Posted: March 9, 2008
MAHWAH, N.J. – With the Patriot League Tournament semifinal game tied at 44-44 and just six seconds on the clock, Bethany O’Dell sank two free throws to give Holy Cross the lead, and Alex Ross’ shot was blocked on the ensuing possession, as the Crusaders came away with a 46-44 victory over Lehigh. Ross, Erica Prosser and Melissa Rich all had 10 points each to pace the Mountain Hawks, who end their season with an 18-13 record.
“We gave it our best effort defensively, but unfortunately we let them climb back into the game late,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “They hit some clutch shots late, and that’s why they have been successful all these years.”
Holy Cross scored the first point of the game on a free throw by Laura Aloisi, but Lehigh responded with five straight points, to jump out to an early 5-1 lead with 17:26 to play. The Crusaders fought their way back in on a pair of layups by Elizabeth Campbell, to cut the Brown and White’s lead down to 7-5.
The Mountain Hawks made it a 12-5 game on a three-pointer from Alex Ross. Holy Cross responded with a three-pointer of its own by Aloisi, followed by a layup by Cushnie, to make it a two-point game again, 12-10, with 10:37 left in the half.
The defenses took over, as each team managed just one field goal over the next seven minutes, and the Mountain Hawks maintained their 14-12 lead with 3:40 remaining. The score remained that way until Claire Sullivan put in a layup with 2:37 to play.
The Brown and White added two more field goals, while Holy Cross had just one more in the half, and Lehigh went into the intermission with a 20-14 lead. It was the sixth time this season Lehigh has held an opponent to fewer than 20 points in the first half.
Ross led all scorers at the half with five points, while Sullivan and Melissa Rich each had four points for Lehigh, which shot 34.6 percent from the field. McFadden, Campbell and Aloisi all had four points to lead the Crusaders, who connected on just six-of-25 (24 percent) field goals. Three-point shooting was a problem for both teams, as Lehigh hit just one-of-seven from beyond the arc, while Holy Cross was one-of-five from downtown.
Lehigh started the second half on a 6-2 run, but Holy Cross stopped the run on a three-pointer by Alyssa May, making the score 26-19 with 17:09 to play. The Crusaders made it a six-point game on a three-pointer by Bethany O’Dell, her first points of the game, making the score 30-24 with 14:24 remaining.
The Mountain Hawks made it a nine-point game, going on a 7-4 run, with four of those points coming from Prosser. The Brown and White maintained its nine-point advantage going into the final ten minutes of the game.
The Lehigh defense continued to pressure Holy Cross not allowing them to get any good looks and the Brown and White had a 44-36 lead at the three minute mark. McFadden knocked down a clutch three-pointer for the Crusaders at the 2:54 mark, and the Mountain Hawks’ lead was back down to six. Another jumper by McFadden and all of a sudden it was a three-point game with just under two to play.
The Mountain Hawks’ lead was erased when May tied the game up at 44-44 on a three-pointer with 1:09 remaining.
Prosser was fouled with just 35 seconds on the clock, but missed both of her free throws giving Holy Cross the ball. On the Crusaders possession, Campbell missed a layup, but O’Dell was fouled on the rebound, sending her to the line with six seconds on the clock.
Ross attempted to get off a shot, but O'Dell blocked it, and Holy Cross eliminated Lehigh from the Patriot League Tournament for the second straight season.
McFadden paced the Crusaders with 14 points, while O’Dell added seven points, all coming in the second half. After being limited to just 24 percent shooting in the first half, Holy Cross connected on 43.5 percent of its shots in the second half.
Sunday’s game was played at Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J. after a power outage in the West Point, N.Y. area was expected to delay the game several additional hours.