March 2, 2006

Women's Basketball Advances To Tournament Semifinal Game

March 2, 2006

Box Score

WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior guard Brittany Keil led all scorers with 20 points and junior center Kaitlin Foley added 12 to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a 57-49 win over seventh-seeded American on Thursday night in Patriot League quarterfinal action at the Hart Center. The second-seeded Crusaders improve to 15-13 overall and advance to the semifinals where they will face third-seeded Bucknell on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The Eagles finish their season at 7-21 overall.

Keil had nine of her game-high 20 points in the first half and finished the game 7-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. She also grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals. Sophomore guard Laura Aloisi totaled nine points, five rebounds and three assists, while senior guard Jessica Conte added nine points, six rebounds, a game-high six steals and two assists.

American took a 29-24 lead into the break after starting the game shooting better than 60 percent from the field. The Eagles jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the first seven minutes of play and extended their lead to 10 (29-19) with 3:24 on the clock following a Talicia Jackson triple. But the Crusaders fought back and scored the final five points of the half - on a Keil trey and jumper - to cut the deficit to five at intermission.

The Eagles shot 44 percent from the floor in the first, while Holy Cross shot 42.3 percent. Each team committed nine turnovers.

Holy Cross came out in the second and scored the first six points of the half to take its first lead (30-29) since the 18:53 mark in the first. Jessica Conte got the home team going with a drive to the hoop at the 17:49 mark to get Holy Cross within three (29-26) and then came up with a steal and a fast break lay-in on the ensuing American possession to cut the lead to one (29-28). Just two minutes later, the Crusaders began what would be a 9-2 run which put them up, 39-35, at the 11:33 mark after an Aloisi three-pointer and a Shannon Bush steal and hoop on the other end. Nicole Ryan scored four straight points for the Eagles to tie things up at 39-39 with 10:03 remaining, but Holy Cross responded with a 12-4 run to take a 51-43 lead with 2:41 left.

Aloisi then knocked down four free throws in the final 1:46 to seal the win.

Holy Cross shot 41.2 percent from the floor, while holding American to 38.5 percent. The Crusaders also forced 20 Eagle turnovers and committed just nine fouls for the game. American was 4-for-7 from the free throw line, which tied a Patriot League Tournament record for fewest free throws made in a game, dating back to 2001.

American was led by Jackson's 14 points. Ryan finished the night with 12 points and a team-high five steals. Tish Curry pulled down a game-high nine rebounds for the Eagles.

In the other bracket, top-seeded Army will face fifth-seeded Colgate in the semifinal round at 1:00 on Saturday afternoon in West Point, N.Y.