Crusaders Wrap Up Regular Season At Army

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Feb. 25, 2005

GAMEDAY QUICKFACTS:
GAME #27 AT ARMY
Date: Saturday, February 26, 2005
Time:1:00 p.m. EST
Location: West Point, N.Y.
Arena: Christl Arena
Capacity: 5,043
Team Records:
Holy Cross 16-10 (11-2 Patriot League)
Army 15-11 (8-5 Patriot League)

Series History: Holy Cross, 26-6
Last Meeting: Holy Cross, 70-53 (January 12)
Streak: Holy Cross, 1

Broadcast Information:
Radio:WTAG 580 AM
Play-by-Play: Bob Fouracre

Probable Starters:
G - #10 Sarah Placek, Jr., 5-3, 8.7 ppg, 2.6 apg
G - #05 Laura Aloisi, Fr., 5-9, 3.2 ppg, 4.4 apg
G - #34 Maggie Fontana, Sr., 5-11, 10.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg
F - #33 Brittany Keil, So., 6-2, 9.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg
C - #00 Lisa Andrews, Sr., 6-3, 12.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg

Reserves:
G - #23 Jessica Conte, Jr., 5-7, 7.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg
G - #11 Caitlin Agostinacchio, Sr., 5-9, 1.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg
G - #15 Shannon Bush, Jr., 5-11, 5.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg
C - #31 Ashley Brennan-McBride, So., 6-5, 2.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg
F - #13 Ashley McLaughlin, Fr., 6-1, 4.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg
F - #52 Kaitlin Foley, So., 6-4, 2.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg

Tonight's game is the 32nd all-time meeting between Holy Cross and Army in the 30 seasons of varsity basketball at HC.

The Series: Holy Cross owns a 26-6 series advantage over Army, and is 13-4 when playing at Christl Arena. The two teams split during the regular season last year, and after winning just three games out of the first 20 contests between the two, Army has won three of the last 10 meetings.

Last Time: Twentieth-year head coach Bill Gibbons earned his 400th career victory as Holy Cross defeated Army, 70-53 on January 12. Lisa Andrews poured in a team-high 18 points and pulled down five rebounds to lead the Crusaders. Laura Aloisi had a game-high seven assists, and Brittany Keil grabbed a game-high eight boards for HC, which also got nine points and six rebounds from Maggie Fontana. Holy Cross went into intermission with a 35-26 advantage after it had raced out to an early 17-6 lead to start the game. The Crusader defense came up with 21 steals and forced 28 Army turnovers, holding the Black Knights to 36% shooting from the field for the game. Jen Hansen had a game-high 19 points for the Black Knights, who also got 15 points from then-reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Week, Cara Enright.

Regular Season Champs: Despite a loss at Bucknell on Wednesday, Holy Cross claimed its 11th all-time Patriot League regular season title. At 11-2 in the conference, HC is currently two games up on Lehigh and has clinched first place in the regular season standings by virtue of the Mountain Hawks' loss to American three days ago. The last time Holy Cross won the regular season title was during the 2002-2003 season when the Crusaders went 24-8, won the PL Tournament, and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Fontana, Keil Impressive In Loss: Maggie Fontana (Barrington, Ill.) tied a career-high with 14 rebounds on Wednesday at Bucknell. The last time the 5-foot-11 G/F grabbed 14 caroms was in 2003 vs. Lafayette. Fontana also recorded her second double-double of the year, as she put up 18 points in addition to her 14 boards. Fontana's first double-double of the season was a 10-point, 10-rebound effort vs. UAB on November 26. Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) also tied a career-high on Wednesday, as she scored 17 points for the third time in her career. Keil pumped in 17 points at Colgate and vs. Bucknell (1/8/05) earlier this year.

Conte Named Player of the Week: Junior guard Jessica Conte (New Canaan, Conn.) earned her first career Patriot League Player of the Week award after her heroics against Colgate last Saturday. Conte came off the bench to pump in a team-high and a career-high 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, including a 3-of-4 performance from long range in just 22 minutes of play. Conte also tied for team-high honors with four assists and collected a team-high three steals. In addition, the 5-foot-7 guard grabbed three rebounds and was 3-for-3 from the free throw line in the Crusaders' 80-74 win over the Raiders.

Andrews, Keil Named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America District I: Lisa Andrews (Concord, Mass.) and Brittany Keil were named to the 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Women's Basketball District I Team last week. Andrews was selected to the First Team with a 3.64 gpa, while Keil represents Holy Cross on the Second Team with a 3.96 gpa. Holy Cross was the only school in District I with two players named to the Academic All-America squad. A total of ten players from District I were selected.

