Women's Basketball Holds Off Holy Cross For Season Sweep
With 26 seconds to play, sophomore Alexis Gray knocked down a pair of free throws to turn Saturday afternoon’s contest into a two-possession game and help the Loyola University Maryland secure a season sweep of Holy Cross with a 65-58 victory at the Hart Center.
Gray led the Greyhounds (7-15 overall, 5-6 Patriot League) with 21 points, while freshman Isabella Therien contributed 20 and was voted the Rev. George L. O’Brien Award winner as the most valuable player of Holy Cross’ Winter Homecoming game.
Sophomore Stephanie Karcz finished with a team-best 14 rebounds and a game-high eight assists and six steals.
Lauren Manis led Holy Cross (10-12, 5-6) with a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Infiniti Thomas-Waheed added 19 points for the Crusaders.
Holy Cross started the scoring, but Karcz and Gray knocked down back-to-back treys to give Loyola a 6-2 advantage early on. Consecutive baskets from the Crusaders switched the lead back to the home team, 7-6, marking the second of five lead changes throughout the first quarter.
Hunter evened the game at 12 at the start of the second quarter and junior Courtney Vannoy brought it even again, at 14, sparking an 8-0 run for the Greyhounds that put them ahead 20-14. Loyola wouldn’t allow back-to-back points for the Crusaders throughout the remainder of the half, as the Greyhounds worked their lead to 12 at the break, 35-23.
Scoring wouldn’t come easy for the Greyhounds in the third quarter, as Loyola was only able to muster up three free throws before Gray knocked down a triple at the 3:40 mark, regaining an eight-point lead for the Greyhounds, at 41-33.
Therien sandwiched a pair of baskets around the third to fourth quarter break, putting Loyola up by 10, before Gray’s 3-pointer extended the Greyhounds’ lead to 11, at 48-37. Following a pair of Holy Cross’ free throws, back-to-back steals from Karcz led to points from Therien and Gray, which gave Loyola its largest lead of the game at the time and forced Holy Cross, down 13 at 52-39, to call a timeout.
The Crusaders scored first out of the brief intermission, before a three-point play from Karcz pushed Loyola ahead 14, at 55-41. That wouldn’t be enough to quiet Holy Cross though, as the Crusaders strung together a 7-1 run to pull within five at 56-51 with 2:38 to play.
Therien heaved up a desperation 3-pointer that stuck as the shot clock expired on Loyola’s next possession and freshman Delaney Connolly answered the Crusaders’ jumper with a layup at 1:41, keeping Loyola ahead eight, at 61-53. Holy Cross would score the next five points though, pulling within three, at 61-58. That’s when Gray sunk her pair of free throws with 26 seconds to go. Vannoy followed that up with two free throws of her own to account for the final score of 65-58.
Earlier this season, Loyola earned a 77-60 win over Holy Cross at Reitz Arena.
The Greyhounds will remain on the road for a third-straight game as Loyola travels to American on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff.