December 5, 2008

Women's Basketball Travels To Vermont On Saturday

Dec. 5, 2008

 

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams:
Holy Cross (2-6, 0-0 PL) vs. Vermont (4-2, 0-0 AEC)
Date: December 6, 2008
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Patrick Gymnasium (3,228), Burlington, Vt..
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester, www.worcesterpike.com, internet; Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play.
Vermont Radio: WVMT-620 AM, Burlington, Vt.; Bob Bosse, play-by-play
Series Record: Tied, 6-6.
Last Meeting: Vermont 54, Holy Cross 44 (November 11, 2007; Worcester, Mass.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos.  No.  Name                   Ht.     Cl.    PPG   RPG
F      33  Whitney Fremeau    5-10  So.    7.7    4.7
F      30  Elizabeth Campbell  6-3   So.    2.9     2.0 
G     14   Briana McFadden    5-10  Jr.     18.3   3.6  
G     10   Alyssa May             6-0   So.    5.6    4.3 
G     21   Meredith Ward        5-8   Fr.     2.3    1.1

THE SERIES WITH VERMONT: In a series which began in 1982, the Crusaders and the Catamounts will meet for the their 13th time. The teams are tied 6-6 in the all-times series advantage as Vermont evened the record with a 54-44 win against Holy Cross in its season-opener last year on Nov. 11, 2007. The Crusaders picked up their last win against Vermont on Feb. 5, 2003, downing the Catamounts, 76-62, at the Hart Center.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Tied, 6-6
In Burlington: Tied, 2-2
At Patrick Gymnasium: Tied, 2-2
Bill Gibbons vs. Vermont: 4-6
Sharon Dawley vs. Holy Cross: 2-0
Current Win Streak: Vermont, two games

MCFADDEN NAMED PATRIOT LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) has been named the women's basketball Patriot League Player of the Week, for competition from Nov. 25-30. McFadden led the Crusaders to a triple overtime victory against Missouri scoring a career-high 31 points. In the third overtime period, McFadden scored all nine Holy Cross points including the game-winning basket with eight seconds remaining. In the other two games last week, McFadden scored 20 points and had three rebounds, three assists and two steals in the 64-55 loss to Western Illinois and against St. Peter's, McFadden finished with 12 points, five assists, two rebounds and one steal. This is the second time McFadden has received this honor. As a freshman she was named the Rookie of the Week three times.

TRIPS MAKES HISTORY: The Crusaders made history on Nov. 29 playing in the first triple overtime game ever in men or women's basketball at Holy Cross, beating Missouri 94-93 in the first game of the DoubleTree White Invitational. The longest game ever recorded at Holy Cross was on Jan. 9, 1964, when the men's basketball team defeated Boston University, 97-95, in four overtimes. The Crusaders have played past regulation in 25 games all-time with an overall 13-12 record (.520), including a 3-2 mark in double overtime. Vermont also recorded it's first triple overtime game of the women's basketball program, defeating Dartmouth, 82-77, in the TD Banknorth Classic hosted by the Catamounts on Nov. 22-23.

STRONG SCORING VERSUS MISSOURI: Holy Cross scored 94 points against Missouri on Sat. Nov. 29, marking the first time the Crusaders have scored more than 90 points in a game in the last three seasons. The last time Holy Cross put up at least 90 points was on Dec. 3, 2005, when it defeated Memphis, 91-66, during the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic held in Temple, Ariz.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: After opening the 2008-2009 season with a four-game home stand at the Hart Center, the Crusaders are currently on a eight-game road trip, traveling to Vermont on Sat. Dec. 6, Rhode Island on Tues. Dec. 9 and Northeastern on Mon. Dec. 22. Holy Cross will conclude its road trip at the Hawk Classic on Dec. 28-29, hosted by St. Joseph's in Philadelphia, Pa. The Crusaders will play at home next on Friday Jan. 2, when they host Maine at 7:00 p.m.

