Feb. 8, 2008
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS: Television: Lafayette Sports Network (RCN, WBPH). Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play. Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 39-7. Last Meeting: Holy Cross 77, Lafayette 70 (OT) (January 12, 2008; Worcester, Mass.)
PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG F 13 Ashley McLaughlin 6-1 Sr. 4.2 4.3 F 14 Briana McFadden 5-10 So. 14.4 3.7 C 30 Elizabeth Campbell 6-3 Fr. 5.4 3.7 G 5 Laura Aloisi 5-9 Sr. 8.7 3.9 G 44 Bethany O'Dell 5-8 So. 10. 3.9
*Probable starters based on last Holy Cross game.
THE SERIES WITH LAFAYETTE: This will be the 47th meeting between the Crusaders and the Leopards on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series at an 39-7 mark. The Crusaders have won the last three games played between the schools, taking the series last season and grabbing a 77-70 overtime victory in both teams' Patriot League opener. Last time out, senior guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) recorded a career-high 22 points and 43 minutes played while chipping in three rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) scored 19 points and had four rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal. Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) finished with 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and four steals. Vanessa Van De Venter had 22 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Leopards.
SERIES QUICK FACTS Overall Holy Cross leads, 39-7 In Easton Holy Cross, 12-2 At the Kirby Sports Arena Holy Cross, 12-2 Bill Gibbons vs. Lafayette 39-7 Tammy Smith vs. Holy Cross 2-14 Current Win Streak Holy Cross, three games In overtime Holy Cross leads, one game
O.T. SPELLS HISTORY: The Crusadesr' 77-70 overtime victory against Lafayette on January 12 was the first time Holy Cross ever played in overtime against the Leopards. It also marked the sixth time the Crusaders won in overtime against a Patriot League opponent in eight contests.
MCFADDEN NAMED PL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.), a member of the Holy Cross women's basketball team, has been named the Baden Patriot League Player of the Week, for competition from January 28 - February 3. McFadden led the Crusaders in scoring during this week's wins over Colgate (59-37) and Lehigh (53-51). During a 53-51 win against Lehigh on February 2, McFadden scored a team-high 21 points, including 12 in the second half. She was six-for-16 from the field, scoring nine points from long range and going a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. In the Crusaders 59-37 victory over Colgate on January 30, McFadden had 15 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists in 26 minutes played. McFadden hit five of 10 attempts from the field against the Raiders, including four of seven attempts from outside the arc. McFadden currently leads the Crusaders in scoring, averaging 14.4 points per game and is tied for third on the team in rebounds, averaging 3.7 per game. She is also ranked second on the team in three-pointer percentage (39.4%) and ranked first in free throws with 82.0% (100-for-122).
CARPER AND GRUZYNSKI STEP UP: Junior forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) and sophomore forward Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) each had new career-highs as they filled in for freshman center Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) and freshman guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) who were out during the Crusaders game against Colgate on Wednesday. Carper scored a new career-high 14 points and had six rebounds, two blocks and an assist. Carper's work off the bench against the Raiders scored 14 of the 20 points the bench chipped in during the league victory. Gruzynski grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, six steals and three assists while chipping in four points.
SHE SHOOTS, SHE SCORES!!!: Sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) has been the Crusaders' offensive weapon all season, leading the team's scoring in 14 of 22 contests. In league play, McFadden leads Holy Cross in scoring the last six straight games. She had a season-high against league opponents after scoring 21 points during a 53-51 victory against Lehigh on February 2. McFadden's scoring success hit a new high this year as she posted a career-high 28 points against UNC-Asheville on December 29 as Holy Cross won, 79-60.
CAMPBELL COMES THROUGH: Freshman center Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) continues to lead the Crusader bench during her first season with Holy Cross. Campbell went 6-for-8 (75.0%) from field goal range, chipping in 13 points and leading Holy Cross in rebounds with seven and in assists with five during the Crusaders 62-46 loss to American on January 26. Campbell chipped in six points and three rebounds during the 48-46 victory over Bucknell on January 20. She had a career-high nine rebounds and 33 minutes played during the Crusaders 57-41 loss to Army on January 16. She tied her season-high 14 points and had three rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals in 26 minutes played as Holy Cross toppped Dartmouth, 60-52. Against Lafayette on January 12, continues to lead the Crusaders' success off the bench as she scored 11 points, grabbed four rebounds and had two assists and one steal. 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 21 in 19 appearances and is averaging 4.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 0.7 steals per game.