Strength In Numbers: As a team, the Crusaders rank first in eight of 19 team categories among the Patriot League statistics. HC is tops in scoring offense, scoring margin, free throw percent, field goal percent, field goal percent defense, three-point percent defense, assists and steals. The Crusaders are also ranked second in turnover margin and third in scoring defense, blocked shots, offensive rebounds, and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Unchartered Territory: Wednesday's loss to Bucknell marked the first time all season long that Holy Cross outrebounded its opponent and lost. The Crusaders had been a perfect 8-0 in games when they grabbed more boards than their opponents, but despite pulling down two more rebounds than Bucknell (43-41), the Bison came out on top. The 72-71 loss also marked the first time this year that HC scored 70+ points and lost. The Crusaders had been 6-0 in games where they put up more than 70 points prior to Wednesday's defeat.

Tough 'D': Holy Cross is 11-0 when holding its opponents to 60 points or less this season. The Crusaders have held seven opponents to 50 points or less thus far, including a three-game streak where the Purple and White held three consecutive opponents to 48 points. The Crusaders are also 13-2 when they force 20+ turnovers.

HC In The National Rankings: According to the latest release (Feb. 21), Holy Cross is ranked in the Top 25 nationally in assists per game at 16.7. Leading the nation in assists per game is DePaul (20.0), one of the Crusaders opponents earlier this year. HC is also ranked in the Top 50 in two other categories. The Purple and White are 37th free throw percent (73.8%) behind national leader Idaho State (79.0) and are 47th in steals per game (10.8) behind national leader North Carolina at 14.5.

This Time Out: Both Holy Cross and Army wrap up regular season play today and will be gearing up for next weekend's Patriot League Tournament. The Crusaders are fresh off of a disappointing 72-71 loss at Bucknell and have fallen to 11-2 in league play, while Army stands in third place overall, coming off a thrilling 71-69 win at Colgate on Wednesday. Holy Cross is 16-10 overall going into today's match-up with the Black Knights, and is 6-6 on the road this year (4-2 vs. PL teams). HC has a 6-3 record when they play during the day, and is 4-0 when playing on Saturdays this season. The Crusaders are 4-2 in February thus far. Army is currently 15-11 overall and 8-5 in conference play, putting them just behind Lehigh (9-4) in the conference standings.

Last Time Out: Holy Cross lost to Bucknell for the third time in the last four meetings on Wednesday night. Brooke Tomovich hit a free throw with 8.6 seconds remaining and the Crusaders' last second attempt was too little too late, giving the seventh-place Bison a 72-71 upset victory. The Bison went into intermission with a 36-32 advantage after leading for more than 15 minutes in the first half. In the second, the Crusaders took the lead with 13:08 to go and led for the next eight minutes, but could not put the Bison away. Tomovich led all scorers with 23 points. Lindsey Hollobaugh added 15, Kesha Champion had 12, and Hope Foster chipped in 10 for the Bison. Maggie Fontana scored a team-high 18 points and tied a career-high with 14 rebounds to lead the Crusaders. Brittany Keil also tied a career-high with 17 points, and Lisa Andrews and Jessica Conte added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Next Time Out: Holy Cross will host the first two rounds of the Patriot League Tournament next Thursday (March 3) and Saturday (March 5) as the #1 seed.

Scouting The Black Knights: Army comes into today's game after a big win over Colgate Wednesday night. The Black Knights are 15-11 overall and are currently in third in the league standings with an 8-5 PL record. The Black Knights are led by seven-time PL Rookie of the Week Cara Enright, who leads the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and steals (36), and is third on the team in rebounding (4.5 rpg). Followed by Enright is 5-foot-10 sophomore guard Jen Hansen, who averages 11.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, and leads the team in assists with 79 on the year. Five-foot-eleven senior captain Lindsey Brent is the team's leading rebounder, pulling down 6.5 boards per game

Holy Cross in Patriot League Play: Holy Cross is currently 11-2 in conference play after a tough 72-71 loss to Bucknell on Wednesday. Twentieth-year head coach Bill Gibbons has compiled a 164-31 (.841) record in Patriot League play, including HC's 11-2 mark this year. Gibbons also has six Patriot League Coach of the Year awards and has led his teams to 11 regular season titles, including this year's, and nine championship titles.

