Women's Basketball Readies For Quarterfinal Tilt With American

March 1, 2006

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
GAME #28 vs. #7 AMERICAN
PATRIOT LEAGUE QUARTERFINALS
The Teams:
#7 American (7-20, 4-10 Patriot League)
#2 Holy Cross (14-13, 10-4 Patriot League)

Date: March 2, 2006
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600)
Location: Worcester, Mass.
Broadcast Information:
Television: none.
Radio: WTAG 580 AM *
Talent: Bob Fouracre, play by play; Jeremy Lechan, color
Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM ^, the Holy Cross student station
Internet: www.sportsjuice.com ^
Series History: 12th meeting; Holy Cross leads 10-1
Last Meeting: Holy Cross, 74-55 (Feb. 18, 2006 - Washington, D.C.)
Series Streak: Holy Cross - 4

* - To be broadcast at 9:30 p.m. on tape delay
^ - To be broadcast live

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name               Ht.   Cl.	PPG	RPG
G     5    Laura Aloisi       5-9   So.	6.0	4.2 apg
G     23   Jessica Conte      5-8   Sr.	8.3	4.3
G     33   Brittany Keil      6-2   Jr.	10.1	6.2
F     13   Ashley McLaughlin  6-1   So.	3.8	3.7
C     52   Kaitlin Foley      6-4   Jr.	15.0	6.0

Thursday's quarterfinal game will be the 12th all-time meeting between Holy Cross and American in the 31 year history of varsity basketball at Holy Cross, and the first-ever Patriot League Tournament match-up between the two schools.

THE SERIES: Holy Cross owns an all-time series record of 10-1 over American, and has won four straight against the Eagles, including a 74-55 victory in Washington just 12 days ago. The Crusaders are 5-0 when playing the Eagles on the Hart Center floor. The last and only time American defeated Holy Cross was during the 2003-04 season when the Eagles took an 81-65 decision in the second game of the season series in Washington. Holy Cross went 2-0 against the Eagles last season, and is 2-0 against them this season. Aside from Colgate, American is the only team in the league that has never won a game on the Hart Center floor. American is also the only team in the league that has never faced Holy Cross in a tournament game.

THIS TIME OUT: Holy Cross is coming off a 72-65 win over Lehigh on Saturday, which clinched the number two seed and home court advantage for the Crusaders through the first two rounds of the Patriot League Tournament. Holy Cross is 30-5 overall in Patriot League Tournament games. The Crusaders have twice lost to Bucknell and Lafayette and once to former league member, Fordham. Holy Cross is 4-1 in its last five games and 4-1 in its last five home games. The Cross is 7-4 at home overall this season, and finished conference play with a 6-1 mark at the Hart Center. The Crusaders' lone league loss in Worcester was against Army (63-57) on Feb. 7. Five of the Crusaders' 12 total losses have come against Top 25 (#2 Duke; #7 UConn; #25 Boston College) or Top 25-caliber (Virginia; Western Kentucky) teams. American comes into tonight's quarterfinal game after a 73-66 loss at Lafayette on Saturday. The Eagles are 1-5 in their last six contests and 2-11 overall on the road this season.

HOLY CROSS IN THE TOURNAMENT: Holy Cross has an all-time record of 30-5 in the Patriot League Tournament since it began in 1991. The Crusaders own 11 Patriot League regular season titles and 10 Patriot League Tournament titles in the 15-year history of the League. The only other team in the League's history that has more than one championship title is Fordham, a former member, which won two. Holy Cross is 17-1 overall when playing Patriot League Tournament games on the Hart Center floor. The Crusaders have won all 10 of their tournament titles in Worcester, Mass. The Crusaders are 5-1 all-time in the Patriot League Tournament as the No.2 seed and have won one championship. Their lone loss as the No. 2 seed came against No. 1 Fordham in the 1994 title game.

LAST TIME OUT: Junior center Kaitlin Foley scored a team-high 20 points and three other Crusaders reached double figures to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a 72-65 victory over Lehigh on Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center. With the win, Holy Cross clinched the number two seed in next week's Patriot League Tournament and is guaranteed home court advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Crusaders (14-13, 10-4) also snapped a three-game winning streak for the Mountain Hawks, who fell to 10-17 overall and 5-9 in conference play.

Foley had 12 of her 20 points in the first stanza and finished the game 6-for-9 from the field. Senior guards Shannon Bush and Jessica Conte added 15 and 11 points, respectively, while junior guard Brittany Keil added 10 points, five assists, three blocks and three rebounds. Foley and Conte tied for team-high honors with six rebounds.

In addition, senior guard Sarah Placek scored the 1,000th point of her career with 3:36 left in the game after converting both free throws in a one-and-one situation. Placek is the 22nd player in Holy Cross women's basketball history to reach the 1,000 point plateau.

