Crusaders Set To Face St. Peter's Tonight

Jan. 2, 2008

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS: Holy Cross Radio: www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Dick Lutsk, play-by-play. Series Record: St. Peter's leads 12-9. Last Meeting: St. Peter's 67, Holy Cross 55 (Jersey City, N.J.; November 12, 2006)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG F 10 Alyssa May 6-0 Fr. 3.7 3.0 F 14 Briana McFadden 5-10 So. 14.3 3.6 C 13 Ashley McLaughlin 6-1 Sr. 4.0 4.6 G 5 Laura Aloisi 5-9 Sr. 9.3 3.6 G 44 Bethany O'Dell 5-8 So. 11.4 4.0

THE SERIES WITH ST. PETER'S: This will be the 22nd meeting between the Crusaders and the Peahens on the hardwood. St. Peter's holds a 12-9 advantage in the all-time series, including a 67-55 victory over the Crusaders last year. Laura Aloisi had nine points, five rebounds, seven assists, five steals and one block in 37 minutes against St. Peter's. Ashley McLaughlin recorded six points, four boards, one assist and one steal while Jessica Pearson had five points, three rebounds and two assists. Lauma Reke had 15 points, five rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block while Natasha Morris led St. Peter's with 10 rebounds and had 15 points, four assists, three steals and one block.

ST. PETER'S QUICK FACTS: Overall.......................................St. Peter's leads, 12-9 In Jersey City...........................St. Peter leads, 1-8 At Yanitelli Center..............................St. Peter's leads, 1-8 Bill Gibbons vs.St. Peter's..........................................7-9 Stephanie DeWolfe vs. Holy Cross..............................1-1 Current Win Streak.........................St. Peter's, one game

MCFADDEN MAKES IT INTO THE BOOKS: Sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) tied the school record for best free throw percentage in a single game against UNC-Asheville on December 29, going 11-for-11 at the free throw line. She also tied the school record for consecutive free throws made in a single game with 11. In 12 starts, McFadden is averaging 14.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.4 blocks per game.

MAY MAKES WAVES: Freshman guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) continues her success during her debut season, making her sixth start of the season when the Crusaders faced UNC-Asheville in the consolation game of the State Farm Classic in Gainesville, Fla. Agagainst the Bulldogs, May scored 11 points including 10 in the second half while recording five rebounds, two blocks and a steal. In 12 appearnces, May is averaging 3.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.4 blocks per game.

CAMPBELL COMES THROUGH: Freshman center Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) had a season-high 14 points in 24 minutes played against UNC-Asheville on December 29, including eight points in the second half. She led the team in blocks with five and tied for the team high in assists with three. Campbell also grabbed six boards against the Bulldogs. Campbell leads the Crusaders in blocks with seven in 11 appearances and is averaging 3.2 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.6 blocks, 0.4 steals, and 0.2 assists per game.

STATE FARM CLASSIC RECAP: Briana McFadden had a team-high 19 points including ten in the second half to lift the Crusaders to a 79-60 win over UNC-Asheville in the consolation game of the State Farm Classic. UNC-Asheville jumped out to an early 8-2 lead as Ashton Barton hit two shots from outside the arc. The Bulldogs continued to maintain the lead, going on a 14-8 run with Lindsey Montgomery chipping in four points to the UNC-Asheville lead. The Crusaders chipped away at the Bulldogs lead, coming with in three points at halftime, 34-31. McFadden led the first half for Holy Cross, scoring nine points, grabbing two rebounds, and chipping in two assists. Holy Cross came out red hot after the break, grabbing the lead as Alyssa May hit a jumper to give the Crusaders a 40-32 lead. With 16:49 left in the game, Holy Cross held onto the lead. The Crusaders continued to pile on the points as May scored 10 points and Elizabeth Campbell had eight points in the second half. Holy Cross scored 48 points in the second half while holding the Bulldogs to 26 points. Closing out the game, McFadden had nine boards, three assists, an assist and a steal. Campbell finished with 14 points, six rebounds, a team-high five blocks and three steals. Laura Aloisi led Holy Cross in rebounds with eight and assists with six while recording four points and three steals.