Fontana Sets New HC Mark: Maggie Fontana's consecutive free throw streak ended at 33 at Lafayette on February 11 when the 5-foot-11 guard/forward went 7-for-8 from the line on the night. Fontana fell one free throw shy of tying the all-time Patriot League record of 34 consecutive free throws. Fontana's 33 straight foul shots across a seven-game span, did however, set a new HC women's basketball record, crushing the previous record of 23 consecutive set by Beth Godfrey during the 1992-1993 season.

Fontana Takes Sixth Slot: With her 14 rebounds on Wednesday, Maggie Fontana moved into sixth place on Holy Cross' all-time rebounding list. The Illinois native now has 737 rebounds and leads the team in rebounding with 5.5 per outing. Phyllis Townsend (`84) and Norinne Powers (`93) occupy the fifth slot with 762 boards.

Hot Hands: HC shot better than 54% last Saturday against Colgate, marking just the third time all season the Crusaders have shot 50% or better from the field. The Crusaders' best shooting performance of the year was 61.4% against Iona in November, followed by a 51.7% night versus Army on January 12. Holy Cross is 3-0 when shooting 50% or better, and is 2-0 when it scores 80 or more points (vs. Colgate 80-74, vs. Iona 89-46). The 80 points the team put up last Saturday was just the second time this season the Crusaders have scored 80 points or more.

Home Is Where the Hart Is: Holy Cross has an all-time record of 250-53 at the Hart Center, including a 9-3 mark at home so far this season. HC has posted a record of 47-15 (.758) at home over the course of the last four seasons.

Gibbons Gets No. 409: Holy Cross head coach Bill Gibbons continues to move up the history charts, having picked up his 409th career win last Saturday after an 80-74 win over Colgate. Gibbons is the winningest basketball coach (men's or women's) in the history of Holy Cross . The 20th year coach is also currently ranked 37th among active Division I women's basketball coaches by number of victories. Gibbons captured his 100th, 200th, and 400th career wins on his first try. It took the Worcester, Mass. native two games to notch his 300th win in 2000.

Getting To The Line: The Crusaders are tops among PL teams (all games and conference games) in team free throw percent, and boast an 11-2 record when they record more free throw attempts than their opponents. The Crusaders' 21 made free throws against Bucknell on Wednesday tied a season high (Colgate, 2/19/05) for The Cross. HC's 87% (20-for-23) performance from the line against American (2/6/05) was its second best perfomance (93.8%; 15-for-16 vs. Boston College) this season.

Sharpshooters: As a team, Holy Cross ranks third in three-point shooting percent (all games - 33.9%). Sophomore Brittany Keil ranks second (all games), shooting 44.8% (30 for 67) from behind the arc and junior Jessica Conte ranks sixth at 36.5% (27 for 74).

From the Charity Stripe: Holy Cross ranks first from the foul line, shooting a League-best 75.2% (conference games only) and 74.2% across all games. Maggie Fontana has a Patriot League-best 88.3% (53-for-60) rate at the line (conference games only) and leads the team with an 82.0% rate (82-for-100). Lisa Andrews is ranked fourth in foul shooting in Patriot League games, shooting an impressive 81.8% (36-for-44). Andrews is second on the team in that same category, converting better than 80% (65-for-81) of her foul shots. Through 26 games, Crusader players have made good on 337 of 454 attempts.

Block Party: Lisa Andrews is currently ranked second in blocked shots in overall games among PL players. She is also tied for second in PL games in the same category. The 6-foot-4 center has turned away a team-leading 42 shots so far this season. Andrews is averaging 1.61 blocks per game. She finished last season ranked 21st in the country with 2.5 blocks per outing.

Battle of the Boards: The Crusaders are 8-1 when outrebounding their opponents, and have a losing record (8-9) when their opponents win the battle of the boards. The Crusaders have been outrebounded in 17 of 26 games this season, including a streak of eight straight games earlier this season where HC opponents pulled down more boards.

Andrews Joins HC Elite: On February 13 at Lehigh, Lisa Andrews became the 21st player in HC women's basketball history to score 1,000 career points. Going into the game, Andrews needed just two points to reach the 1,000 point plateau and scored her milestone basket on a jumper just 5:33 into the game. The 6-foot-3 center finished the contest with a game-high 21 points, and currently has 1,041 for her career.

Re-Writing The Record Books: On Sunday, January 30, Maggie Fontana converted 11-of-11 foul shots, breaking the Holy Cross women's basketball single-game record. The previous best was a 10-for-10 performance by Beth Godfrey vs. Indiana on January 3, 1993. Fontana's 11 free throws also marked a new Patriot League single-game high this season.