Holy Cross went into the break up 42-30 after shooting a season-best 60.9 percent (14-for-23) from the floor in the first and committing just five turnovers. The Crusaders led by as much as 14 points (37-23) in the first half after a three-pointer by Bush at the 5:42 mark. The Mountain Hawks then went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to eight (37-29), following a trey by Emily Geosits, but the Crusaders closed out the half by outscoring Lehigh, 5-1, over the final 4:44.

Holy Cross held Lehigh to 37.5 percent shooting from the field in the first twenty minutes.

In the second, the Mountain Hawks cut an eight-point deficit in half to get within four (63-59) following an Adrienne Blount hoop underneath with 4:08 to go. But the Crusaders would not back down and answered with a 7-0 run of their own - capped off by a Keil three-ball - to take a 70-59 lead with 1:34 remaining.

Holy Cross shot 51.1 percent for the game, which marks the third straight game the Crusaders have made at least 50.0 percent of their shots from the floor. Lehigh had a slight 34-30 advantage on the boards and also committed one less turnover than the Crusaders, while shooting 43.5 percent for the afternoon.

Three Mountain Hawks reached double-figures led by Jenny Callan's 21-point, 11-rebound perfomance. Blount also pumped in 21 points and grabbed nine boards. Sara Ellis added 15 points.

NEXT TIME OUT: The semifinal game will be played on Saturday, March 4, at 1:00 p.m. at the Hart Center. The winner of tonight's quarterfinal game between #2 Holy Cross and #7 American will face the winner of the #3 Bucknell versus #6 Lehigh game, which tipped off at 5:30 p.m. this evening.

PLACEK JOINS HOLY CROSS ELITE: Five-foot-three senior guard Sarah Placek became the 22nd player in Holy Cross women's basketball history to score 1,000 career points, after she scored six points against Lehigh on Saturday afternoon. Placek came into the season with 810 career points and needed just six points to reach the milestone. She scored her 999th and 1,000th points at the free throw line with 3:36 remaining in the game. Placek's achievement marks the third consecutive season a Holy Cross women's basketball player joined the 1,000 point club (Lisa Andrews in 2004-05, Maggie Fontana in 2003-04). Placek is also the sixth Holy Cross player in the last four years (Andrews in 2004-05, Fontana in 2003-04, and Katie O'Keefe, Jeanette Paukert and Amanda Abraham in 2001-02) to score 1,000 career points.

SENIOR DAY: Seniors Shannon Bush (Doylestown, Pa.), Jessica Conte (New Canaan, Conn.) and Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.) all played in their final regular season home game on Saturday afternoon. Over the past four years at Holy Cross, Bush, Conte and Placek have been part of two Patriot League regular season title teams (2002-03; 2004-05), two Patriot League Tournament championship teams (2002-03; 2004-05), and have earned two trips to the NCAA Tournament (2002-03; 2004-05). They have compiled a record of 73-45 (.618) over the course of the past four years.

FOLEY, KEIL NAMED ALL-LEAGUE: Holy Cross junior center Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) and junior guard/forward Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) were named to the 2006 Patriot League All-Conference Team as announced by conference officials on Tuesday. Foley earned her first career award with her selection to the All-Patriot League First Team, while Keil's selection to the Second Team was her second career award (2004 All-Rookie Team).

A former Patriot League Player of the Week (Jan. 30) this season, Foley leads Holy Cross in points (406), points per game (15.0 points per game), blocks (29 blocks), field goal percentage (54.0 percent), minutes played (852 minutes) and minutes per game (31.6 minutes per game). She is second on the team in rebounding (6.0 rebounds per game), and is third on the team in steals (41 steals). The six-foot-four center, who only averaged 10.9 minutes and 3.1 points last season, has started all 27 games for the Crusaders this year. She ranks second in the Patriot League in both field goal percentage and blocks, fourth in scoring, sixth in free throw percentage (73.4 percent), eighth in rebounding and 10th in steals (1.52 steals per game).

In Patriot League contests, Foley is the League's leading scorer with 15.9 points per game and is second in field goal percentage (.542). She has reached double-digit scoring in all but three games this season and netted a season-high 27 against Army on Feb. 7. She also ranks second in the Patriot League in blocked shots (1.1) and sixth in free throw percentage (.734).

Foley has set and passed career-highs in points six times this season (18 at Northeastern; 19 vs. Western Kentucky; 20 vs. URI; 21 vs. Colgate; 23 at Lehigh; 27 vs. Army), and was named to the Wells Fargo/Arizona State Holiday Classic All Tournament Team in December.

In addition, Foley was recently named as the Worcester Area College Basketball Association Most Valuable Player this season.

A preseason all-league pick, Keil leads the team in rebounding this season (6.2 rebounds per game) and is seventh in the league in that same category. In addition, she is third on the team in scoring (10.1 points per game), fourth in the league in blocked shots (0.72 blocks per game), 10th in three-point field goal percentage and 12th in assists. She is a two-time ESPN The Magazine District I All-Academic selection and was also named the Holy Cross Club of Worcester Winter Homecoming Game Most Valuable Player following the Crusaders' Feb. 11 win over Bucknell.