In the first round game, Bethany O'Dell scored 12 points including six during the Holy Cross controlled second half, but it wasn't enough as the Crusaders lost to Florida, 66-52. The Gators took an early 14-5 lead as Marshae Dotson scored four points while Depree Bowden and Sha Brooks each hit shots from outside the arc. Florida continued to control the first half, holding onto a 29-12 lead over Holy Cross heading into the final five minutes before the break. The Gators finished with an 18-point cushion over Holy Cross, 39-21, closing out the first half. The Crusaders came out strong after the break, chipping away at Florida's lead, getting within eight of the Gators, 44-36, with O'Dell and Aloisi scoring four points a piece. Florida retaliated scoring 11 unanswered points, increasing its lead to 17 points over the Crusaders, 56-39, with 9:28 left in the game. The Gators never looked back, finishing 14 points ahead of Holy Cross, 66-52. In addition to her 12 points, O'Dell finished with two rebounds; one assist and one steal while McFadden led Holy Cross in rebounds with seven and chipped in eight points, three assists, and a block. Aloisi had nine points, two boards, three assists and three steals.

ALOISI STEALS THE SHOW: With 28 steals on the season, senior guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) tops the Patriot League, averaging 2.3 steals per game. During the State Farm Classic, Aloisi led Holy Cross in both games, averaging 3.0 per game. Aloisi had a season-high five steals against Quinnipiac on December 1. She recorded four during the Crusaders' 71-57 victory over Buffalo on November 27.

HITTIN' THE THREES: Senior guard Laura Aloisi, sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell and and sophomore forward Briana McFadden have wasted no time leading the Crusaders from the three-point line in the last two games. Aloisi is currently ranked first in the Patriot League with a 50.0% three-point field goal percentage. O'Dell is ranked second in the league with three-pointers made, averaging 2.25 per game. The Crusaders are ranked first for both categories as a team, averging 6.42 three-pointers per game and shooting 34.8% from outside the arc. Versus Boston College, Aloisi went five-for-seven from long range while O'Dell chipped in one three-pointer. Against Buffalo, Aloisi made three of her four attempts while O'Dell and McFadden each had two three-pointers against the Bulls. During the Crusaders 65-56 victory over URI, O'Dell hit four of 10 attempts, scoring all four in the first half while McFadden hit three of her six attempts. Against Maine, O'Dell was 5-of-9 from behind the arc while McFadden scored three on five long range attempts as the Crusaders went onto win 79-50. Aloisi leads Holy Cross in three pointers, shooting 57.6% from outside the arc (19-33).

MCLAUGHLIN ON THE BOARDS: Senior forward Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) leads Holy Cross with 4.6 rebounds per game. McLaughlin led the Crusaders with five boards during a 80-56 loss to Harvard on Dec. 18. During the Crusaders' 79-60 victory over UNC-Asheville, McLaughlin grabbed seven boards. Against Boston College, McLaughlin led the Crusaders' 25 rebounds against the Eagles with four. During the Crusaders' 71-57 victory over Buffalo, she chipped in six of the team's 38 boards. McLaughlin had a season-high in the Crusaders' season-opener versus Vermont, grabbing eight boards. Overall, Holy Cross is averaging 34.2 boards per game this year.

SHE'S BAAAAACK: Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) returns for her second season with the Crusaders. In 12 starts for Holy Cross, she is averaging 11.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. This season, O'Dell was named to the Patriot League Preseason All-League Team. Last year, O'Dell was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year and received Rookie of the Week honors six times. She also was named to the All-Patriot League Second Team and Patriot League All-Rookie Team. During her debut season, O'Dell made 30 starts in 32 games while averaging 12.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists. 1.0 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. She also led the Patriot League in three-point field goals with 87 on the season.