CRUSADERS TAKE ON THE LEAGUE: Currently 5-2 in the Patriot League, sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) and sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) picked up where they left off last year leading the Crusaders against league opponents. Against league opponents, McFadden is averaging 16.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals while O'Dell is third in scoring for the Crusaders with 8.1 points and chipping 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.3 steals in six contests. Returning to league play this season is senior guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) and junior guard Jessica Pearson (West Chester, Pa.), who both missed league play last year due to injuries. Starting in all seven games, Aloisi is averaging 7.7 points, 4.3 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. Making their debut in the Patriot League are freshman center Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) and freshman guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.), who have both appreaced in six league games so far this season. Making her first career start against Colgate, Campbell averages 8.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. Appearing in six league contests and making five starts, May averages 2.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Junior forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) has appeared in five Patriot League contests and made one start, averaging 3.2 points and 3.2 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game. Sophomore forward Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) has made four appearances in league play, averaging 5.5 points, and 4.0 rebounds.
LEHIGH RECAP: Laura Aloisi scored the winning basket with one second remaining in the game to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a 53-51 road victory over Lehigh. The Crusaders improve to 12-10 overall and 5-2 in the Patriot League while Lehigh drops to 13-9 overall and 5-2 in league play. A defensive rebound by Briana McFadden set up Aloisi's fastbreak down the court followed by a layup to win the game. The Crusaders jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead as Bethany O'Dell scoring back-to-back points from field goal range and a shot outside the arc. Lehigh quickly got back into the game, going on an 8-0 run with 16:12 left in the first half. Holy Cross grabbed back the lead by five (17-12) but the Mountain Hawks again retaliated to tie the game at 17-17 as Eric Prosser hit three free throw shots with 8:54 left in the first half. The Crusaders regained the lead as they put up 10 points led by Elizabeth Campbell who scored six points. Lehigh got within four to cut the Holy Cross lead, 27-23, to close out the first half. Campbell led the first half scoring with eight points and grabbed four rebounds while O'Dell and sophomore guard McFadden scored seven points each. Melissa Rich had six points for the Mountain Hawks. Both teams came out fired up as the lead tossed between them in the first 3:58 of the half. The Crusaders grabbed a five-point lead led by McFadden with three points. Lehigh tied the game again at 35-35 but McFadden hit two shots from outside the arc to give the Crusaders a 41-35 lead. With 6:07 remaining in the game, the Mountain Hawks led the game with a six-point cushion, 51-45. Lehigh held Holy Cross scoreless for a little over five minutes but four points by Campbell and a shot from O'Dell tied the game 51-51 with 21 seconds left in the game. McFadden led the Crusaders with 21 points including 12 in the second half while Campbell had 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
BRI AND THE FREE'S: Sophomore guard Briana McFadden leads the league from the charity stripe, posting a 82.0% from free throw range. McFadden's efforts this season landed her in the Holy Cross record books as 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. McFadden also went a perfect 10-for-10 on December 1 during the Crusaders contest against Quinnipiac. McFadden has also proven to be dangerous at the line in Patriot League play, hitting all seven attempts against Navy on January 23 and going six-for-six against Lehigh on February 2.
HITTIN' THE THREES: Senior guard Laura Aloisi, sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell and and sophomore guard 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 40.2% three-point field goal percentage, followed by McFadden (39.4%) who is ranked second, and O'Dell who is ranked sixth with a 34.5%. O'Dell is ranked fourth in the league with three-pointers made, averaging 1.86 per game. The Crusaders are ranked first for both categories as a team, averging 5.95 three-pointers per game and shooting 34.8% from outside the arc. During the Crusaders 59-37 league victory over Colgate, McFadden went 4-for-7, shooting 57.1% from long range. Against Navy on January 23, Aloisi went 2-for-2 from long range while O'Dell was 2-for-4. McFadden also chipped in one three-pointer for the Crusaders against the Mids. During the Crusaders 62-46 loss to American, McFadden scored nine point from long range (3-for-5). Versus Dartmouth on January 14, McFadden (3-for-5) and O'Dell (3-for-4) each tallied nine points from outside while Aloisi chipped in one three pointer. Against Lafayette, Aloisi converted four of nine attempts from outside the arc while O'Dell went 2-for-2 from three point range. O'Dell made three of four attempts against Yale while McFadde and Aloisi each scored one three pointer. 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 STEALS THE SHOW: With 50 steals on the season, senior guard Laura Aloisi is currently ranked tops the Patriot League, averaging 2.3 steals per game. She recorded four against Colgate on Jaunary 30 and had a team-high four steals during the Crusaders 62-51 victory over Navy on January 23. During a 77-70 overtime victory against Lafayette, Aloisi added three to her season count. In the Crusaders 66-59 win over Yale on January 6, Aloisi led the team in steals, grabbing seven. 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.