Records to Watch: Maggie Fontana is moving up in a number of all-time Holy Cross statistics lists. Fontana is currently ranked ninth in scoring with 1,501 points. She is currently ranked third in steals with 243, and she is ranked sixth in rebounds (737). Fontana is also steadily climbing the all-time Patriot League charts in a number of categories. She is currently ranked 11th in assists (402), 11th in rebounds (737), and 13th in points (1,501). With her three rejections against Lafayette on January 28, Lisa Andrews moved into the third slot in all-time blocked shots in both Patriot League and Holy Cross history. Andrews currently has 188 blocks, six away from former HC player Karen Juda (`96), who occupies the second spot in both Holy Cross and Patriot League history with 194 blocks.

Double Trouble: Seniors Lisa Andrews and Maggie Fontana are the only two HC players who have recorded double-doubles this season. Andrews went for 17 points and 13 boards in a 67-48 win over American on January 23 and 12 points and 10 boards in a 64-56 win at Siena on December 9. In addition to her 18-point, 14-rebound performance against Bucknell on February 23, Fontana also tallied 10 points and 10 boards in a one-point loss to UAB on November 26.

2004-2005 Weekly Honors: Maggie Fontana earned her first Player of the Week award on January 31 after putting up 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds against Lafayette and Lehigh. Lisa Andrews earned her second Patriot League Player of the Week honor on January 17 after she averaged 21.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg, and blocked three shots against Army and Colgate. Andrews' first POW nod was on Nov. 22 after she tallied 19 points, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal vs. Buffalo two days after a 12-point, five rebounds, two steals and a block in the home opener against Providence. Laura Aloisi was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Nov. 29 after her performances in the Iona (six assists, three steals), UAB (career-high 14 points), and UMass games (career-high 11 assists).

Patriot League Women's Basketball on CSTV: College Sports Television (CSTV) will broadcast the March 3 PL Quarterfinals and the March 9 PL Championship game.

Head Coach Bill Gibbons: Bill Gibbons is entering his 20th season as head coach of the Holy Cross Women's Basketball program. The name Gibbons has become a fixture in the world of women's basketball. He has led the Crusaders to nine Patriot League Championships in the last 14 years. He has also made 10 postseason appearances (nine NCAA Tournaments and one WNIT) in his 19 years as head coach. With fifteen 20-win seasons under his belt, Gibbons has cemented himself and the women's basketball program as one of the best in the Northeast. Gibbons currently has a record of 409-182 in his 20th year as head coach. The sixth coach of the women's program at Holy Cross, he has enjoyed the longest tenure in this position. With his 358th victory, he surpassed George Blaney (357) to become the school's all-time winningest coach in basketball history. In 2003, Gibbons was inducted into the New England College Basketball Hall of Fame at the University of Rhode Island.

 GIBBONS ALL-TIME
Career Record: 409-182
Patriot League Record: 164-31
Years: 20
Record at School: Same

Where To Find Holy Cross Women's Basketball:
On Television: College Sports Television (CSTV) will broadcast the March 3 Patriot League Quarterfinals and the March 9 Patriot League Championship game. Throughout the Worcester area, CSTV is channel 318 on Charter Cable.

On the Radio: Today's game at Army will be broadcast live on WTAG 580 AM. Bob Fouracre, the voice of the Crusaders for the past 19 years will bring you all the play-by-play action.

On the Internet: All games broadcast by WTAG 580 AM can also be heard live on www.sportsjuice.com. Each game will be linked from the Holy Cross website. Other information on Holy Cross basketball and all 26 other varsity sports is also available through the new Holy Cross Athletics website at: www.goholycross.com

The Holy Cross Women's Basketball Show: Tune in to WCTR TV-3 Wednesday nights at 10:30 p.m. and Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. for the Holy Cross Women's Basketball Show with Head Coach Bill Gibbons. Each week, WCTR TV-3 Sports Director Kevin Shea will sit down with Gibbons and members of this year's coaching staff and team and talk about all things Holy Cross basketball, and the Crusaders quest for the 2004-2005 Patriot League Championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Media Policies:
Interviews: Interviews with Head Coach Bill Gibbons, his staff and Holy Cross players can be set up by contacting Brianne Mallaghan in the Holy Cross Athletic Media Relations Office at (508) 793-2583 or via email at bmallagh@holycross.edu. Arrangements for interviews should be made atleast 24 hours in advance.

Postgame Procedures: The Holy Cross women's basketball locker room is closed to the media. Members of the media should submit player interview requests to Brianne Mallaghan, the Holy Cross women's basketball contact, by the five-minute mark of the second half. Players and Coaches will be available for postgame interviews following a 10-minute cooling off period after the game.