malone had a great season for the Crusaders, as she averaged 11.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per contest. She also ranked first on the team with 1.8 steals per game. In the Patriot League championship game at Army, Malone scored 16 points, while in the win over Navy in the semifinals, she tied a career-high with 23 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds. At Boston University, Malone tallied 16 points and five rebounds, while in the win over Loyola, she posted a game-best 18 points and six assists. At Navy, she totaled 15 points, five rebounds and four assists, while in the win at Lafayette, Malone became the 30th player in Holy Cross history to eclipse the 1,000 career point milestone, as she totaled 15 points and six assists. In the win over Lehigh, she tallied 16 points and five assists, while at Bucknell, she totaled 15 points, four assists and four steals, while moving into 10th place in HC history in career helpers. In the win over Colgate, Malone tallied nine points, three assists and a trio of swipes, while at Loyola, she made the start and posted eight points and five rebounds. Malone also played well versus Colgate (12 points, five assists), American (seven points, nine rebounds), Boston University (19 points, five rebounds, five assists), St. Louis (11 points, eight rebounds, game-winning basket), Quinnipiac (15 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds; second double-double of season), Northeastern (14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists), Manhattan (11 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, five steals) and UMass Lowell (16 points, 12 rebounds; third career double-double). She was named the GoHolyCross.com Crusader of the Week (12/30).

HOURIGAN PLAYS BIG DOWN LOW: Holy Cross sophomore center Molly Hourigan played well this season for Holy Cross and averaged 6.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks through 32 games played and started in the last 18 contests. Over the past 13 games, Hourigan compiled 47 blocked shots and currently ranks second in the Patriot League. She recorded 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks at Navy, while she posted 10 points, seven caroms and a pair of blocked shots at Bucknell. At Boston University, she totaled 10 points and seven rebounds, while she tallied four points, six rebounds and four blocked shots versus Loyola. In the win over Lafayette, she posted 10 points and five caroms, while versus Lehigh she totaled six points, six rebounds and seven blocked shots. At Army, Hourigan tallied nine points, 10 rebounds and a career-best eight blocked shots, while in the win against Colgate, she totaled nine points, a team-high seven rebounds and three blocks. In the win over Loyola, Hourigan had her best game in a Crusader uniform as the sophomore notched her first career double-double with 16 points (ties career-best) and a career-high 10 rebounds. Hourigan also played well versus Navy (seven points, nine rebounds, five blocks), Lehigh (12 points, five blocks), Army (six blocks), Iowa State (10 points, five rebounds), Boston College (seven rebounds), Northeastern (eight rebounds), UMass Lowell (10 points and five rebounds) and Dartmouth (seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks). 

PARKER STRONG IN THE POST: Holy Cross junior Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) was an important cog in the frontcourt this season for the Crusaders and averaged 10.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while shooting a 53.7 percent clip from the field (88 of 164). In the win over Lafayette, she totaled 11 points and a pair of rebounds, while at Bucknell she posted 15 points and a team-high eight caroms. At Colgate, Parker recorded a career-best 23 points and 12 rebounds at Colgate, while against American she tallied 17 points and eight rebounds. Parker also played well versus Boston University (12 points nine rebounds, three blocks), Saint Louis (13 points), Quinnipiac (12 points), Fordham/Northeastern (eight points, eight rebounds), Manhattan (eight points, five rebounds, four blocks), UMass (11 points, 12 rebounds), Bryant (14 points, five rebounds), UMass Lowell (13 points, seven rebounds) and Dartmouth (11 points, nine rebounds). She was named the GoHolyCross.com Crusader of the Week (1/6).

GANSER AND SULLIVAN ADD FRONTCOURT DEPTH: Senior forward Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) and junior forward Clare Sullivan (Belmont, Mass.) added depth to the frontcourt this season for the Crusaders. Ganser started in three games and averaged 3.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game. In the win over Colgate, she hauled in six boards, while versus American, she totaled a season-best nine points to go along with four rebounds. She earned her first start of the season versus Navy and scored eight points, while in the win over Lafayette, she totaled five points and five rebounds. Sullivan averaged 2.3 points and 0.7 rebounds in 6.2 minutes per game. She scored a season-best seven points at UMass Lowell, while she has tallied six points in a pair of games versus Bucknell and Lafayette.

OFF THE BENCH: Holy Cross used a trio of guards off the bench this season to give it the ability to have many different lineups. Senior Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) played in 31 games this season with five starts. She averaged 1.3 points and 1.6 rebounds per game this season. Second-year players Kate Gillespie (Washington, D.C.) and Jenn Walsh (Dallas, Texas) also have seen action this season off the bench. Gillespie played in 31 games and averaged 1.8 points and 0.9 rebounds per game. She tallied a career-best 16 points on five of six shooting from behind the arc in the win over Army. Walsh saw action in seven contests this season. Holy Cross freshmen Jenn Dynis (St Louis, Mo.) and Madelyn Ganser (Needham, Mass.) also helped the Crusaders off the bench this season. Ganser, the sister of senior forward Christine, played in 25 games and averaged 1.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game. She posted four points and tied a career-high with four rebounds versus Army, while she had three points and four rebounds against Bucknell. Ganser scored a career-best five points at Manhattan. Dynis appeared in 22 games, with one start at UMass Lowell and averaged 1.5 points per game. Versus the Riverhawks, she recorded a career-best 11 points and five rebounds.

ON THE INTERNET: Information on Crusader basketball and all 26 other varsity sports is available through the Holy Cross Athletics home page at "www.GoHolyCross.com". In addition, links to Holy Cross basketball audio broadcasts and live video streaming can be found on the home page. Updates on Holy Cross Athletics can also be found at "www.facebook.com/HolyCrossAthletics" and "www.twitter.com/GoHolyCross".

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