Keil recorded six double-doubles this season, which leads the team and is second most in the Patriot League, and is shooting .376 from the field and .787 from the free throw line. A 2004 Patriot League All-Rookie Team selection, Keil was twice named to the Worcester Area College Basketball weekly honor roll.

MOVIN' ON UP: Senior guard Sarah Placek has taken sole possession of the 10th spot on the all-time Holy Cross women's basketball assists list after passing Hall of Famer Lauren Maney `96 and Nicole DeQuattro `90 (both had 324 assists) in the Crusaders' Feb. 18 game at American. Placek now has 327 career assists. Mary Helen Walker `91 holds the ninth spot with 340 assists. Additionally, Placek is just two steals away from occupying the 11th spot in program history for steals. Going into tonight's game, Placek has 178 career steals, while Karen Grutchfield `85 is currently 11th on the all-time list with 179 steals.

HOT HANDS: Holy Cross has shot 50.0 percent or better in three straight games (vs. Lehigh, at Colgate and vs. American), marking the first time all season the team has done so. The Crusaders shot a season-best 60.9 percent (14-for-23) from the floor in the first half against Lehigh on Saturday, just two games after setting a new season high for field goal percentage in a game (53.6 percent) against American on Feb. 18. Holy Cross' previous high in a game this season was 52.3 percent against Memphis in the Wells Fargo Holiday Tournament at Arizona State on Dec. 3. The team's previous high in a half this season was 56.5 percent (13-for-23) against URI on December 7.

ONE WIN AWAY: Holy Cross has an all-time record (Division I, II and III) of 299-80 (.789) at the Hart Center, and is just one home win away from its 300th victory in the 30-year old building. The program's 100th win at the Hart Center came on January 9, 1988 when the Crusaders defeated the University of New Hampshire, 86-67. It's 200th win at the Hart Center came on February 5, 1997 when the Crusaders defeated Army, 92-59. The Crusaders' best home single-season record since its 200th win was a 14-1 mark (.933) during the 1999-00 season. Last year, the Crusaders went 12-3 at the Hart Center. Holy Cross has posted a record of 57-20 (.740) at home over the course of the last six seasons, including its 7-4 mark this season. The program is 260-57 at the Hart Center since beginning Division I play in 1982.

DRIBBLES: Holy Cross' loss to Colgate last Tuesday was just the program's third loss in the history of the series, which began in 1991 (36 total games) ... Last week's loss was also the team's first this season when scoring 70-79 points, and was the team's first loss this season when shooting 50.0 percent or better ... Holy Cross is 0-5 this season when allowing 70-79 points ... With its 15-point win over the Bison on Feb. 11, Holy Cross swept Bucknell in the regular season for the first time in three years ... The Crusaders also swept American and Navy this season ... The Crusaders' 63-57 loss to Army on Feb. 7 was their first home conference loss of the year.

KEIL NAMED WINTER HOMECOMING GAME MVP: Junior swing player Brittany Keil was named the Holy Cross Club of Worcester Winter Homecoming Game Most Valuable Player following the Crusaders' Feb. 11 win over Bucknell. Keil scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds. The six-foot-two Keil was 7-for-12 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free throw line, while collecting three assists and two steals in just 22 minutes of action after getting in foul trouble. Keil scored all 16 of her points in the first stanza, while propelling the Crusaders to a 32-15 halftime lead, outscoring the entire Bucknell squad on her own.

SOPHOMORE STANDOUT: Sophomore point guard Laura Aloisi has been on fire on both sides of the ball lately. Despite having her four-game double-digit scoring streak snapped last Tuesday at Colgate, Aloisi recorded eight points, a game-high five assists, three rebounds and two steals, while playing a game-high 39 minutes against the Raiders.

Aloisi has scored eight or more points in five of the last six games (10 vs. Army; 14 vs. Bucknell; 11 vs. Navy; 13 at American; eight at Colgate; three vs. Lehigh), averaging 9.8 points during that span. She has also averaged 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in the last six games. She is leading the team in assists (110 assists) and assists per game (4.23 assists per game) again this season. The second year playmaker now has 229 career assists, after her rookie campaign in which she led the team and finished second in the Patriot League with 119 helpers.

Aloisi is ranked second in the Patriot League in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.64; 110 assists, 67 turnovers), and steals (2.08 steals per game), and is third in the conference in assists (4.23 assists per game).

She scored 13 points, going 5-for-10 from the floor, including three triples, and had two rebounds, two assists and a steal at American and scored 11 points, had a game-high five assists, grabbed three rebounds and added two steals against Navy on Feb. 14.

