February 22, 2008

Women's Basketball Travels to American For Saturday Night Game

Feb. 22, 2008

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS: Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play. American Live Video Streaming: Eagles All Acess, www.aueagles.com Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 13-3. Last Meeting: American 62, Holy Cross 46 (January 26, 2008; Worcester, Mass.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG F 13 Ashley McLaughlin 6-1 Sr. 3.7 4.1 F 14 Briana McFadden 5-10 So. 14.2 3.8 C 30 Elizabeth Campbell 6-3 Fr. 6.4 4.3 G 5 Laura Aloisi 5-9 Sr. 9.0 3.7 G 44 Bethany O'Dell 5-8 So. 11.3 4.2

THE SERIES WITH AMERICAN: This will be the 17th meeting between the Crusaders and the Eagles on the hardwood. American took this seasson's first meeting, 62-46, at the Hart Center, snapping an eight-game winning streak at home for Holy Cross. For games played at the Bender Arena, the Crusaders hold a 5-2 advantage, posting it's last victory on the road against American on February 18, 2006 (74-55). The schools first met on December 3, 2000, with the Crusaders posting a 67-62 victory over host American during the American Classic Tournament.

SERIES QUICK FACTS Overall Holy Cross leads, 13-3 In Washington, D.C. Holy Cross, 5-2 At the Bender Arena Holy Cross, 5-2 Bill Gibbons vs. American 13-3 Melissa McFerrin vs. Holy Cross 2-7 Current Win Streak American, one game In Overtime Holy Cross, 1-0

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST AMERICAN: Sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) scored a game-high 15 points while freshman center Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) had 13 but it wasn't enough as Michelle Kirk had a game-high 13 points including 10 in the first half to lead American over Holy Cross, 62-46, in Patriot League play. American held onto a seven-point cushion, 16-9, with 11:13 left in the half, holding the Crusaders scoreless for almost four minutes until McFadden hit two shots from the free throw line and a three-pointer to bring Holy Cross within two of the Eagles, 16-14. With 4:01 left in the first half, a layup by Campbell cut American's lead to one point but Kirk rallied a 12-3 run scoring 10 points, putting the Eagles on top 32-22, finishing up the first half. The Crusaders scored first to begin the second half with a layup by Campbell but American regained control of the game, going on a 10-3 run as N'Garsanet and Liz Hayes each chipped in four points a piece. Junior forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) dished out six points with 8:06 left in the game, bringing the Crusaders within nine (49-40) but Holy Cross wouldn't get any closer the rest of the game, as American pulled away to win by 16. In addition to her 13 points, Campbell finished with seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks while Gruzynski scored 10 points and had three rebounds. Hayes and N'Garsanet scored 12 points each for the Eagles.

O'DELL NAMED PL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) has been named the Baden Patriot League Player of the Week, for competition from February 12-17. O'Dell led the Crusaders in scoring during both league contests last week as Holy Cross goes into this week's competition tied for first in the league. In Saturday's 73-67 victory over Bucknell, O'Dell scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds. Against the Bison, she made 3-of-4 attempts from long range and sank all six attempts from the free throw line, leading the Crusaders to hitting 20-of-22 attempts from the charity stripe. O'Dell paced the Crusaders with 17 points and three steals during their 56-54 loss to Army on Wednesday, February 13. On the week, O'Dell averaged 64.7% from the floor, 62.5% from long range, and 90.0% from the free throw line. She averaged 18.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. O'Dell ranks second in scoring for Holy Cross, averaging 11.2 points per game and is tied for second on the team in rebounds, averaging 4.2 boards per game. She is currently ranked first in free throws, converting 45-of-55 attempts so far this season. This is the first career Patriot League Player of the Week for the sophomore standout and earns her seventh weekly award during her career after being named Patriot League Rookie of the Week six times last season. O'Dell honors notches the third week in a row the Crusaders have received Patriot League Player of the Week honors.

NAVY RECAP: Elizabeth Campbell scored a team-high 13 points as Holy Cross defeated Navy, 56-53, in Patriot League action tonight. Navy broke away from a 6-6 tie in the opening minutes, going on a 14-4 run as Cassie Consedine scored five points and Whitney Davidson chipped in four points. With 10:41 left in the half, the Mids' led 20-10. The Crusaders shook up Navy's offense, holding the Mids scoreless for almost eight and a half minutes and grabbing its second lead of the game, 23-20. The Holy Cross 13-0 run was scored six different Holy Cross players, each chipping in a layup. The Crusaders held onto a 25-23 lead in the final minute of the half but a three-pointer by Emily Cordle with 44 second left in the half lifted Navy to a 26-25 halftime lead. Battling for the lead in the opening minutes of the second half, Holy Cross took the upper hand, grabbing a six-point cushion (38-32) as Bethany O'Dell sank a shot from long range. Tied 49-49 with 2:25 left in the game, Kathy Gruzynski hit a layup to put Holy Cross ahead by two points. The Mids' Angela Myers answered back with a shot outside the arc, lifting Navy to a 52-51 lead with 48 seconds winding down on the clock. Campbell took back the lead and secured the victory, scoring a layup with 26 second left to play, assisted by Gruzynski. In addition to her 13 points, Campbell tied her career-high in blocks with five while grabbing four and one assist. O'Dell paced the Crusaders with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists while Briana McFadden chipped in 10 points, five rebounds, one assist and one block.

