Women's Basketball Set to Face Lafayette

Feb. 5, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (9-13, 4-3 PL) vs. Lafayette (8-14, 2-5 PL)
Date: February 7, 2009
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600; Worcester, Mass.)
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Live Video Streaming: Crusader All-Access
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 41-7
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 60, Lafayette 45 (January 10, 2009; Easton, Pa.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos. No.  Name                     Ht.  Cl.  PPG  RPG
F     33    Whitney Fremeau   5-10 So. 7.9   4.8
F     30    Elizabeth Campbell  6-3  So.  5.9  3.5
G     3     Christy Cushnie       5-9  Jr.  2.8   2.2  
G    14    Briana McFadden    5-10  Jr. 15.3  4.7
G    44    Bethany O'Dell        5-8   Jr.  11.1  4.1

THE SERIES WITH LAFAYETTE: This will be the 49th meeting between the Crusaders and the Leopards on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 41-7. The Crusaders have won the last five games, including this season's league-opener at the Kirby Sports Center in Easton, Pa., downing host Lafayette, 60-45, on Saturday, Jan. 10. The Crusaders also swept the 2007-2008 season and won two of the three games played between the teams during the 2006-2007 season. For games played in Worcester, Holy Cross holds an undefeated record of 21-0 at the Hart Center. The teams first took the floor in competition on Feb. 6, 1991, with the Crusaders picking up an 88-61 win against the host Leopards.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 41-7
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 21-0
At the Hart Center: Holy Cross leads, 21-0
Bill Gibbons vs. Lafayette: 41-7
Tammy Smith vs. Holy Cross: 2-16
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, five games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0

DEFENSE CONTAINS LEAGUE'S SCORING EFFORTS: Holy Cross' win against Lafayette on Jan. 10 and win over Army on Jan. 14 marked the least amount of points scored by an opponent in a half in six seasons. On Nov. 29, 2002, the Crusaders held Savannah State to 11 points in the first half, going on to win, 74-39. In the Patriot League season-opener at Lafayette, the Crusaders held the host Leopards to just 12 points. At home against the Black Knights, Holy Cross only allowed Army to put 12 points on the scoreboard in the first half. Against Navy on Jan. 21, the Crusaders allowed the Mids to put up just 15 points on the scoreboard in the first half. The all-time school record of least amount of points allowed in a half was against was 10 points against Lafayette on Jan. 7, 1995 and Army on Jan. 20, 1996.

CRUSADERS TAKE ON THE LEAGUE: Currently 4-3 in the Patriot League, junior guards Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) and Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) have continued to be two of the strongest players in the Patriot League. Against league opponents, McFadden is averaging 38.3 minutes played, 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and a team high 2.9 assists while O'Dell averages 32.4 minutes played, 11.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Sophomore forward Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, K.Y.) returns to league play, following a strong debut season last year. Appearing in all seven games and making one start, Campbell is averaging a team-high 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while adding 8.9 points. Stepping into the starting role this year is sophomore forward/guard Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) who has started in all six Patriot League games. She currently averages 8.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 27.1 minutes played. Making seven appearances and starting in six league games, senior center Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) is averaging 6.3 points and 2.9 rebounds.

SECOND HALF OF LEAGUE PLAY UNDERWAY: Saturday's game against Lafayette marks the beginning of the second half of the Patriot League schedule with Holy Cross hosting the Leopards on Feb. 7. The Crusaders finished the first half of play with a 4-3 record, with wins over Lafayette, Army, Bucknell and Colgate. Holy Cross fell to Navy, American and most recently Lehigh, but look to pick up its fifth league win by sweeping the regular season series with Lafayette.

O'DELL SHOOTS FOR 1,000: With 222 points on the season, Bethany O'Dell brings her career total to 982 points, 18 shy of reaching the 1,000 point mark. When O'Dell scored her 1,000 point this season, she will be the 26th Crusader in women's basketball history to reach the mark and ninth player to reach the milestone as a junior. O'Dell will join fellow teammate Briana McFadden who scored her 1,000 point on Jan. 14. O'Dell will also have her named listed with Holy Cross standouts Amy O'Brien (1995-1999), Lauren Maney (1992-1996), Norinne Powers (1989-1993), Maggie Fontana (2001-2005), Cheryl Aaron (1982-1987), Kathy Courtney (1993-1997) and Katie O'Keefe (1999-2003).