Aloisi was coming off an impressive game against Bucknell on Feb. 11, tying a career-high with 14 points, tying for game-high honors with six assists, and grabbing three rebounds and two steals. Aloisi was 0-for-2 in the first half and went into the break without scoring a single point, but came out in the second stanza and took the game over, scoring 14 of the team's 24 points and stepping up in place of teammate Brittany Keil, who scored 16 first half points, but got in foul trouble and only played five minutes in the second half. Aloisi was 3-for-5 from the floor in the second, drained a three-ball and hit 7-of-9 free throws to help seal the win for the Crusaders.

KEIL EARNS DISTRICT ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN HONORS: Junior guard/forward Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic District I University Division First Team, as announced by CoSIDA officials on Feb. 9. The six-foot-two Keil was a District I Second Team selection last season. A Biology major with a Biology/Chemistry concentration, Keil has been on the Dean's List every semester of her Holy Cross career, including two 4.0 terms. She earned a 3.94 grade-point average during the Fall 2005 semester, which tied for 11th best among Holy Cross student-athletes, and has a 3.96 cumulative grade point average. With her selection, Keil advances to the national ballot, where she will try to join former Holy Cross greats Amy O'Brien, Kathy Courtney, Ann Lambiotte and Sherry Levin as the program's fifth Academic All-American. Joining Keil on the University Division District I team were Ann Strother of Connecticut, Brooke Queenan of Boston College, Danielle Clark of New Hampshire, and Joy Gallagher of Wagner College. To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore and have a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or better.

FORMIDABLE FOLEY: Junior center Kaitlin Foley has been a stalwart in the paint this season for the Crusaders. She is coming off a 20-point performance against Lehigh and has scored in double-figures in 10 straight games and in 24 of 27 overall this season. She has averaged 20.0 points and 5.0 rebounds over the last three games. Foley leads the team in points (406), points per game (15.0 points per game), blocks (29 blocks), field goal percentage (54.0 percent), minutes played (852 minutes) and minutes per game (31.6 minutes per game). She is second on the team in rebounding (6.0 rebounds per game), and is third on the team in steals (41 steals). The six-foot-four center, who only averaged 10.9 minutes and 3.1 points last season, has started all 27 games for the Crusaders this year. She ranks second in the Patriot League in both field goal percentage and blocks, fourth in scoring, sixth in free throw percentage (73.4 percent), eighth in rebounding and 10th in steals (1.52 steals per game). In Patriot League contests, Foley is the League's leading scorer with 15.9 points per game and is second in field goal percentage (.542).

NUMBERS AGAINST AMERICAN: Holy Cross is 7-1 against the Eagles the last three years (3-1 at Bender Arena) and have outscored them by an average of 12.1 (479-394) points per game in those seven wins. The Eagles defeated Holy Cross 81-65 in Washington during the 2003-04 campaign.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES: American comes into tonight's game after a 73-66 loss at Lafayette on Saturday. The Eagles (7-20, 4-10 Patriot League) have lost five of their last six games and are 2-11 on the road overall (2-5 against Patriot League competition) this season.

The Eagles will be without their team leader and leading scorer in five-foot-ten senior guard Tala Hadavi (Uppsala, Sweden), who will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Hadavi was the only Eagle to average double figures in points (14.2 points per game) this season.

Five-foot-six junior guard Tara Williams (Newport News, Va.) and six-foot-two freshman forward and former Patriot League Rookie of the Week, Sahar Nusseibeh (Uniontown, Ohio) are expected to step up in Hadavi's place in the scoring column. Williams is averaging 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while Nusseibeh is putting up 8.9 points, grabbing 5.0 rebounds, and leading the team in blocks (15 blocks). Williams also leads the team in steals (46 steals).

Six-foot-two junior forward Abby Lipskis (Norfolk, Va.) is also adding strong numbers for the Eagles with 7.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Lipskis is also second on the team in blocked shots (12 blocks). Six-foot freshman Tish Curry (Pennsauken, N.J.) leads the team in rebounding (197 rebounds; 7.3 rebounds per game).

In addition, five-foot-four freshman guard Pam Stanfield (College Park, Md.) is the team's top playmaker, with 92 assists (3.68 assists per game) on the season; 30 more than the next closest player on the roster (Williams; 62 assists). American has started eight different players this season, including five freshmen.

Head coach Melissa McFerrin is in her second year with the American program and has a career record of 19-36 with the Eagles, who finished fourth in the Patriot League last season.

LAST TIME OUT VERSUS AMERICAN: (2/18/06) Junior center Kaitlin Foley poured in a game-high 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a 74-55 win over American at Bender Arena. The win was Holy Cross' third at the time as it improved to 13-12 (9-3 Patriot League). The Eagles fell to 6-18 (3-9 Patriot League). The Crusaders also swept the season series with the Eagles.

Foley scored 12 of her 22 points and had four of her seven rebounds in the first, while finishing the game 10-for-13 from the floor. Sophomore guard Laura Aloisi recorded 13 points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal, while senior guard Jessica Conte had a solid all-around game with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Crusaders.

