Army Downs Holy Cross To Clinch Home Quarterfinal Game

Meagan Doucette

Meagan Doucette

Feb. 22, 2012

Final Stats

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army women's basketball team clinched home court advantage for the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament following a 65-62 win over visiting Holy Cross on Senior Night at Christl Arena. Junior guard Anna Simmers led all players with 22 points, but it was two defensive stops in the final minute that delivered a key victory for the Black Knights.

Army trailed 35-31 at the half and overcame a 58-51 deficit with 7:42 remaining in the game. The Black Knights out-scored Holy Cross 14-3 over the final seven minutes to secure a home quarterfinal game on Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m.

Seniors Meagan Doucette and Kait Goodall totaled eight and seven points, respectively, with both of their families in the stands for Senior Night festivities.

"I can't say enough about my seniors, every single one of them," said sixth-year head coach Dave Magarity. "From (student assistant coach) Erin Jankowski and all she has contributed over her four years to Meagan Doucette and Kait Goodall on the floor tonight. I can't imagine two seniors going out in such a great fashion on Senior Night."

Army's seeding and first-round opponent are still to be determined. The Black Knights are one of four teams to host a quarterfinal game just over a week away. They close the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Lehigh. An Army victory over Lehigh clinches the second seed for the upstart Black Knights, who were picked to finish seventh in the Patriot League preseason poll. Army can finish no lower than the fourth seed.

After scoring 11 of the first 12 points of the game, the Black Knights' offense cooled off a bit and they shot 32 percent (22-of-68) for the game. Army committed a season-low six turnovers. Meanwhile, Army scored 18 points off 16 Holy Cross miscues. The Crusaders shot 46 percent (21-of-46) for the game, taking 22 attempts less than the Black Knights. Army out-rebounded Holy Cross, 42-34.

"This team has fought, scratched and clawed all year long," Magarity said. "There was a time this year where we looked like we couldn't get out of our own way, but this is the time year that counts. We did it with toughness and some grit."

Goodall chased down the opening tip and it led to Simmers' first bucket of the game as Army took a 2-0 lead just 11 seconds into the action. Goodall got into the scoring as well with the game's second basket at the 17:26 mark. Jen Hazlett's layup on Army's next possession gave the Black Knights a 6-0 start less than three minutes into the game. Holy Cross missed its first eight field goal attempts. Emily Parker's single free throw at the 15:37 mark got the Crusaders on the board.

Simmers scored the next five points for the Black Knights, who stretched their lead to 11-1 just 5:17 into the contest. Holy Cross registered its first field goal of the night on its next possession thanks to Brisje Malone at the 13:56 mark.

Malone's score ignited an 11-3 Crusader run, as they pulled within 14-12 with 10:54 on the clock. Goodall's second jumper of the game stopped the spurt (10:35), and ignited a 7-2 Army run to push its lead to 21-14. Junior guard Kimberlyn Martin's first three-pointer of the season and Olivia Schretzman's first score of the game highlighted the surge. Holy Cross, however, countered with an 8-0 and assumed its first lead of the night, 22-21, with 6:37 remaining in the half.

The teams continued to play back-and-forth for the remainder of the first half, tying the score three times before the buzzer sounded. Holy Cross led 35-31 at the break. The Black Knights committed just one turnover over the opening 20 minutes of play.

Holy Cross sophomore Alex Smith opened the second half scoring with her second triple of the game, as the Crusaders went ahead 38-31 less than a minute into the frame. Doucette answered with her first three-pointer of the night, followed quickly by a pair of Schretzman free throws as Army pulled back within 38-37 with 17:15 to play.

The Black Knights made it a one-point deficit twice more over the next six minutes, but each time Holy Cross had an answer. Junior guard Liz Benedict (12:13) and Doucette (9:32) each buried a timely three-pointer to keep the game from getting away at critical junctures. Doucette's three-ball from the top of the key pulled her team within 52-51, but the Crusaders owned the next six points and took a 58-51 lead with 9:07 remaining.

Just as Holy Cross seemed to have momentum in its favor, Simmers buried her third three-pointer of the night to once again pull Army with a single basket, 58-56, with 6:05 remaining. Simmers drew a charge on the defensive end, which resulted in Malone exiting the game with five fouls at the 5:35 mark.

On Army's next possession, sophomore forward JessicaWaggoner sank a pair of free throws to level the score for a fourth time, 58-58. Doucette followed with a mid-range jumper at the 4:04 mark, giving the Black Knights their first lead since the 4:33 mark of the first half. Hazlett converted a steal into a coast-to-coast layup a minute later, giving Army a 62-58 lead with 3:33 remaining.

Holy Cross senior Amy Lepley went on to drill a three-pointer from the top of the key to level the score for a fifth time, 62-62, with 1:34 on the clock. Simmers drew a foul two possessions later for Army, sank both free throws and gave the Black Knights a 64-62 edge with 33 on the clock.

Coming out of a Holy Cross timeout, Hazlett came up with one of the most crucial steals of the season with 25 seconds to go. It led to her draining one of two free throws with 22.8 seconds to play, providing the final three-point margin. Holy Cross' Christine Ganser's potential game-tying three-point attempt rimmed out with seven seconds to go as Doucette corralled the rebound and held on for the victory.

Tickets for Army's quarterfinal round of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament, set for March 1 at 7 p.m., are on sale now through the Army Ticket Office. Fans can purchase online at www.goARMYsports.com, by calling 1-877-TIX-ARMY or in-person at the Holleder Center box office. Tickets are $6 for adults, and $3 for students/senior citizens/youth. Doors for the event will open up 90 minutes prior to tip-off.

All eight Patriot League teams will close out the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 25. Army visits Lehigh for a 7:30 p.m. tip at Stabler Arena.

Game Notes: Seniors Kait Goodall and Meagan Doucette both started in Wednesday night's affair ...the Black Knights also honored student assistant coach and three-year letterwinner Erin Jankowski, along with managers Madeline Corcino and Nadege Benoit prior to tip-off ... Kimberlyn Martin tied a career high with two three-point baskets ... Holy Cross won the first regular-season meeting by three points (62-59) ... head Dave Magarity collected his 99th win at Army ... the Black Knights are 10-5 at home this season.

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