MCFADDEN, O'DELL EARN ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Briana McFadden and Bethany O'Dell were named to the 2008 DoubleTree White Invitational All-Invite Team.The Crusaders finished 1-1 in the DoubleTree White Invitational, hosted by Northwestern on Nov. 29-30. Holy Cross picked up its first win of the season in a dramatic 94-93 triple overtime win against Missouri on Saturday. On Sunday, the Crusaders were downed be Western Illinois, 64-55.

O'DELL REACHES CAREER LISTS FROM BEYOND THE ARC: Junior guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) is currently ranked second in Holy Cross history in three-point field goals made with 169, only 10 behind Jeanette Paukert (1998-2002). She is also climbing up the Patriot League career leaders list, placing tenth on the list as the only active player on the list. She joins Paukert as the second Crusader to make this list.

HOLY CROSS' GO-TO GIRL: Junior guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) has led the Crusaders in scoring in five out of the seven games. This season, after the team in scoring 14 times last year, she currently has scored 128 points, bringing her career total to 846 points. McFadden has scored in double-figures in every game this year including a career-high 31 points against Missouri on Nov. 29 during the DoubleTree White Invitational. McFadden has also had new career-highs in minutes played (53), field goals attempted (23), free throws attempted (13), free throws (12), three-pointers attempted (nine), three-pointers (four) and blocks (three). Her season has also been highlighted by scoring 24 points against Yale and 21 versus Boston College. McFadden etched her named into the Holy Cross history books last season as she tied the single-game record for free throw percentage (1.000, 11-for-11) and consecutive free throws made (11).

CARPER ADDS DEPTH FOR CRUSADER BENCH: Junior forward/guard Tayana Carper (Shrewsbury, Mass.) has made two starts in six games. She added new heights to her career, recording new career-highs in points scored (24), field goals (10), field goals attempted (13), blocks (three) and minutes played (41). Carper had a career-high 24 points in a career-high 41 minutes played in the Crusaders' 94-93 triple overtime win against Missouri. She tied leading the Crusaders in scoring against Harvard with 10 points while chipping in two rebounds, two blocks and one assist in 18 minutes played. Versus Boston College, she had nine points, three blocks, two rebounds two steals and one assist in 21 minutes played. In her start against Saint Peter's, Carper totaled six points, four rebounds and one block in 23 minutes played. A strong 2007-2008 season off the bench, she appeared in 23 games and earned a spot in the starting lineup in four. Last year, she tallied 80 points, 51 rebounds, eight blocks and four steals. She also finished the season with a free-throw percentage of .625, after sinking 20 of 32 attempts. Carper's season was highlighted by her career-high 14 points and seven field goals, to go along with two blocks and two steals against Colgate.

HOLY CROSS VERSUS AMERICA EAST: Holy Cross has played against seven of the nine teams that make up the America East Conference, competing in 71 total games to date. The Crusaders have a 50-21 (.704) record in the all-times series against America East opponents. The winningest record Holy Cross has against a conference opponent is against Boston University with an overall record of 9-2 (.818). In addition to Vermont, the Crusaders will face America East's Maine on Friday, Jan. 2 at the Hart Center in Worcester. Holy Cross holds leads the series with the Black Bears at 7-3 (.700).

FREMEAU REMAINS STRONG IN STARTING ROLE: Sophomore guard Whitney Fremeau (Manchester, N.H.) has made five collegiate starts in Holy Cross' seven games. Fremeau's has had plenty of success so far as she has had new career-highs in minutes played (30), points (15), field goal attempts (13), rebounds (eight), field goals (seven), free throws attempts (three) and three-pointers (two). Her best performance on the season was against Missouri in which she finished with 15 points in 30 minutes played. Against Connecticut, she totaled nine points, six rebounds and one assist. Fremeau made her first collegiate start on Saturday, Nov. 15 versus Yale and put up nine points and eight rebounds while chipping in with two steals, one assist and one block in 26 minutes played. Starting against Boston College, Fremeau recorded eight points, two rebounds and one steal. During her third start of the season. Appearing in 25 games last year, Fremeau totaled 42 points, 20 rebounds, 16 assists, 11 steals and two blocks.