The Eagles started the game 7-for-9 from the field and jumped out to a 15-9 lead in the first six minutes of the half, but then went cold from the floor and struggled over the next five minutes and four seconds, going without a basket. Holy Cross took advantage during the AU drought, stringing together a 12-0 run to take a 21-15 lead with 9:06 to go. Nicole Ryan single-handedly got the Eagles back in the game, however, breaking the American dry spell with a hoop at the 8:38 mark and getting them within two (23-21) after a jumper with 7:20 on the clock. But the Crusaders responded with an 8-0 run over the next five minutes to take a ten point lead (31-21) with 2:06 to go. Keil had six of the Crusaders' eight points during the run.

Holy Cross went into the break up, 33-24, after shooting 55.6 percent from the floor, despite a 1-for-7 showing from behind the arc.

In the second, the Eagles came within eight (43-35) after a 6-0 run with 13:31 on the clock, but would not get any closer as the Crusaders answered with an 8-0 run to take a 51-35 lead, and did not let up the rest of the way. Holy Cross' largest lead of the game was 20 (61-41) with 3:21 to go. The Crusaders had a 36-28 points-in-the-paint advantage for the game and went 9-for-12 from the free throw line, while the Eagles struggled from the charity stripe (4-for-13).

Holy Cross shot 53.6 percent from the floor for the game and committed just 15 turnovers. American was 34.8 percent from the field.

The Eagles were led by Ryan's 16 points. Pam Stanfield added 11 and Tara Williams chipped in with 10 points. Tish Curry and Talicia Jackson shared game-high honors with nine rebounds.

HOLY CROSS VERSUS THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: Holy Cross is 175-35 (.833) in Patriot League play since its inception and is 106-10 (.914) when playing league opponents on the Hart Center floor, including its 5-1 mark this year. Under Bill Gibbons, Holy Cross is also 175-35 all-time in Patriot League action. Last season, Holy Cross finished 12-2 in the league and 7-0 at home vs. Patriot League opponents. The Crusaders have 11 Patriot League regular season titles and 10 Patriot League Tournament titles in the 15-year history of the League. The only other team in the League's history that has more than one championship title is Fordham, a former member, who won two. Holy Cross is also coming off its 16th 20-win season under the direction of head coach Bill Gibbons.

FOLEY ENJOYS CAREER NIGHT: Junior center Kaitlin Foley poured in a career-high 27 points and tied a career-high with 11 rebounds to record her third career double-double against Army on Feb 7. Foley was 12-for-18 from the floor and 3-for-4 from the charity stripe. She also blocked two shots in her 33 minutes of action. Foley has set and passed career-highs in points six times this season (18 at Northeastern; 19 vs. Western Kentucky; 20 vs. URI; 21 vs. Colgate; 23 at Lehigh; 27 vs. Army). Her previous career-high was 12 at Army in 2004.

FOLEY NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior center Kaitlin Foley earned her first career Patriot League Player of the Week award on Jan. 30 after leading Holy Cross to two wins in the week ending on Jan. 29. Foley poured in a game-high and a career-high 23 points on 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) shooting from the floor helping The Cross to a six point victory at Lehigh on Jan. 28, after coming off a game-high and a then-career high 21 points and a game-high eight rebounds in the Crusaders' 13 point win over Colgate on Jan. 24. Foley was 9-for-13 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line to lead the Crusaders. Foley was 18-for-24 (75.0 percent) from the floor and 8-for-9 from the charity stripe, averaging 22.0 points each game. Foley had a 10-point, eight-rebound effort at Bucknell on Jan. 14, after coming off her second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds at Army on Jan. 10. Foley had the double-double in the first half, after scoring 12 of Holy Cross' 27 points and grabbing 10 of the Crusaders' 17 rebounds. Foley finished the game 6-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 from the free throw line in 35 minutes of action.

KEIL STYLE: Junior guard Brittany Keil bounced back from an illness that forced her to miss the Feb. 21 game at Colgate to score 10 points, and tie season-highs with five assists and three blocks on Saturday against Lehigh. Her three rejections were a game-high and she also pulled down three boards.

Keil leads the team in rebounding this season (6.2 rebounds per game) and is seventh in the league in that same category. In addition, she is third on the team in scoring (10.1 points per game) and is fourth in the league in blocked shots (0.81 blocks per game).

Keil has a team-leading six double-doubles, which stands as second most in the conference this season. She recorded her sixth double-double of the season, and the sixth of her career after scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds at Lafayette on Feb. 4. Keil's 11 boards was a game-high and her 12 points was a team-high. Keil was coming off a strong game at Navy with 17 points, a team-high six rebounds and two assists on Jan. 31. Keil totaled 12 points, five rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes of action at Lehigh on Jan. 28, and registered 11 points and seven rebounds against Colgate on Jan. 24. She also had five assists and three steals against the Raiders.