SHE'S BAAAAACK: Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) returns for her second season with the Crusaders. In 21 starts for Holy Cross, she is averaging 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. With one minute remaining in th league contest against Bucknell on January 20, O'Dell hit a shot outside the arc to tie the game, 46-46, and hit the final free throw of the Crusaders victory over the Bison. She chipped in eight points, five rebounds, three steals, one assist and one block during the 57-41 loss to Army on January 16. Against Dartmouth, O'Dell had a season-high six assists while scoring 13 points and grabbing three rebounds and one steal. In the Patriot League opener against Lafayette, O'Dell had 14 points, four rebounds, a season-high four steals and three assists. O'Dell scored a season-high 20 points and had six rebounds, two assist and one steal during the Crusadesr 65-56 victory over Rhode Island. 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 11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists. and 1.2 steals per game. She also led the Patriot League in three-point field goals with 87 on the season.
MAY MAKES WAVES: Freshman guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) continues her success as the Crusaders' rookie starter, making 14 starts in 22 appearances. Agaisnt Bucknell, May tied a team-high six rebounds and had nine points, one assist and one block. During her fi rst Patriot League game at the Hart Center versus Lafayette, May chipped in four rebounds, three points and three assists in a career-high 36 minutes played.On the road against Yale, May had seven points, four rebounds and an assist. Versus St. Peter's on January 2, May had eight points, six rebounds, one block and one steal. Against UNC-Asheville in the consolation game of the State Farm Classic in Gainesville, May scored 11 points including 10 in the second half while recording five rebounds, two blocks and a steal. In 22 appearnces and 14 starts, May is averaging 3.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
MCLAUGHLIN ON THE BOARDS: Senior forward Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) leads Holy Cross with 4.3 rebounds per game. She chipped in four boards to the 33 Holy Cross tallied against Army on January 16. McLaughlin tied her career-high nine boards as Holy Cross defeated Dartmouth, 60-52. 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 35.3 boards per game this year.
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 20 starts, McFadden is averaging 14.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.8 steals per game.
GIBBONS RECORDS 450TH: Coach Bill Gibbons recorded another milestone during his 23 years as head coach of the women's basketball team at Holy Cross as he earned 450th career victory with a 66-59 win over Yale on January 6. His current overall career record is 456-225 and had 187-44 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.
NEXT DESTINATION - PATRIOT LEAGUE: The Crusaders began this season's Patriot League action on January 12, defeating Lafayette, 77-70, in overtime in the league opener. Holy Cross continued league play on January 16, falling to host Army, 57-41. The Crusaders notched their second league win of the season, edging host Bucknell, 48-46, on January 20. Holy Cross wrapped up its three-game road trip with a 62-51 win against Navy on January 23. The Crusaders were 1-1 at home this week, as Holy Cross dropped a 62-46 decision to American on January 26 and defeated Colgate, 59-37, on January 30. Holy Cross defeated Lehigh in a last second victory, 53-51, on February 2 and will finish up the brief road trip against Lafayette on February 9. The Crusaders host Army (2/13), Bucknell (2/16) and Navy (2/20) before hitting the road against American (2/23), and Colgate (2/27). Holy Cross will fi nish it's regular season Patriot League play athome, facing Lehigh on March 3.
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 313-88 and a 274-65 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.
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 opens a three-game homestand, beginning with Army on February 13 scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. The first time the teams met this season, the Crusaders dropped a 57-41 decision at West Point on January 16. Briana McFadden had 14 points, four rebounds, two steals and an assist while Elizabeth Campbell grabbed a career-high nine boards and chipped in four points. The Black Knights had four players score in double figures as Stephanie Stone and McGuire each had 12 points, King scored 11, and Enright recording 10. Wright recorded a season-high 16 rebounds for Army.