BOOK WORMS: Senior guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) continues to climb in the all-time career lists for Holy Cross as she tied the No. 7 spot on the all-time career assists list, with 420 current career assists. Aloisi also surpassed the No. 9 spot on the all-time career steals list, with 200 so far this season. Sophomore guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) also set new records this season, tying 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.

O'DELL GRABS NEW CAREER-HIGH: Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) recored a new career-high in steals as grabbed six during the Crusaders 56-53 Patriot League victory over Navy on February 20 at the Hart Center in Worcester.

CAMPBELL COMES THROUGH: Freshman center Elizabeth Campbell (Louisville, Ky.) went from lead bench player to the fifth starter for the Crusaders in the last couple games, making four league starts. She led the team in scoring with 13 points during the Crusaders 56-53 victory over Navy on February 20. Against Bucknell on February 16, she recorded her first career double-doubles, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Campbell grabbed a career-high 11 boards against Lafayette on February 9 while chipping in nine points and one block. 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. Campbell leads the Crusaders in blocks with 27 in 23 appearances and is averaging 6.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.23 blocks, 0.8 assists and 0.7 steals per game.

SHE SHOOTS, SHE SCORES!!!: Briana McFadden has been the Crusaders' offensive weapon all season, leading the team's scoring in 15 of 26 contests. In league play, McFadden leads Holy Cross in scoring eight of the ten games played so far. 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.

SHE'S BAAAAACK: Sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) returns for her second season with the Crusaders. In 26 starts for Holy Cross, she is averaging 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.23 assists and 1.7 steals per game. O'Dell paced the Crusaders with 17 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists against Army on February 13. Agaisnt Lafayette on February 9, O'Dell tied the team-high scoring with 19 poitns. 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.

CRUSADERS TAKE ON THE LEAGUE: Currently 8-3 in the Patriot League and tied for first place with Lehigh, Army, and American, sophomore guards Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) and Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) picked up right where they left off last year leading the Crusaders against the league. Against league opponents, McFadden is averaging 15.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals while O'Dell is second in scoring for the Crusaders with 11.3 points and chipping 4.45 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 2.2 assists in 11 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 11 games, Aloisi is averaging 8.6 points, 4.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 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 nine league games so far this season. Making five league starts, Campbell is averaging 9.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.5 assists per game. Making five starts against the league, May averages 2.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Senior forward Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) has started in all 11 league contests, averaging 2.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. Junior forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) has appeared in nine Patriot League contests and made one start, averaging 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) has made seven appearances in league play, averaging 3.7 points, and 2.3 rebounds.

BRI AND THE FREE'S: Sophomore guard Briana McFadden is ranked-second in the league from the charity stripe, posting a 80.3% 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. Against the league, she has sank 33-of44 attempts from free throw range (75.0%).

ALOISI RECEIVES LEAGUE HONORS: Senior guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) has been named the Baden Patriot League Player of the Week, for competition from February 4-10. Aloisi tied the team-high in scoring with 19 points as the Crusaders defeated Lafayette, 60-48, in Patriot league action. During Saturday's road victory, Aloisi scored 12 of her 19 points during a 24-12 run by the Crusaders to clinch the victory, keeping Holy Cross tied for first in the Patriot League standings. In addition to her 19 points, Aloisi had five assists, four rebounds and three steals while making three-of-six attempts from long range and four-of-five from the charity stripe.

HITTIN' THE THREES: Senior guard Laura Aloisi, sophomore guard Bethany O'Dell and and sophomore guard Briana McFadden continue to lead the Crusaders from the three-point line this season. Aloisi is currently ranked third in the Patriot League with a 38.8% three-point field goal percentage, followed by McFadden (37.9%) who is ranked fifth, and O'Dell who is ranked seventh with a 36.0%. O'Dell is ranked fourth in the league with three-pointers made, averaging 1.92 per game. The Crusaders are ranked first for both categories as a team, averging 6.00 three-pointers per game and shooting 35.0% from outside the arc. The Crusaders went 5-for-10 from long range against Bucknell on February 16, as O'Dell sank 3-for-3 and McFadden went 2-fo-3 from long range in the first half. Against Army on February 13, McFadden hit four of seven attempts while O'Dell and Aloisi each scored two three-pointer a piece. 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. 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 59 steals on the season, senior guard Laura Aloisi is currently ranked tops the Patriot League, averaging 2.27 steals per game. Alosi grabbed four steals as Holy Cross defeated Navy, 56-53, on February 20. 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.

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 January 30. 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.

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 25 appearnces and 14 starts, May is averaging 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

MCLAUGHLIN ON THE BOARDS: Senior forward Ashley McLaughlin (Andover, Mass.) ranks third in boards for Holy Cross with 4.1 rebounds per game. McLaughlin led the Crusaders with seven during their 56-54 loss to Army on February 13. 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 35.0 boards per game this year.

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 459-226 and had 190-45 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 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 wraps up its final road trip of the season as it travels to Colgate on Wednesday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m. Last time out, the Crusaders defeated Colgate, 59-37, at the Hart Center. Briana McFadden led the Holy Cross scoring with 15 points while Tayana Carper had a career-high 14 points against the Raiders. Kathy Gruzynski had a career-high nine rebounds and chipped in six steals, four points and three assists. Sami Kozlowski led Colgate in scoring with 15 points, all scored from three point range and grabbed four assists and three rebounds.