Keil recorded her fifth double-double of the season with a 16- point, 10-rebound performance against American on Jan. 21. She was 7-for-15 from the floor, including two three-pointers, and had 12 of HC's 26 points at the half against the Eagles.

Keil had scored in double figures in seven straight games and averaged 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds during that time, before her three point outing against Army on Feb. 7.

The New Jersey native had a standout game against #2 Duke on Jan. 16 and provided a much needed offensive spark for the Crusaders throughout the contest. Keil finished the game with a team-high 12 points, after going 5-for-11 from the floor, including two three-pointers. Keil was the only Crusader in double-figures and had 10 of HC's 16 points at the half.

Going into the Duke game, Keil was coming off her fourth career double-double with a 17-point, 10-rebound outing at Bucknell on Jan. 14. Keil was 7-for-17 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line to help lead the Crusaders to a crucial conference win. Keil also clocked a career-high 41 minutes of action against the Bison.

In the Patriot League opener against Lafayette, Keil ripped down a game-high nine rebounds and added seven points and two assists in 25 minutes of action. Against Boston University, Keil had a stellar all-around game with 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. At UConn, Keil totaled 11 points, five rebounds and three assists after a 13-point, five-rebound night against URI and a 16-point, 12-rebound outing against Memphis at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic.

Keil recorded three double-doubles in the first seven games of the season. In addition to her 16 points and 12 boards against Memphis, she posted her first career double-double at Northeastern (16 points, 11 rebounds), and registered the second double-double of her career after an 11-point, 10-rebound performance against Dartmouth.

PLAYMAKER: Sophomore point guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) has been solid all-around for the Crusaders in conference play this season. She played an admirable all-around game against Army on Feb. 7 with 10 points, five rebounds, five steals, four assists and a block, after coming off a great defensive game at Lafayette on Feb. 4 with a game-high four steals, five rebounds and two assists. Aloisi recorded five points, five assists, five steals and three rebounds in 39 minutes of action at Navy on Jan. 31 and also had a tremendous game at Lehigh on Jan. 28, totaling seven points, six assists, six rebounds, and five steals against the Mountain Hawks. The five-foot-nine floor general had a stellar night against Colgate as well, recording a season-high 11 points, to go along with six assists, five steals and three rebounds on Jan 24.

BUSH LEADS HC CHARGE: Senior guard Shannon Bush has scored in double-figures in two straight games (15 vs. Lehigh; 18 at Colgate), and has averaged 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in her last two outings. Bush is currently second on the team in scoring this season with a 10.6 points per game average, which is 14th-best in the league. She is also averaging 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals.

Bush tied teammate Kaitlin Foley for game-high honors with 18 points at Colgate last Tuesday. She had 10 points in the first stanza and finished the game 6-for-12 from the field, including a 3-for-7 performance from long range. She also grabbed five rebounds and recorded two assists and two steals in 29 minutes of action.

The five-foot-11 guard recorded a game-high and a career-high seven assists last Saturday at American, while grabbing seven rebounds. In HC's 15 point win over Bucknell on Feb. 11, Bush pulled down seven rebounds and recorded three steals, two assists and two points.

Bush totaled eight points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal against Army on Feb. 7, and was one of three Crusaders in double-figures at Lafayette on Feb. 4, scoring 11 points and grabbing four rebounds off the bench in Holy Cross' five point loss. Bush came off the bench to record a team-high 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the floor at Navy on Jan. 31. She hit two three's and also had three rebounds and three assists against the Mids.

Bush recorded nine points, three steals and two rebounds in HC's 69-63 win at Lehigh on Jan. 28 and totaled eight points, four rebounds and three assists coming off the bench against Colgate on the 24th.

She also scored 15 points to spark the Crusader charge over American on Jan. 21. She had just three points in the first half and then exploded for 12 in the second stanza, including eight straight at one point, giving Holy Cross a 13 point lead (its largest of the game) with 10:26 remaining.

The Pennsylvania native pumped in a game-high 19 points on a 7-for-12 performance from the floor and had five assists, three rebounds and two steals to lead Holy Cross to a 67-63 overtime victory at Bucknell on Jan. 14. She was 4-for-7 from behind the arc and scored four points in the extra period to help seal the victory for the Crusaders.

Bush played well at nationally-ranked UConn after totaling 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. She recorded 17 points against URI, had 14 points at BC, and turned in fine all-around performance with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 24 minutes of action against Saint Peter's. She scored a career-high 20 points in the second game of the season at UMass, where she was 6-for-14 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Jessica Conte scored in double-figures for the third straight game - the first time she's done so all season - with her 11 point outing against Lehigh on Saturday, which was her fifth straight start and the eighth in the last nine games.

Last Tuesday, Conte was 6-for-9 from the floor and 3-for-4 from three-point range as she totaled 15 points at Colgate. She also had three steals and two rebounds. She was coming off a tremendous all-around game at American with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in 27 minutes of action on Feb. 18.