WHAT A STEAL: With 173 steals on the season, Holy Cross is taking advantage of any lose ball within reach. As a team, the Crusaders rank third and are averaging 13.1 steals per game with Bethany O'Dell grabbing the top spot on the team with 32 (1.5 per game). Briana McFadden follows with 30 steals per game and Alyssa May adds 19 to the Crusaders' total. UNDERDOGS WITH A BIG BITE: In seven of Holy Cross' nine wins this season, the Crusaders have had a worse record than their opponent, including three Patriot League teams they've faced. Holy Cross downed Missouri, Drexel, Dartmouth, Bryant, Lafayette, Army and Bucknell. Maine was the only team that Holy Cross defeated this season that had the same record when the two teams competed. The Crusaders had the upper hand in one game this year with a better record when they played Colgate on Jan. 28.

SPARK FROM BEYOND THE ARC: Three-point range has always been a strength for Holy Cross and this year not much hasn't changed for Bethany O'Dell. Her current career records say it all as she broke the women's basketball school record on Jan. 7 for three-point field goals made, sinking her 180th career shot from long range, surpassing Jeanette Paukert (1998-2002), who finished her career with 179. O'Dell is also currently ranked second at Holy Cross in three-point field goals attempted with 496, behind Anna Kinne (1996-2000), who finished her career with 521 attempts. Climbing up the Patriot League career leaders list, O'Dell's current career three-pointers made total (195) ties her at sixth place with Bucknell's Molly Creamer (2000-2003). She is just seven shy of tying Army's Jen Hansen (2004-2007). The only active player on the list, she joins Paukert as the second Crusader to make this list. She currently averages 2.3 three-pointers a game, placing her second in the league and is also ranked fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.360). Briana McFadden is also making her mark on career lists from long range this season. She is currently ranked sixth all-time at Holy Cross for three-point field goals made with 129, 12 three-pointers shy of tying Alison Dietz (1994-1998). McFadden also holds the sixth spot on in career three-point field goals attempted with 423.

THE LEADER OF THE PACK: Holy Cross holds the record for the most Patriot League tournament titles won, winning 11 of the 18 league titles. During its 18 seasons in the Patriot League, Holy Cross has finished the regular season in first place 11 times. The Crusaders have also been greatly recognized for their efforts by the league, having 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 Briana McFadden (07-08). 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 GO-TO GIRL: Briana McFadden continues to be strong on offense this season, leading the Crusaders in scoring in 13 of 22 games. She is the third Patriot League player with more than 300 points this season and currently tops the league in scoring with 15.3 points per game. McFadden scored a career-high 31 points against Missouri on Nov. 29 during the Double Tree White Invitational. She also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds against Bucknell on Jan. 17. Her season has also been highlighted by five games in which she scored 20 points or more: 31 against Missouri, 24 points against Yale and Drexel, 22 against Maine and 21 versus Boston College. McFadden etched her named into the Holy Cross history books last season as she tied the single-game record for free throw percentage (1.000, 11-for-11) and consecutive free throws made (11). Starting in all 32 games, McFadden totaled 431 points, 124 rebounds, 50 assists, 30 steals and 12 blocks. Averaging 13.5 points per game, McFadden led the Crusaders in scoring in 14 games last season, including eight Patriot League games.

O'DELL KEEPS CAREER RIGHT ON TRACK: Starting in 20 games so far this year, Bethany O'Dell has led the Crusaders in scoring six times with a season-high 23 points two times (Western Illinois on Nov. 15; Bucknell on Jan. 17), 15 points versus St. Peter's (Nov. 25), Bryant (Jan. 7) and Lafayette (Jan. 10) and 13 against Northeastern on Dec. 22. O'Dell has also pulled down a team-high in rebounds in four games. In her performance against Bucknell, O'Dell turned the table on a 29-18 Crusader deficit, scoring all 11 points of an 11-3 run by Holy Cross. After being fouled on a successful layup, O'Dell hit the extra shot from the free throw line, putting the Crusaders ahead by one point at halftime, 32-31. O'Dell is one of the many Crusaders that have hit new career-highs this season including field goals attempted (16), three-pointers attempted (14), rebounds (nine) and three-pointers made (seven). Versus Boston College, O'Dell tallied 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. In 26 minutes played against Bryant, O'Dell finished with 15 points, a career-high nine rebounds, four assists and four steals. Against Maine, she finished with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in 37 minutes played. O'Dell is also coming off a stellar sophomore year, starting in all 32 games, and finishing with 364 points, 146 rebounds, 80 assists, 54 steals and four blocks. O'Dell had success from long range last year, as she ranked third in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage (.382) and three-point field goals made (1.97 per game).

