Holy Cross Battles Back to Defeat URI, 59-55

Dec. 7, 2004

Box Score

Kingston, R.I. - Junior guard Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.) poured in a career-high 23 points, and junior guard Shannon Bush (Doylestown, Pa.) added 10 points to lead Holy Cross to a thrilling 59-55 win over the University of Rhode Island on Tuesday night at the Ryan Center. Holy Cross gets back to the .500 mark (4-4 overall, 0-0 Patriot League) with the much-needed win, while Rhode Island falls to 2-5 (0-0 Atlantic 10).

Rhode Island started the game on an 11-3 run with just under 16:00 remaining in the first, but the Crusaders used an 8-1 run of their own to get within one (12-11) with 13:22 to play. Freshman forward Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) managed a basket inside to tie the game at 23-all with 4:46 left in the half, and the Crusaders took their first lead of the game less than a minute later on two Bush free throws. But, senior guard Peta Kneen put the Rams back in front after a long ball at the 3:08 mark, and URI went into the half up, 31-25.

URI started the second on a 6-0 run, building a 12-point lead with under 17:00 to go. Holy Cross did not score its first hoop of the second stanza until the 16:34 mark, but thanks to seven-straight points by Placek, the Crusaders found themselves within five with under 14:00 to go. Jessica Conte's (New Canaan, Conn.) second three-ball of the night pulled the Crusaders within two (37-35), but the Rams mounted an 11 point lead (53-42) over the next 11 minutes.

Holy Cross fought its way back into the game and went on a 13-0 tear to take a 55-53 lead with 2:00 remaining in the game. During that 2:07 span, sophomore guard Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) scored five straight points, and Placek added three free-throws before Bush banked a long three from the left wing to give the Crusaders the lead.

Rhode Island's Tanya Rhodes hit a jumper with 1:36 left to tie the game at 55-all, but the Crusaders held the Rams scoreless the rest of the way. Senior center Lisa Andrews (Concord, Mass.) made good on a rebound and putback with 1:08 left, and fellow senior Maggie Fontana (Barrington, Ill.) hit two key free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Kneen led the Rams with 16 points, Rhodes added 14, and Safi Mojidi chipped in 13 for URI.

Andrews finished with eight points and six boards for the Crusaders, who also got six boards and five points from Keil.

Holy Cross is back on the road Thursday, December 9, when they travel to Siena for a 7:00 p.m. tip at the Alumni Recreation Center.