Conte leads the team in steals (55 steals), is second on the team in three-pointers made (32 three's), third in rebounding (4.3 rebounds per game), and is fourth on the team in scoring with an 8.3 points per game average.

She had a stellar performance against Navy with a game-high and a career-high nine rebounds, to go along with eight points, three steals and two assists. She had seven rebounds, six points, two assists and two steals in 32 minutes of action against Bucknell on Feb. 11 and came off the bench to total a game-high and a season-high six steals, four points, four assists and two rebounds against Army on Feb. 7. She registered eight points and five rebounds at Lafayette on Feb. 4, and also had a strong outing with eight points, six rebounds and four assists at Lehigh on Jan. 28. The five-foot-eight New York native also tied a season-high in minutes played with 35 against the Mountain Hawks.

Conte pumped in a career-high 20 points at Maine on Jan. 2. She was 7-for-12 from the floor, including two three-pointers, and 4-for-6 from the free throw line. Just two games prior, Conte had tied her previous best of 18 points against Boston University on Dec. 28. In the BU game, she was 4-for-5 from long range and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Conte had a perfect shooting night at Boston College, going 3-for-3 from the floor, including a 2-for-2 night from behind the arc and a 1-for-1 showing at the free throw line for nine points, after a 3-for-6 night (nine points) against Saint Peter's. She scored perhaps the most important hoop of the night against the Peahens, when she nailed a three-ball to cut the Saint Peter's lead to one (41-40) with just over 11 minutes remaining. Conte's three-ball then triggered what would be a 14-0 Crusader run, which essentially gave Holy Cross the lead for good.

EXTRA! EXTRA!: Holy Cross' thrilling 67-63 overtime win at Bucknell on Jan. 14 was the program's first overtime win since the 2003-04 season when it topped Siena, 59-58, at the Hart Center. Holy Cross is 4-1 in its last five overtime games, dating back to the 2001-02 season. The last time the Crusaders lost an overtime game was an 84-75 double OT setback at Lehigh in 2002.

ON A ROLL: With its 78-39 victory against Lafayette on Jan. 7, Holy Cross won its 14th consecutive Patriot League conference opener and the 15th overall of the 16 years the Patriot League has been in existence. The last and only time Holy Cross lost a Patriot League conference opening game was against Lafayette during the 1991-92 season (78-72 Lafayette) in Pennsylvania.

QUICK HITTERS: Sarah Placek moved into the Top 10 on the Holy Cross women's basketball career assists list with her two helpers at American on Feb. 18 ... Shannon Bush recorded a career-high seven assists at American ... Laura Aloisi reached the 100 assist mark for the second consecutive season ... Jessica Conte ripped down a career-high nine rebounds against Navy ... Ashley McLaughlin scored a season-high 11 points against Navy ... Aloisi scored a season-high 14 points against Bucknell ... Brittany Keil was named the Holy Cross Club of Worcester Winter Homecoming Game Most Valuable Player of the HC/Bucknell game ... Kaitlin Foley scored a career-high 27 points and recorded her third career double-double (11 rebounds) against Army (Feb. 7) ... Keil recorded her sixth career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds at Lafayette ... Kathy Gruzynski had a career-high two blocks against Colgate ... Keil recorded her fifth career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds against American ... Keil tied a career-high with 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season at Bucknell ... Foley picked up a career-high six steals at Bucknell ... Foley recorded the second double-double of her career (14 points, 10 rebounds) at Army ... Placek tied a season-high with 14 points, grabbed a season-high six rebounds and had a season-high five assists against Lafayette ... Conte scored a career-high 20 points at Maine ... Shannon Bush was named to the 2005 Marriott Cavalier Classic All-Tournament Team ... Keil pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds against Memphis ... Jessica Pearson shot 1.000 percent from the floor against Memphis and scored a career-high nine points (3-for-3), including two triples in a career-high 12 minutes of action ... Jessica Merrihue scored the first points of her career against Memphis after draining a long ball in six minutes of action.

ATTA BABY!: Freshman forward Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) tied a career-high with five points against Lehigh on Saturday. She came up with a game-high and a career-high four steals against Navy on Feb. 14 and tied a career-high with 11 minutes played against the Mids. Gruzynski came through in the clutch in Holy Cross' 69-63 win at Lehigh on Jan. 28. Up two with less than eight minutes on the clock, Gruzynski ripped down an offensive rebound off of a Brittany Keil miss and made good on the putback to give the Crusaders a little breathing room before the ensuing media timeout. From that point on, Holy Cross managed to extend its lead to 12 and did not look back, while recording its fifth conference win if the year. Gruzynski finished the game with four points and two rebounds in 11 minutes of action. She scored four points, had two blocks and grabbed two rebounds in nine minutes of action against Colgate on Jan. 24. The six-foot-two post player also scored four points, had two assists, a rebounds and a steal in nine minutes in her Patriot League debut against Lafayette and had four points and three rebounds in a career-high 11 minutes of action against Memphis at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic. She scored a career-high five points against Dartmouth in nine minutes of action earlier this season, and pulled down a career-high five rebounds in nine minutes of action at UMass.

