Holy Cross Prepares for Quinnipiac

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The Teams: Holy Cross (1-1, 0-0 PL) vs. Quinnipiac (0-0, 0-0 NEC)
Date: November 14, 2006
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Burt Kahan Court, Hamdem, Conn.
Broadcast Information:
Internet: www.sportsjuice.com
Talent: Dick Lutsk, play-by-play
Series History: Holy Cross leads 2-0
Last Meeting: Holy Cross, 76-63, Feb. 3, 1982
Series Streak: Holy Cross - 2

Pos.  No.    Name              	Ht.   Cl.
G       5    Laura Aloisi    	5-9   Jr.
G      14    Briana McFadden  	5-10  Fr.
G      44    Bethany O'Dell	5-9   Fr.
G      13    Ashley McLaughlin 	6-1   Jr.
C      52    Kaitlin Foley	6-4   Sr.

Tonight's game is the third all-time meeting between Holy Cross and Quinnipiac in the 32 seasons of varsity basketball at Holy Cross.

The Series: Holy Cross has a 2-0 series advantage over Quinnipiac.

The Last Meeting: The Crusaders and Bobcats have not faced each other since Feb. 3, 1982 when Holy Cross won 76-63 at home. Prior to that the Crusaders defeated the Bobcats 88-70 in Hamden, Conn. in the 1980-81 season.

Holy Cross Season Preview: The Holy Cross women's basketball team heads into the 2006-07 season looking to reaffirm its position as one of the top teams in the Patriot League. The Crusaders enter the season with a bad taste in their mouths, as the memory of their heartbreaking 69-68 loss to Army in the 2006 Patriot League Championship game remains fresh in their minds. And while some teams might be content as conference runners-up, Holy Cross is not one of them.

Despite losing almost 40 percent of its offense due to graduation, Holy Cross returns its top two scorers and rebounders, and six of the nine players who saw action in the regular rotation. With eight letterwinners and four starters returning from last year's squad, the Holy Cross women's basketball team is full of talent, experience and promise as it looks to capture its 11th Patriot League Championship and make its 10th postseason appearance in the last 13 years.

LAST YEAR: 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. Holy Cross finished the season ranked first in the league in three different team categories; assists, steals and 3-point field goal percentage defense.

THIS TIME OUT: Holy Cross has a 2-0 series advantage over Quinnipiac. The Crusaders and Bobcats have not faced each other since Feb. 3, 1982 when Holy Cross won 76-63 at home. Prior to that, the Crusaders defeated the Bobcats 88-70 in Hamden, Conn. in the 1980-81 season. Tonight will be the first game of the season for Quinnipiac.

LAST TIME OUT: St. Peter's gave the Crusaders their first loss of the season as they defeated Holy Cross 67-55 Sunday in Jersey City. Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) led the team with 21 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season.

NEXT TIME OUT: Holy Cross travels to Burlington Vermont for the TD Banknorth Classic. They will play Vermont Friday at 8:00 p.m. The Crusaders defeated UVM, 74-62, when they met last time in the 2002-03 season at the Hart Center.

20 POINT CLUB: The Crusaders have had a 20-point scorer in each of their first two games with junior guard Laura Aloisi (Nashua, NH) scoring 20 against Yale and senior center Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) compiling a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds at St. Peter's. Foley had four double-doubles last season.

ROOKIE APPEARANCES: Freshmen Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) and Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) have started both games for the Crusaders while Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) totaled 18 minutes in the first two games of the season. Freshman Christy Cushnie (Vienna, Va.) made her first appearance as a Crusader recording two minutes at the end of the game against St. Peter's.

WATCHING FROM THE SIDELINE: Senior guard Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) had to watch her first two games of the season from the bench after surgery in the offseason. She remains in question as to when she will be back on the court. Keil had 318 points, 181 rebounds and 70 assists for the Crusaders last season.

PATRIOT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL: The Crusaders tied with Bucknell for second in the Patriot League Preseason Poll after finishing the 2005-06 season second in the conference at 10-4.

KEIL AND FOLEY NAMED PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE: Senior guard Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) and senior center Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) were named to the Patriot League Preseason All-League team. Keil finished her junior season with an average 11.0 points per game and led the team in rebounds (6.2 rpg). Foley returns as the team's top scorer (14.9 ppg) and added 6.1 rebounds per game.

WELCOME TO WORCESTER: Lindsay Shade is entering her first season as an assistant coach on the Holy Cross staff after spending the past two seasons as a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. Shade was a four-year letterwinner on the women's basketball team at Davidson College in North Carolina where she graduated in 2004. She led the Southern Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio as a junior and finished the season ranked second in the conference in the same category as a senior.

2006-07 CAPTAINS: The 2006-07 Holy Cross women's basketball squad will be led by senior tri-captains Ashley Brennan-McBride (London, Ontario), Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) and Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.).

NEWCOMERS: Holy Cross welcomes four newcomers this season, including local product Tayana Carper of Shrewsbury, Mass., Christy Cushnie of Vienna, Va., Briana McFadden of Wheaton, Md., and Bethany O'Dell of Lincoln, R.I.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS: The Bobcats look to improve upon their school Division I record 22 victories last season. Quinnipiac finished one game back of the regular season crown and four points shy of the NEC Tournament Championship against Sacred Heart. Quinnipiac returns 11 letterwinners, including all five starters. Junior forward Monique Lee led the team last year with 15.9 points per game while sophomore guard Erin Kerner had 13.9.

HOLY CROSS VERSUS THE NEC: Quinnipiac is the only team from the Northeast Conference that Holy Cross is scheduled to play this season.

ON THE LIST: Bill Gibbons currently ranks 37th on the list of winningest active Division I coaches (by percent), according to the 2006 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.

2005-2006 HONORS: Two players from the Holy Cross women's basketball team were named to the 2006 Patriot League All-Conference Team at the end of last season. Current senior Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) earned first team All-League and senior Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) was selected to the second team.

The 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.

Further, five players on the team were named to the 2006 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll last season. Since-graduated 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.).

NCAA TALK: At the end of the 2005-06 season center Kaitlin Foley (Albany, N.Y.) was ranked 39th nationallly with a 52.8 field goal percentage. Holy Cross tied 47th with 15.5 assists and ranked 50th with 10.4 steals.

ON THE ROAD: The Crusaders will stay on the road for their next four games. They will travel to Burlington Vermont for the TD Banknorth Classic and play Vermont Friday at 8:00 p.m. Holy Cross will be back at the Hart Center Friday, December 1 to face Boston College at 7:00 p.m.