GIBBONS CLOSES IN ON 450: Coach Bill Gibbons is in his 23rd season as head coach of the women's basketball team with an overall career record of 449-222 and 182-42 in the Patriot League. Last season, Gibbons led his team to its 11th Patriot League tournament title, beating American 56-48, in the championship game. With the win, coach Gibbons led the Crusaders to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time. Holy Cross fell to Duke in the first round of the NCAAs, 81-44, to end the 2006-2007 season. Currently coach Gibbons ranks second all-time at Holy Cross in victories for all sports. Gibbons has also led the women's basketball team to more victories than any other coach in Holy Cross history during his 22-tenure. He has won 20 or more game in 10 of his last 14 seasons. Gibbons is also ranked 28th on the active NCAA Division I win leaders. He has also been named the Patriot League Coach of the Year six times in his career. This past summer, Coach Gibbons was an assistant coach for Team U.S.A. at the 2007 Pan-American Games, helping the team won the gold medal.

LEADER OF THE PACK: Holy Cross has an amazing 11 Patriot League Tournament titles in the league's 17 years of existence. During its 17 seasons in the Patriot League, Holy Cross has finished in first place 11 times. The Crusaders have also had eight players named the Patriot League Player of the Year. This list includes: Mary Helen Walker (90-91), Norinne Powers (91-92, 92-93), Laurie Carson (93-94), Lauren Maney (94-95, 95-96), Kathy Courtney (96-97), Amy O'Brien (97-98, 98-99), Anna Kinne (99-00) and Maggie Fontana (02-03). Holy Cross has also had two players named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year: Maggie Fontana (01-02) and Bethany O'Dell (06-07).

THE BIG TIME: Holy Cross has made 11 NCAA appearances during Coach Gibbons' tenure including nine in the last 13 years. The Crusaders' most recent appearance came last season as they fell to Duke, 81-44, in the first round of the tournament.

TAKING IT TO THE HART: The Crusaders' hold an overall record of 311-87 and a 272-64 Division I record at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. Holy Cross lost its first game at the Hart Recreation Center, 66-34, to Williams in 1975. The Crusaders have hosted the 1991 NCAA tourna ment, 13 Patriot League tournaments, two MAAC tournaments, and several invitationals during the 32 seasons played at the Hart Center.

ALOISI AND MCLAUGHLIN NAMED CAPTAINS: Senior guard Laura Aloisi and senior forward Ashley McLaughlin have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2007-2008 season. Both players are three-year letterwinners for the Crusaders, and will take over the leadership role from Brittany Keil, Ashley Brennan-McBride and Kaitlyn Foley who served as the captains during the 2006-2007 season.

2007-2008 SEASON PREVIEW: The Holy Cross women's basketball team heads into the 2007-2008 season looking to defend its place as a top contender in the Patriot League and its 2007 Patriot League Championship title. After clinching the league, the Crusaders fell to Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 81-44, ending the season that marked the 11th Patriot League Championship for the Crusaders in 17 seasons. With the return of senior guard Laura Aloisi to the court as well as several returning underclassmen, Holy Cross will be a force hard to slow down. The Crusaders are coming off a 15-18 overall record, finishing third at 7-7 in the Patriot League. In addition to last season's success, the Crusaders picked up their seventh league title in 10 years. Holy Cross finished first in the league in two categories: assists (14.36 per game) and free throw percentage (.741). The Crusaders were also ranked fourth in four different categories including scoring offense (57.8 per game), field goal percentage (.400), three-point field goal percentage (.317) and assist/turnover ratio (+0.76).

CRUSADERS PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2007-2008 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in third place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 77 total points in the poll, trailing only first-place Bucknell (92 points) and second-place Army (83 points). Holy Cross received one first-place vote in the poll, with the Bison earning 10 first-place votes and Army tallying four. Following the Crusaders in the poll were American (fourth, 62 points and one first place vote), Lehigh (fifth, 46 points), Lafayette (sixth, 33 points), Navy (sixth, 33 points) and Colgate (eighth, 22 points).

NEXT UP FOR THE LADY `SADERS: Holy Cross travels to Yale for a game on Sunday, January 6, scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m.