BUSH NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Just one day after senior Shannon Bush set a career-high with seven rebounds against Boston University, the five-foot-11 guard grabbed eight boards against Virginia, setting a new career mark. For her efforts at the Marriott Cavalier Classic, Bush was named to the All-Tournament Team. Bush was one of just two Crusaders to reach double figures against Virginia, totaling 10 points, a career-high eight rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes of action. One day earlier against Boston University, Bush recorded 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.

FOLEY HELD UNDER 10: Junior center Kaitlin Foley was held to seven points against Virginia on Dec. 29, marking the first game all season long that she has been held under 10 points. Foley was 2-for-3 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line in 25 minutes of action. Going into the UVA game, Foley was averaging 17.6 points per game over the previous five outings (19 vs. BU; 12 at UConn; 20 vs. URI; 18 vs. Memphis; 19 vs. WKU). Since the UVa game, Foley has been held under 10 points on just two other occasions; her three point outing against #2 Duke on Jan. 16 and her eight point day against American on Jan. 21.

HIGHS AND LOWS: Holy Cross' 39 point victory (78-39) over Lafayette was its biggest of the season since its 25 point victory (91-66) over Memphis on Dec. 3. The Crusaders' 19 point lead at halftime (33-14) of the Lafayette game was also a season high, passing their 18 point halftime lead (42-24) against Memphis. In addition, Holy Cross held Lafayette to the lowest opponent halftime field goal percentage (20.0 percent) of the season, as the Leopards managed just five field goals (5-for-25) in the first twenty minutes.

LIGHTS OUT: Holy Cross set a number of season records with their 91 point outing against Memphis earlier this season. The Purple and White scored a season-high 49 points in one half (previous high was 39 points against Saint Peter's) and forced a season-high 27 turnovers (previous high was 21 against Northeastern). Through 27 games, Holy Cross is 9-2 when forcing 20+ miscues.

FOLEY EARNS ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Junior center Kaitlin Foley earned a spot on the Wells Fargo/Arizona State Holiday Classic All Tournament Team after her performances that weekend, in which she averaged 18.5 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game, while shooting .739 (17-for-23) from the floor. In the first round against Western Kentucky, Foley pumped in a team-high and a then-career high 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, surpassing her previous career high of 18 points set earlier this season at Northeastern. Then in the consolation game, the Albany native scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed five rebounds in 26 minutes of action in Holy Cross' 91-66 blowout win over Memphis.

HEALTHY PROPORTIONS: As a team, Holy Cross ranks second in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.84), averaging 15.4 assists per game and 18.3 turnovers per game. Guard Laura Aloisi ranks second in the Patriot League in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.64 ratio (110 assists to 67 turnovers).

STREAK ENDS: Brittany Keil was 12-for-12 (1.000 percent) from the free throw line going into the Memphis game, but made just 6-of-9 foul shots against the Tigers, ending her bid to reach Maggie Fontana `05, who set a program record with 26 consecutive free throws (across five games). For the season, Keil is 37-for-47 from the line (78.7 percent), which is second on the team behind Shannon Bush (52-for-63; 82.5 percent).

GETTING TO THE LINE: Junior center Kaitlin Foley is the lone Holy Cross Crusader ranked as one of the Top 10 free throw shooters in the Patriot League. The six-foot-four Foley ranks sixth, making 73.4 percent of her attempts. As a team, Holy Cross ranks fourth in the conference in free throw percentage (67.4 percent).

TOUGH `D': The Crusaders are ranked in the Top 3 in the Patriot League in a number of defensive categories this season. They lead the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense (28.4 percent), are second in the league in steals (10.52 steals per game) and blocked shots (2.67 blocks per game), and are third in scoring defense (63.5 opp. points per game). Holy Cross held Memphis to 34.3 percent from the floor, Saint Peter's to 27.5 percent from the floor, Lafayette (Jan. 7) to 27.3 percent from the floor, and Bucknell (Feb. 11) to a season-low 23.1 percent from the floor.

BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: Holy Cross has been outrebounded in 20 out of 27 games this season, and is in last place in the conference with a -6.6 rebounding margin this year. The Crusaders are 5-2 when outrebounding opponents and are below the .500 mark (9-11) when their opponents grab more caroms. Holy Cross has been outrebounded 1125-947 overall this season, including a 407-305 disadvantage on the offensive glass.

400-CLUB: Bill Gibbons currently ranks 34th on the list of winningest active Division I coaches (by percent) and 36th by number of wins, according to the 2005 NCAA Women's Basketball Record Book. He is the winningest head basketball coach in Holy Cross history and is the second-winningest coach - of any sport - in school history, behind former baseball coach Jack Barry, who totaled 616 wins from 1921-1960.