THE LAST TIME MEETING LAFAYETTE: Briana McFadden, Bethany O'Dell and Elizabeth Campbell all scored in double figures as the Holy Cross women's basketball team defeated Lafayette, 60-45, in the Patriot League season-opener at the Kirby Sports Center on Saturday, Jan. 10. Tied 4-4 in the first five minutes of the game, Holy Cross dominated the remainder of the first half with Jessica Pearson and McFadden scoring five points each. Holding the Leopards to just 12 points, Holy Cross took a 14-point advantage heading into the break, 26-12. Lafayette took control of the offense in the first nine minutes after the break, going on a 17-8 run to get within five points of the Crusaders, 34-29, with Emily Garner scoring six points. Holy Cross fought back to get ahead by 11-points, led by O'Dell with five points. Back-and-traffic continued on the floor, but McFadden with six points and O'Dell with five points kept the Crusaders ahead, securing a 15-point win, 60-45. O'Dell finished with 15 points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist while McFadden had 14 points, three rebounds and three assists. Campell finished the game with 12 points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist. Pearson led the team in rebounds with eight while tallying six points, two assists and two steals. Holy Cross' outstanding defense impacted the Leopards outside the arc, only allowing 1 of 18 attempts to score.

CHARITY STRIPE SUCCESS: Holy Cross has made its shots from the free-throw line count during the 2008-2009 season, currently ranked third in the league, shooting .741 percent from the charity stripe. Outstanding free throw shooter, Briana McFadden, is third in the league, converting 122-of-148 attempts for a .824 percentage. McFadden's success at the line ranks on Holy Cross career lists sixth in free throws made (343) and ninth in free throws attempted (423).

THAT'S MINE!!!: Holy Cross has forced 375 turnovers in 22 games, averaging 17.0 per game. Against Bryant on Jan. 7, the Crusaders forced a season-high 27 turnovers. In the season-opener against Yale, Holy Cross forced 24 turnovers, matching last year's season-high. The Crusaders caused 22 turnovers against Northeastern on Dec. 22 and against Maine on Jan. 2. Against Missouri on Nov. 29 and Boston College on Nov. 18, the Crusaders had 21 forced turnovers. The Crusaders caused 24 turnovers in a game three times during the 07-08 season: at Yale on Jan. 6, 2008, at Navy on Jan. 23, 2008 and against Colgate on Jan. 30, 2008. Overall last year, Holy Cross forced 16.9 turnovers per game.

FREMEAU REMAINS STRONG IN STARTING ROLE: Whitney Fremeau has made 20 starts in Holy Cross' 22 games. Fremeau has had plenty of success so far as she has had new career-highs in minutes played (34), points (15), field goal attempts (13), rebounds (11), field goals (seven), free throws attempts (three), blocks (three) three-pointers made (two). Fremeau's best performance this season was against Rhode Island on Dec. 9 in which she recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds and played a career-high 34 minutes. Against Missouri, she finished with a career-high 15 points in 30 minutes played. In the Crusaders' win over Maine, Fremeau finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal in 31 minutes played. On the road against Colgate on Jan. 28, Fremeau finished with 12 points, a team-high seven rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes played. At home versus Navy, Fremeau led the team in scoring with 12 points and had a career-high three blocks, two rebounds and one assist in 26 minutes played. Against Lehigh on Jan. 31, she tallied 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 29 minutes played. Fremeau made her first collegiate start on Nov. 15 versus Yale and put up nine points and eight rebounds while grabbing two steals, one assist and one block in 26 minutes played. She has led the Crusaders in rebounds in four games and in scoring in three games. Appearing in 25 games last year, Fremeau totaled 42 points, 20 rebounds, 16 assists, 11 steals and two blocks.

