March 16, 2007

Women's Basketball Prepares For 12th NCAA Tournament Appearance

March 16, 2007

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

NCAA TOURNAMENT:
The Teams: Holy Cross (15-17) vs. Duke (30-1)
Date: March 18, 2007
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.
Broadcast Information:
Television: ESPN2
Internet: www.sportsjuice.com
Talent: Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play
Radio: WTAG 580 AM
Series History: Duke leads 3-0
Last Meeting: Duke topped Holy Cross 84-36 January 16, 2006 in regular season play at the Hart Center.
Series Streak: Duke - 3

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name               	Ht.   Cl.
G      44   Bethany O'Dell	5-8   Fr.
G      33   Brittany Keil	6-2   Sr.
G      14   Briana McFadden	5-10  Fr.
F      13   Ashley McLaughlin	6-1   Jr.
C      52   Kaitlin Foley	6-4   Sr.

THIS TIME OUT: The Crusaders will travel to Raleigh, N.C. to face the No. 1 seed Duke in the NCAA Greensboro Regional game Sunday at 7:00 p.m. This game will be the fourth all-time meeting between the Crusaders and Blue Devils in the 32 seasons of varsity basketball at Holy Cross. Duke has a 3-0 series advantage over Holy Cross. The two teams have meet twice in regular season play and once in the NCAA Tournament. Duke topped Holy Cross 84-36 January 16, 2006 in regular season play at the Hart Center. Prior to that, the Blue Devils topped the Crusaders January 5, 2005, 101-42 in the regular season. The two teams first met in 1999 when Duke defeated Holy Cross in the first round of the NCAA tournament 79-51.

NCAA TOURNAMENT: Holy Cross has made 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament gathering a 1-10 all-time record. The Crusaders only win came against sixth seeded Maryland in the first round March 13, 1991 (81-74). Holy Cross has faced Duke three times, but only once in the NCAA Tournament, March 13, 1999.

PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT RECAP: Third seeded holy Cross defeated sixth seeded Lafayette and seventh seeded Lehigh in the quarter and semifinals in Annapolis last weekend to the earn the right to host the Patriot League Championship game for the 12th time since the start of the Patriot League in 1991. Holy Cross defeated American (56-48) in the final game of the tournament Mar. 7 and now has an all-time record of 35-6 in Patriot League Tournament play including the three wins this postseason. The Crusaders own 11 Patriot League Tournament titles in the 16-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.

LAST MEETING WITH DUKE: Five Duke players reached double-figures and the Blue Devils held Holy Cross to 21.7 percent shooting for the game as the second-ranked team in the nation cruised to an 84-36 victory over the Crusaders in front of a crowd of 3,031 on January 16, 2006 at the Hart Center.

Brittany Keil was the only Holy Cross player in double figures with 12 points. Laura Aloisi and Sarah Placek both chipped in seven points. Placek also had four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Jessica Conte grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Duke jumped out to a 51-16 halftime lead after shooting a blistering 64.5 percent from the floor in the first stanza. The Blue Devils exploded to a 32-6 lead twelve minutes into the half after a trey by ACC Player of the Year candidate Monique Currie at the 8:30 mark. A Keil jumper with 8:16 on the clock ended a seven minute Crusader dry spell and made the score 32-8. Duke finished the half on two three-pointers by Abby Waner, extending its lead to 35 at the break.

Holy Cross shot 25.9 percent from the field and had 16 turnovers in the first twenty minutes. No Crusader other than Keil (10 points) scored more than two points in the opening period.

The Crusaders outscored the Blue Devils 8-4 in the first three minutes of the second half to pull within 31 (55-24) after an Ashley McLaughlin long ball with 17:16 to go. But Duke quickly mounted a 45 point lead (69-24) over the next four minutes and did not look back.

Waner led all scorers with 17 points. Wanisha Smith had 15, Currie added 13 and Mistie Williams chipped in with 10. Six-foot-seven center Alison Bales checked in with a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double.

SCOUTING DUKE: The Blue Devils are 30-1 overall and finished the season undefeated in their conference 14-0. Duke received an at-large selection after coming off a loss in the semifinals of the ACC Championship to 24th-ranked N.C. State, (70-65) breaking a 30-game winning streak. The Blue Devils received a No. 1 seed for the sixth time in school history and the sixth time over the last seven years.

Sophomore guard Abby Waner leads the Blue Devils with 14.2 points per game whiel senior guard Lindsey Harding is second with 14.0. Senior center Alison Bales leads the team with 8.0 rebounds per game and is third with 11.8 points per game.

HOLY CROSS IN THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: The Crusaders lead the Patriot League in assists (14.34). Holy Cross is second in three-point field goals made (5.62) and ranks fourth (.401) in field goal percentage. The Crusaders are fourth in scoring offense (58.2) and assist-turnover ratio (0.77).

FROM THE LINE: Holy Cross leads the league with a .742 free throw percentage shooting 376 of 507 from the line. Senior center Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) is second in the league averaging .844 from the line (103-122).

RANKING IN THE NCAA: Freshman Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) is ranked 18th in three-point field goals per game and 22nd in three-point field goal percentage while Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) is 32nd nationally in free throw percentage. Holy Cross ranks 37th in free throw percentage.

