March 1, 2012
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WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Junior guard Anna Simmers led Army with 13 points, while sophomore guard Jen Hazlett and freshman forward Olivia Schretzman added 10 points each, but it was No. 5 Holy Cross coming away with a 59-50 upset of No. 4 Army in Thursday night's Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal game at Christl Arena.
Holy Cross (17-13) draws top-seeded American in Monday night's semifinal match-up in Washington, D.C. The Black Knights finish the 2011-12 season with a 14-16 overall record.
Army trailed 24-19 at the half, but pulled within five points on several occasions down the stretch. Holy Cross answered each time on its way to the nine-point victory.
Hazlett led Army with eight rebounds, while Schretzman, Simmers and senior guard Meagan Docuette finished with seven caroms each. The Black Knights out-rebounded Holy Cross 37-31 and out-scored the Crusaders 22-16 in the paint.
Holy Cross shot 48 percent in the second half and 42 percent (20-of-48) for the game. The Black Knights managed a 36 percent (19-of-53) accuracy. Both teams struggled from long range, but Holy Cross hit all four of its three-pointers in the second half to pull away.
Holy Cross' Christine Ganser went 6-of-6 from the field and led all players with 17 points off the bench.
"We struggled to get into an offensive rhythm and you have to give Holy Cross credit for that," said head coach Dave Magarity, who wrapped up his sixth season at the helm. "We missed a lot of shots that we normally make. It just wasn't our night tonight. Every time we cut into the lead, they had an answer.
"This team has given me a lot this year and far exceeded a lot of critics' expectations," Magarity continued. "I'm disappointed with tonight's result, but I'm excited about the future of this program."
Holy Cross made its first three shots of the game and raced out to a 6-0 lead two minutes into the contest. Conversely, the Black Knights missed their first six shot attempts and did not get on the board until found Doucette for Army's first points of the game at the 16:38 mark.
Hazlett drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key, which sliced the deficit to 8-5 with 14:06 on the clock. The Crusaders scored the next four points unanswered and led 12-5 approaching 12 minutes to play in the first half.
After missing her first seven shots, Simmers buried a three-pointer at the 9:53 mark as Army pulled within 12-8 of Holy Cross. Simmers' bucket spurred an 8-2 Army run, which also included a long Liz Benedict three-pointer, making it a 14-13 game with 7:41 on the clock.
The Crusaders retaliated with a 6-0 run and pushed their lead to 20-13 with five minutes to go. A Waggoner layup with 1:29 remaining pulled Army within 22-17, but the Black Knights would get no closer. Holy Cross led by the same margin, 24-19, at halftime.
Simmers sank four free throws in the opening two minutes of the second half as the Black Knights made it a one-point deficit, 24-23, with 18:16 to play. Holy Cross scored five of the next seven points and push its lead to 29-25 just 1:31 seconds later.
The Black Knights pulled within a single bucket twice more over the next two minutes, but each time Holy Cross had an answer. After a Schretzman layup at the 14:27 mark, Army went scoreless over the next 3:17 and allowed the Crusaders to take a 36-29 lead with 11:10 to go.
Sophomore forward Jessica Waggoner sandwiched a Holy Cross three-pointer with a layup on back-to-back Army possessions, keeping the game in reach, 39-33, with 10:18 to play. Holy Cross sophomore Alex Smith buried a three-pointer on the Crusaders' next possession to give her team its largest lead to that point, 42-33, with 9:29 remaining.
Army trimmed the deficit to five points four times over the next four minutes, but could not get over the hump. The Crusaders hit seven free throws over the final three minutes to help seal the victory.
The team's only senior players, Doucette and Kait Goodall depart the program, but the Black Knights return three starters, three All-Patriot League performers and their top six scorers in 2012-13.
Game Notes: Army and Holy Cross met for a seventh time in the Patriot League Tournament ... seniors Kait Goodall and Meagan Doucette both started their final game in an Army uniform ... Army and Holy Cross split the regular-season series with each team winning by three points on its home court.