LONG DECEMBER: Holy Cross has played 62 games in the month of December in the past 10 seasons, posting an overall record of 29-33 (.468). Holy Cross played the most December games (nine) during the 2000-2001 season and finished with a 6-3 record. That season also marked the winningest record for the Crusaders in December in the past 10 years (.667).

O'DELL KEEPS CAREER RIGHT ON TRACK: Starting in all seven games, junior guard Bethany O'Dell (Lincoln, R.I.) has led the Crusaders in scoring twice with a season-high 23 points against Western Illinois and 15 points versus Saint Peter's. She currently has 80 points on the season, bringing her career total to 840 points. O'Dell is one of the many Crusaders that have hit new career-highs this season including field goals attempted (16), three-pointers attempted (14), and three-pointers (seven). Versus Boston College, O'Dell tallied 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. Opening the season against Yale, O'Dell finished with 10 points, four rebounds, one block and one steal. O'Dell stayed strong against Harvard, leading the team in rebounds with eight and finishing with six points, three assist and one steal in 38 minutes played. O'Dell is also coming off a stellar sophomore year, starting in all 32 games, and finishing with 364 points, 146 rebounds, 80 assists, 54 steals and four blocks. O'Dell had success from long range last year, as she ranked third in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage (.382) and three-point field goals made (1.97 per game). TAKING ON # 1: The Crusaders have faced No. 1 ranked teams five times during the regular season, all being games against Connecticut, with a 0-5 overall record. The last time Holy Cross competed against a No. 1 ranked team was against the Huskies on Wed. Dec. 3, posting a 96-37 victory. THAT'S MINE!!!: Averaging 16.8 forced turnovers last year, Holy Cross has totaled 120 in seven games, averaging 17.1 per game. In the Crusaders' season-opener against Yale, Holy Cross forced 24 turnovers, matching last year's season-high. Against Missouri on Nov. 29 and Boston College on Nov. 18, the Crusaders had 21 forced turnovers. The Crusaders recorded 24 turnovers in three games during the 2007-2008 season at Yale on Jan. 6, 2008, at Navy on Jan. 23, 2008 and hosting Colgate on Jan. 30, 2008.

MAY BACK FOR MORE: Sophomore guard Alyssa May (Oradell, N.J.) has played in every game for the Crusaders, starting three times. Last year, she appeared in 31 games and made 14 starts. Her season has been highlighted by her performance against Saint Peter's in which she finished with 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 25 minutes played. May played a season-high 36 minutes and had eight points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists against Missouri. Against Connecticut, May finished with nine points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal. Versus Harvard, she had eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and one steal in 25 minutes played. To start this year, May had seven rebounds, five assists, three points and one steal in 28 minutes played against Yale. May's debut season was highlighted by leading Holy Cross in scoring with 11 points and pulling down in seven rebounds in the league championship game versus Bucknell.

CRUSADERS PICKED FIRST IN PRESEASON POLL: The Holy Cross women's basketball team has been picked to finish first in the 2008-2009 Patriot League preseason poll, voted upon by head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 90 total points and eight first-place votes, followed by Lehigh finishing second with 83 points and six first-place votes. American was ranked third with 75 points and two first-place votes. Coming in fourth was Army with 60 points, followed by Bucknell (53 points), Lafayette (38 points), Navy (35 points) and Colgate (14 points).

LAST TIME OUT: Connecticut's Tahirah Williams totaled 17 points and seven rebounds to lead the No. 1 Huskies to a 96-37 victory over the Holy Cross women's basketball team at Gampel Pavilion on Wednesday night. After Connecticut put up a quick 10 points in the first three minutes, Holy Cross got on the board when sophomore Elizabeth Campbell hit a layup, making the score 10-2. The Huskies never looked back, finishing the first half ahead by 49 points, 63-14. The Huskies continued strong, going on 15-0 run in the first seven minutes of the second half, before a three-pointer by Whitney Fremeau broke up the Connecticut run. Briana McFadden led the Crusaders' offense with 10 points, all in the second half, grabbed two rebounds and had two steals with one assist. Alyssa May had nine points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal while Fremeau finished the game with nine points, six rebounds and one assist.