THROUGH TOUGH TIMES: In a matter of days of each other the Holy Cross starting point-guard, junior Laura Aloisi (Nashua, N.H.) and backup point-guard, sophomore Jessica Pearson (West Chester, Pa.) were forced to watch from the bench for the remainder of the season, due to knee injuries. Aloisi and Pearson have been mentally tough from the bench for the Crusaders. After going on a six-game losing streak, following Aloisi's injury, the team regrouped to win 10 of their next 15 games and stayed tough in the Patriot League Tournament to take the Title with wins over Lafayette, Lehigh and American.

1,000 CAREER-POINTS: Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) was the 23rd Crusader in the History of Holy Cross women's basketball to score 1,000 career-points on February 10 vs. Colgate when she scored 23 points in her last regular season home game.

LEAGUE TOURNEMENT HIGHS: Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) totaled 51 points in postseason play scoring 21 in the league quarterfinals against Lafayettte, 16 against Lehigh in the semifinals and 14 vs. American in the Patriot League Championship. Freshman Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) tallied 48 points while Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) had 35 in the three postseason games thus far. Foley, O'Dell and McFadden were all named to the All-Tournament team and O'Dell was named the All-Tournament MVP.

ESPN THE MAGAZINE: Holy Cross senior guard Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic District I University Division First Team. The six-foot-two Keil was a District I First Team selection last season and Second Team selection in 2005. A Biology major with a BioChemistry concentration, Keil has been on the Dean's List every semester of her Holy Cross career. She earned a 3.94 grade-point average during the Fall 2006 semester. With her selection, Keil advances to the national ballot, where she will have a chance to join former Holy Cross greats Amy O'Brien, Kathy Courtney, Ann Lambiotte and Sherry Levin as the program's fifth Academic All-American.

ROOKIE CONTRIBUTIONS: Two freshmen started in 29 of the 32 games this season. The squad of four rookies have played a total of 2,558 minutes with Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) talling the highest (1,076) McFadden leads the team with 78 assists while Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) leads the team with a .415 three-point field goal percentage and is second on the team with 12.2 points per game.

FIRST TEAM ALL-LEAGUE: Senior Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) was named to the 2006-07 First Team All-Patriot League Team for the second year in a row. Foley scored 431 points so far this season and leads the team with 13.5 points per game.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) was named the 2006-07 Patriot League Rookie of the Year after being named the rookie of the week six times. O'Dell leads the Patriot League in three-point field goals made (2.68), ranks second in three-point field goal percentage, is eighth in scoring and is 11th with 2.35 assists. O'Dell was also named to the Second Team All-Patriot League and All-Rookie Team this season.

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM: Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) was named to the 2006-07 Patriot League All-Rookie Team. McFadden was named rookie of the week three times this season. She averages 9.3 points per game and is second on the team with a .774 free throw percentage.

EVERY GAME: Senior tri-captain Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) is the only Crusaders to have played and started every game this season. Foley has totaled 983 minutes on the floor and played a season-high 38 minutes vs. American (Mar. 7) and averages 30.7 minutes per game.

SEVEN TO 1,000: Senior tri-captain Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) is just seven points away from becoming the 24th Crusader in Holy Cross women's basketball history to reach 1,000 career-points. Keil scored 256 points averaging 8.8 points per game this season after having to sit out the first three games due to preseason surgery.

COACH GIBBONS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT: This will be Bill Gibbons 11th NCAA appearance in his 22 years of coaching at Holy Cross. In the past he has faced Temple, Maryland, Auburn, Colorado, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech, Duke, Rutgers, Flordia, Penn State and most recently, Ohio State in 2005.

TOP PERFORMANCES IN NCAA TOURNAMENT: Past Crusader Anna Kinne, `00 scored 28 points vs. Rutgers in 2000 while Kris Shields, `91 had 12 rebounds vs. Maryland in 1991.

HC SIGNS TWO TO NATIONAL LETTERS OF INTENT: Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, NH) and Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) will join the Holy Cross women's basketball program in the fall of 2007. Fremeau is a 5-foot-10 guard who plays at Manchester Central High School in Manchester, NH and May is a 6-foot guard who plays at River Dell High School in Oradell, N.J.

NEW ENGLAND BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME: The Holy Cross women's basketball team was acknowledged by The New England Basketball Hall of Fame in September as they announced a new award that recognizes New England college basketball programs, which encourage classroom achievement, athletic success, and post-graduate career success.

2005-06 CRUSADERS: The 2005-06 Crusaders posted an overall record of 16-14, including a 10-4 showing in Patriot League play, marking the 14th time the program has won 10 or more games in conference play while a member of the Patriot League.

2006-07 CAPTAINS: The 2006-07 Holy Cross women's basketball squad is led by senior tri-captains Ashley Brennan-McBride, Kaitlin Foley and Brittany Keil.

OFF THE COURT: Five Crusaders were named to the 2006 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll last season. Included on the list are last year seniors Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.) and Shannon Bush (Doylestown, Pa.) as well as current seniors guard Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) and center Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.), and sophomore forward Jessica Merrihue (Holtsville, N.Y.).

WHERE TO FIND HOLY CROSS BASKETBALL

ON TELEVISION Sunday's game between Holy Cross and Duke will be shown live on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m.

ON THE RADIO Tonight's game will be broadcast on WTAG 580 AM, Jeremy Lechan will do the play-by-play.

ON THE INTERNET Games that broadcast over WCUW 91.3 FM or WTAG 580 AM, can also be heard on www.sportsjuice.com. In addition, each game will be linked from the Holy Cross website.

The Holy Cross Women's Basketball Show Tune in to WCTR TV-3 Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. and Friday nights at 10:30 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 2006-2007 Patriot League Championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.