EASTON, Pa. - Despite multiple efforts from the Maroon and White to climb in front of the Crusaders on Wednesday evening, Holy Cross responded to every run and came away with the 69-58 victory. Sophomore co-captain Emily Homan tallied a season-high 22 points and contributed with 11 boards on the night for her seventh double-double of the season.
Along with Homan, classmate Linnel Macklin added 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. The Leopards (11-15, 4-7) went 21-for-62 from the field for the game (33.9%) compared to 28-for-57 (49.1%) shooting from the Crusaders (14-12, 6-5). Holy Cross' Amy Lepley led all scorers with 23 points on 10-for-15 shooting. Brisje Malone and Alex Smith added 15 and 13, respectively for the team from Worcester, Mass.
The Crusaders shot a blistering 53.8 percent from the field in the second half to put the game away. They held a 39-38 advantage on the glass and a 34-24 edge in points in the paint. One bright spot for the Leopards came in second-chance points as they notched 15 to Holy Cross' eight.
The Leopards came out sluggish as a three from Holy Cross' Amy Lepley put Lafayette in a 7-2 hole early with 18:04 on the clock. Lepley put through another bucket for the Crusaders at the 16:57 mark to force a Lafayette timeout and extend their lead to 10-2.
Two threes from Macklin brought the Leopards within two at 10-8, but a Holy Cross interior bucket pushed its lead back out to six, 14-8 with 14:11 left in the first.
Five straight points from Smith with under 11 minutes to play in the half extended the Crusader lead to 10 at 21-11. The Crusaders third three of the half came on the next possession from Alexis Nicholas and forced another early timeout from head coach Dianne Nolan.
Homan and junior Madeline Fahan connected on a perfectly executed in-bounds play with 3:20 left in the half to pull the Leopards back to within 10 at 30-20.
Homan's three-point play from the block took the lead to single digits at 32-23 and Loughney hit a jumper from the right wing as the shot clock expired with just over a minute remaining to pull the score to 32-25.
Fahan's jumper from the corner with nine seconds remaining sent the Leopards into the locker room trailing just seven, 34-27.
Two straight buckets from the Crusaders opened the second half as they pushed the lead back to double digits at 38-28. However, Lafayette's Macklin got on the board with a three and cut the advantage to seven, 38-31 with 18:46 remaining.
Homan's two free throws at the 17:25 mark pulled the Leopards within five at 38-33. However, Lepley answered as her three with 15:56 to go pushed it back to eight, 41-33.
A brilliant feed from sophomore Maddie Peabody to Fiacco at the 14:06 mark got the Maroon and White within three, 41-38. But, again, Holy Cross responded as Emily Parker hit a tough hook shot over Fiacco to extend the lead back to five, 43-38.
Parker's bucket sparked an 8-0 run from the Crusaders as Lepley's jumper with 12:12 to play forced a Nolan timeout with the lead back up to double digits, 49-38.
Macklin's three-point effort with 6:18 remaining pulled the Leopards within five again as they continued to make their runs. On the ensuing possession, junior co-captain Danielle Fiacco's dive on the floor and scoop to Macklin set up the sophomore with the lay-up to cut the lead to three, 56-53, with just over five minutes to play.
Homan's two missed free throws and lay-up on the other end from Holy Cross with 2:32 left to play extended the Crusader advantage to eight at 63-55 and pushed the momentum in Holy Cross' favor. From there, Holy Cross hit its free throws and iced the game with a final of 69-58.
Lafayette falls to 11-15 on the year and 4-7 in the Patriot League, while Holy Cross moves to 14-12 and 6-5 in the League standings.
Lafayette makes the short trip across town to Bethlehem, Pa. on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. to take on archrival Lehigh inside Stabler Arena.
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