MERRIHUE AND PEARSON NAMED CAPTAINS: Senior forward Jessica Merrihue (Holtsville, N.Y.) and senior guard Jessica Pearson (West Chester, Pa.) have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2008-2009 season. Merrihue is three-year letterwinner for Holy Cross while Pearson is a two-year letterwinner. Both players will take over the leadership role from Laura Aloisi and Ashley McLaughlin who served as the Crusaders' captains as seniors during the 2007-2008 season.

PEARSON MAKES STARTING LINEUP: Senior co-captain Jessica Pearson has appeared in six games so far this season and made her second collegiate start against Saint Peter's on Nov. 25, finishing with seven minutes played and one rebound. Against Connecticut, Pearson played a season-high 18 minutes.

MERRIHUE HITS NEW HEIGHTS: Senior co-captain Jessica Merrihue has appeared in seven games, making three starts. Her season has been highlighted by her performance in her first collegiate start against Boston College on Tuesday Nov 18, in which she scored six points, made three blocks and grabbed one rebound in nine minutes played. Merrihue has also added new career-highs in free throws (four), free throw attempts (five), blocks (three) and steals (three).

FRONT AND CENTER: Senior center Kathy Gruzynski (Elk Grove, Ill.) has made a an impact in the starting lineup for the 2008-2009 season, appearing in all seven games and started twice. She played a season-high 21 minutes versus Boston College on Nov. 18 and tallied five points, five rebounds, three blocks and one assist in 14 minutes played versus Harvard on Nov. 20. Making 30 appearances and three starts last year, Gruzynksi emerged in her role as the first Crusader off the bench. She set several career-highs with 408 minutes played, 134 points, 96 rebounds, 18 assists, 13 blocks and 10 steals. In her best performance of the 2007-2008 season, Gruzynski scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds against regular season league champion American.

ROOKIE NOTES: Freshman guard Meredith Ward (Westerly, R.I.) has made three starts and appeared in all seven games for the Crusaders, highlighted by her performance against Boston College, tallying seven points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 27 minutes played. She played a career-high 30 minutes and had two points, two assists and one rebound against Connecticut. Freshman center Marygrace Jay (Vienna, Va.) has appeared in three games so far this year, highlighted by two points scored and one rebound in four minutes played versus Connecticut.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Holy Cross has pulled down 217 rebounds in its first six games of the season, averaging 31.0 per game. Whitney Fremeau leads the Crusaders with 33 boards on the season, averaging 4.7 rebounds per game. Alyssa May has pulled down 30 this year (4.3) and Briana McFadden and Bethany O'Dell have 25 each, averaging 3.6 per game.

NEWS ON COACH GIBBONS: Bill Gibbons is now in 24th season as head coach of the Holy Cross women's basketball team with a overall career record of 464-234 and a 192-52 mark in the Patriot League. Last season, Gibbons led his team to its 10th consecutive appearance and 15th overall appearance in the Patriot League Championship game. Gibbons has led the Crusaders to more victories than any other coach in Holy Cross history during his 23-tenure. Gibbons also ranks second all-time at Holy Cross in coaching victories, for all sports, only behind former baseball coach Jack Berry (616 wins, 1921-1960). He has won 20 or more game in 10 of his last 14 seasons. Gibbons is also ranked 26th 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. In 2007, Coach Gibbons was selected to be an assistant coach at the Pan-American Games, where he helped lead the team to the gold medal.

WELCOME TO WORCESTER: Ann McInerney is entering her first season as an assistant coach at Holy Cross.

NEXT UP FOR THE `SADERS: Holy Cross will travel to Rhode Island on Tuesday, Dec. 9 for a game scheduled at 5:30 p.m.