Women's Basketball Bows Out of Patriot League Tournament, Falling 74-61 at Holy Cross
March 3, 2005
WORCESTER, Mass. (www.lafayette.edu) - Holy Cross finished the first half on an 18-0 run to take a commanding 38-15 lead into halftime, then held on as Lafayette mounted a furious second-half rally in a 74-61 Crusader win in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament on Thursday night.
Top-seeded Holy Cross (18-10) advances to play No. 5 seed Navy in Saturday's semifinal. Lafayette closes its season at 5-23.
The Crusaders appeared to deliver a knockout blow early, scoring the final 18 points of the first half to blow open what had been a close game for 14 minutes. Jessica Conte punctuated the run by taking a rebound the length of the floor and scoring on a lay-up as the first half clock expired.
A Conte three-pointer 5:36 into the second half extended the Holy Cross lead to 26, the largest of the night. Trailing 49-23, a pair of Lafayette freshmen took over to pull the Leopards back within striking distance.
Vanessa Van De Venter and Val Gomez combined to score seven points in a 9-0 Lafayette run that drew the visitors within 15, 49-34. After Gomez answered a pair of Maggie Fontana free throws with her second of three triples, Van De Venter netted nine points in an 11-2 run that closed the gap to nine, 59-50.
Lafayette had several opportunities to cut the difference to single digits. The Leopards were a combined 0-of-3 from the field and committed three turnovers after pulling within 11 points on two separate occasions. The early cushion proved pivotal for Holy Cross as the Crusaders stalled the Lafayette rally by essentially trading baskets down the stretch.
Van De Venter and Gomez scored 32 of Lafayette's 46 second-half points. Van De Venter was 7-of-8 from the floor in the second half en route to her game-high 22 points, while Gomez hit 7-of-11 field goals and finished with a career-high 17 points.
Fontana led Holy Cross with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Lisa Andrews added 12 points and Sarah Placek 10 in the win.
After hitting just 6-of-31 shots in the first half, Lafayette shot 56.7 percent (17-of-30) in the second period.
Holy Cross improves to 15-1 in Patriot League Tournament games played in the Hart Center. The Crusaders have also won 19 straight over the Leopards. Lafayette bows out of the tournament in the quarterfinal round for the fifth straight season.
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