CAMPBELL LOOKING FORWARD: Elizabeth Campbell has returned to the Crusaders' frontcourt for the 2008-2009 campaign, appearing in 22 games and making five starts. Campbell currently leads the team in blocks with 23 (1.0 per game), ranking her seventh in the Patriot League. In first start since Dec. 22, 2008, Campbell scored a career-high 19 points in her start against Lehigh on Jan. 31 while adding seven rebound, two assist and two blocks in 31 minutes played. In her performance against Army on Jan. 14, Campbell scored all of her eight points in the final four minutes of the game against the Black Knights, leading a 13-6 run to secure the win over the Army. She also recorded a career-high six blocks and finished with season-highs in rebounds (nine) and assists (three) in 20 minutes played versus Army. In the game against Maine, she played 30 minutes and scored a career-high 16 points. Campbell played a season-high 33 minutes and grabbed six rebounds versus Drexel during the Hawk Tournament Classic on Dec. 28. At Lafayette on Jan. 10, Campbell finished with 12 points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist in 19 minutes played. In 26 minutes played at Dartmouth, she finished with eight points and season-highs in rebounds (seven) and blocks (three). Campbell played 22 minutes and tallied nine points at Rhode Island. Following an outstanding debut season, she was named to the 2007-2008 Patriot League All-Rookie Team.

MAY GETS BACK INTO ACTION: Sophomore forward/guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) has battled back from an injury she suffered on Dec. 28 versus Drexel in which she missed nine games. She returned to the floor on Jan. 24 at American, finishing the game with five points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 23 minutes played. At Colgate on Jan. 28, May finished with seven points, four rebounds and four assists in 22 minutes played. Playing her first game at the Hart Center since her injury, May finished with 26 minutes played, the most minutes she's played since returning, and finished with five points, three rebounds, three assist and two steals against Lehigh on Jan. 31.

SNAP THOSE STREAKS!: With Holy Cross' win over Army on Jan. 14, the Crusaders snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Black Knights, which included the Patriot League Championship game on March 8, 2006 at West Point, N.Y. The last victory recorded by Holy Cross was on Jan. 3, 2003, defeating the host Black Knights, 66-58. With the win in Worcester, Holy Cross also ended Army's five-game winning streak. At Lafayette on Jan. 10, the Crusaders ended a six-game home winning streak for the Leopards, marking the second-best winning streak in their school's history.

CUSHNIE MOVES FROM BENCH TO STARTING ROLE: Junior guard Christy Cushnie (Vienna, Va.) has made her minutes off the bench count for the Crusaders, appearing in 21 games and averaging 16.0 minutes on the floor. She also moved into the starting lineup, making five starts this season, all against league opponents. In her strongest start of the season, Cushnie played a career-high 36 minutes and finished with nine points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals at Colgate on Jan. 28. During her start at home against Bucknell, she played 30 minutes and finished with seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. In her start against Navy on Jan. 21, Cushnie played a season-high 33 minutes and had five points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals. In her start against American on Jan. 24, Cushnie finished with five points, four rebounds, two steals and one assist in 31 minutes played. Cushnie played 27 minutes off the bench against Army on Jan. 14, finishing with six points, six rebounds, a season-high three assists and one steal. Versus Maine on Jan. 2, she grabbed a career-high three steals and pulled down three rebounds.

CRUSADERS STRAINED BY INJURIES: Holy Cross has been struck with serious injuries throughout the 2008-2009 season, but still been able to put up big wins with a short bench. Four of the Crusaders' starters have missed a total of 33 games on the season. Junior forward Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) had her season cut short after suffering a season-ending injury against Western Illinois on Nov. 30. Bethany O'Dell also missed four games after getting hurt during the Connecticut game on Dec. 3. Alyssa May also suffered from an injury this year when Holy Cross played Drexel on Dec. 28. She missed nine games but returned to the floor on Jan. 24. The most recent injury to fall upon the Crusaders is Jessica Pearson, who suffered a season-ending injury versus Army on Jan. 14.MERRIHUE HITS NEW HEIGHTS: Senior forward co-captain Jessica Merrihue (Holtsville, N.Y.) has appeared in 22 games this season, making four starts. On the road against Colgate, Merrihue scored a career-high 12 points and had three rebounds and one assist in 13 minutes played. On Jan. 21 against Navy, Merrihue scored nine points and chipped in one assist and one steal in 15 minutes played. Against Bryant, she finished with seven points and two assists in 18 minutes played. In her first collegiate start against Boston College on Nov. 18, she scored six points, blocked three shots and grabbed one rebound in nine minutes played. She also chipped in five points, two rebounds and one steal in 11 minutes played versus Lehigh on Jan. 31. Merrihue has also added new career-highs in minutes played (18), points (12), rebounds (five), free throws (four), free throw attempts (five), blocks (three) and steals (three).

