March 4, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - Sophomore point guard Laura Aloisi poured in a career-high 21 points and three other Crusaders scored in double-figures to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a 64-60 win over third-seeded Bucknell on Saturday afternoon in the Patriot League semifinals at the Hart Center. The second-seeded Crusaders improve to 16-13 overall and advance to the conference championship game where they will face top-seeded Army on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m., in West Point, N.Y. The Bison finish their season at 18-11 overall.
Aloisi had 17 of her game-high 21 points in the first half and finished the game 6-for-10 from the floor, while adding three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 40 minutes of action. She was 5-for-6 from the field and 5-for-5 from the line in the first half. Junior guard Brittany Keil scored 19 points - 11 of which came in the first half - and tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds. Junior center Kaitlin Foley added 12 points, eight rebounds, and a career-high four assists, while senior guard Shannon Bush chipped in with 10 points, four assists and three boards.
Holy Cross started the game 4-for-6 (66.7 percent) from the floor and jumped out to a 10-3 lead to start the game. Bucknell regrouped after a timeout and went on a 10-0 run on the strength of seven straight points by Lauren Schober to take a 13-10 lead at the 14:25 mark. But Holy Cross responded with back-to-back treys by Aloisi and Keil to go ahead 16-13 with 13:12 on the clock. Six minutes later, the Crusaders found themselves down by four (25-21) after a Lindsey Hollobaugh three-pointer, but fought back to take a three-point lead of their own (31-28) following a Keil long ball at the 4:33 mark. The Crusaders were able to maintain the lead into the break and went into the locker room with a 39-34 lead at the half.
Holy Cross shot 43.8 percent (14-for-32) from the field in the first and made 66.7 percent (6-for-9) of its three-point attempts. Bucknell shot 42.4 percent (14-for-33) in the first and only turned the ball over three times, while scoring 10 points off of eight Crusader mishaps.
The Crusaders started the second half on fire, hitting four of their first five shots to extend their lead to 12 (48-36) after a Keil triple at the 17:18 mark. A Bush free throw gave Holy Cross a 13 point lead, until Bucknell responded with a 15-3 run to get within one (52-51) with 9:58 remaining. But the Crusaders kept their composure and never relinquished the lead, as they held the Bison to just nine points in the final ten minutes of the game, while making four free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
The Crusaders finished the game 43.1 percent from the floor and held Bucknell to 37.3 shooting on the afternoon. Holy Cross also won the rebounding battle, 37-29, including a 12-8 advantage on the offensive glass.
Bucknell was led by Hope Foster's 19 points and nine rebounds. Hollobaugh finished with 13 points and Kesha Champion and Lauren Schober added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
In the other bracket, top-seeded Army defeated fifth-seeded Colgate, 73-55 in the semifinal round to advance to the title game, which will be held at Christl Arena in West Point, N.Y.