HC RECOGNIZES NATIONAL GIRLS & WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY: The Holy Cross women's basketball team will be supporting National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Saturday, February 21, during the Crusaders Patriot League contest versus American at 1:00 p.m. In addition to the NGWSD celebration, Holy Cross will be taking for donations for the Kay Yow/WBCA Breast Cancer Fund and Think Pink, a global initiative that helps raise breast cancer awareness on and off the court. Donations will be collected throughout the game to support breast cancer research.

LEHIGH RECAP: Elizabeth Campbell had a career-high 19 points but it wasn't enough as the Holy Cross women's basketball team fell to Lehigh, 72-70, in Patriot League play on Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center. Lehigh came out strong from outside the arc in the first 10 minutes of the first half, grabbing an 18-point lead (28-10), with six shots from long range, including nine points from Alex Ross and six from Erica Prosser. Holy Cross chipped away at the Mountain Hawks' lead, with Campbell answering to Lehigh's continued offense by putting up 10 points in just over three minutes, bringing the Crusaders within 13-points with 6:37 left in the half. With 2:13 winding down on the clock, Holy Cross cut its deficit to 10 points, 41-31, but a quick 4-1 run to close out the half put Lehigh ahead by 13 at the half, 45-32. The Mountain Hawks pushed ahead 55-40 in the opening six minutes of the second half, but Holy Cross continued to slowly chip away at their lead. An 8-0 run by the Crusaders brought them within six points with four points scored by Whitney Fremeau. A three-pointer by Ross put the Mountain Hawks ahead by 13, 66-53, with just under seven minutes to play. The Crusaders answered back with a 9-0 run, closing in on Lehigh by four points, 66-62. Trailing by seven (69-62) with less than three minutes remaining, Holy Cross stayed aggressive on offense to get within one point with 19 seconds left after Briana McFadden hit two shots from the free throw line. After being fouled, Ross hit one of two shots from the charity stripe. The Crusaders made a final attempt to tie the game with a buzzer-beater layup by McFadden, but came up short as the Mountain Hawks held on for a 72-70 victory. In addition to her 19 points, Campbell finished with seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks while McFadden tallied 14 points, including 10-of-11 from the free throw-line. Bethany O'Dell also had a great game, finishing with 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal while Fremeau was the fourth Crusader to score in double figures with 10 points while grabbing seven rebounds and five assists. Ross led Lehigh with 20 points and seven rebounds.

FRONT AND CENTER: Kathy Gruzynski has appeared in all 22 games and made 13 starts for Holy Cross. She played her strongest game of the season against Bryant, going 7-for-10 from field goal range, totaling 14 points while pulling down seven rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes played. Against Army on Jan. 14, she finished with 12 points, two assists and one rebound in 20 minutes played. In her start at American on Jan. 24, Gruzynski finished with nine points, a team-high five rebounds, one assist and one s teal in 26 minutes played. She tallied five points, five rebounds, three blocks and one assist in 14 minutes played versus Harvard on Nov. 20. In 13 minutes played at Dartmouth, Gruzynski went 4-for-4 from field goal range for eight points and pulled down three rebounds. Making 30 appearances and three starts last year, Gruzynski emerged in her role as the first Crusader off the bench. She set several career-highs with 408 minutes played, 134 points, 96 rebounds, 18 assists, 13 blocks and 10 steals. In her best performance of the 2007-2008 season, Gruzynski scored a career high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds against regular season league champion American.

WINNING STREAK MARKS BEST IN FIVE SEASONS: This year's six-game winning streak marked the longest streak since the 2004-2005 season, in which the Crusaders won 10 straight games. The 1996-1997 team posted 14 wins in a row, the longest win streak a team has recorded under the coaching of Bill Gibbons. The longest winning streak in Holy Cross women's basketball history was during the 1980-1981 season, winning 15 games in a row under former head coach Togo Palazzi.

ROOKIE NOTES: Freshman guard Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) has made five starts and appeared in 19 games for the Crusaders, highlighted by her performance against Boston College, tallying seven points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 27 minutes played. Ward had a career-high five rebounds and matched her career-high in points scored (seven) against Vermont. She played a career-high 30 minutes and had two points, two assists and one rebound against Connecticut. She also had a career-high five assists against Northeastern on Dec. 22. Freshman center Marygrace Jay (Vienna, Va.) has appeared in 12 games so far this year, highlighted by new career-highs in points (seven), rebounds (three) and minutes played (11) in the game against Vermont. She also put up five points and one assist in seven minutes played at Colgate on Jan. 28. She also chipped in two points in two minutes played against Lehigh on Sat., Jan 31.

NEWS ON COACH GIBBONS: Head coach Bill Gibbons is now in his 24th season as head coach of the Holy Cross women's basketball team with a overall career record of 471-241 (.662) and a 196-55 (.781) mark in the Patriot League. Last season, Gibbons led his team to its fourth consecutive appearance and 15th overall appearance in the Patriot League Championship game. Gibbons has led the Crusaders to more victories than any other coach in Holy Cross history during his 23 year-tenure. Gibbons also ranks second all-time at Holy Cross in coaching victories for all sports, only behind former baseball coach Jack Berry (616 wins, 1921-1960). He has won 20 or more games in 10 of his last 14 seasons. Gibbons is also ranked 26th 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. In 2007, coach Gibbons was selected to be an assistant coach at the Pan-American Games, where he helped lead the team to the gold medal.

CRUSADERS PICKED FIRST IN PRESEASON POLL: The Holy Cross women's basketball team was picked to finish first in the 2008-2009 Patriot League preseason poll, voted upon by head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 90 total points and eight first-place votes, followed by Lehigh finishing second with 83 points and six first-place votes. American was ranked third with 75 points and two first-place votes. Coming in fourth was Army with 60 points, followed by Bucknell (53 points), Lafayette (38 points), Navy (35 points) and Colgate (14 points).

Bethany O'Dell NAMED PATRIOT LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bethany O'Dell was named the women's basketball Patriot League Player of the Week, for competition from Jan. 6-11. O'Dell averaged 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.5 assists in two games last week. This is the second player of the week honor O'Dell has received in her career. In Holy Cross' final non-conference game against Bryant on Wednesday, Jan. 7, O'Dell scored 15 points and broke the school record for career three point field goals made, sinking her 180th shot to surpass the previous record of 179. She also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds in the 73-54 win over the Bulldogs. O'Dell scored a team-high 15 points in the Crusaders' Patriot League season-opener against Lafayette on Saturday, Jan. 10. Of her 15 points scored in the 60-45 win over the Leopards, O'Dell scored 12 points in the second half.

HOME SWEET HOME: The 2008-2009 season marks the first time Holy Cross has ever hosted its first four games of the season. Prior to this season, the Crusaders had three seasons in which they hosted the first three games: 1988-1989 (1-2), 2001-2002 (1-2) and 2004-2005 (2-1). Overall, the Holy Cross women's basketball team is 317-94 (.771) at the Hart Center.

TAKING ON # 1: The Crusaders have faced No. 1 ranked teams five times during the regular season, all being games against Connecticut, with a 0-5 overall record. The last time Holy Cross competed against a No. 1 ranked team was against the Huskies on Dec. 3, falling 96-37.

THE BIG TIME: Holy Cross has made 11 NCAA appearances during Coach Gibbons' tenure including nine in the last 14 years. The Crusaders' most recent appearance was on March 18, 2007, falling to Duke, 81-44, in the first round of the tournament.

TRIPLE OT MAKES HISTORY: Holy Cross scored 94 points against Missouri on Nov. 29, marking the first time the Crusaders have scored more than 90 points in a game in the last three seasons. The last time Holy Cross put up at least 90 points was on Dec. 3, 2005, when it defeated Memphis, 91-66, at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic held in Tempe, Ariz.

MERRIHUE AND PEARSON NAMED CAPTAINS: Senior forward Jessica Merrihue and senior guard Jessica Pearson have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2008-2009 season. Merrihue is three-year letterwinner for the Holy Cross while Pearson is a two-year letterwinner. Both players have taken over the leadership role from Laura Aloisi and Ashley McLaughlin who served as the Crusaders' captains as seniors during the 2007-2008 season.

WELCOME BACK TO WORCESTER: Ann McInerney is in her first season as an assistant coach on the Holy Cross staff. A Worcester native, coach McInerney graduated from Assumption College where she was the all-time leading scorer at the completion of her career. She was named the 1989 Northeast-10 Player of the Year and is also a member of the Assumption College Athletic Hall of Fame.

NEXT UP FOR THE `SADERS: Holy Cross begins a three-game road trip at West Point, N.Y. to face Army on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 7:00 p.m.