Philadelphia, Pa. - The Holy Family University women's basketball team capped its regular season home schedule with a perfect 13-0 mark after defeating visiting Chestnut Hill College by the score of 61-55 Tuesday night at the Campus Center Gym.
Holy Family, ranked sixth in the recent USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division II National Top-25 Coaches' Poll, improves to 23-2 overall and 17-1 in the CACC after winning its 11th straight game. Chestnut Hill is now 5-18 overall and 3-13 in conference play. With the win, Holy Family remains one game ahead of Goldey-Beacom College (16-2) for the CACC South Division lead. Both teams will face another in the regular season final on Saturday in Wilmington to determine the South Division Regular Season Title and the top two seeds in the upcoming CACC Tournament.
Seniors Ana Cruz (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) and Erin Mann (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) each scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Holy Family offense. It marked the second straight game that Cruz has scored in double-figures. She knocked down four three-pointers to go along with five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Mann also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with her 18 points and in the process recorded her tenth double-double of the season. She also blocked four shots and recorded three steals.
Senior Kelly Brady (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) also recorded a double-double, her sixth of the season, after tallying 12 points and ten rebounds. Brady shot 6-of-10 from the field. Senior Molly Hanlon (Narberth, Pa./Lower Merion) led the Tigers with a game-high eight assists.
For Chestnut Hill, sophomore Olivia Gorczynski led the team with 15 points, while senior Lindsay Alexander added 14 points before fouling out late in the second half. Alexander also tallied six rebounds and converted 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Senior Latoya Laing also finished in double-figures, scoring 11 points.
Holy Family trailed by as many as eight points late in the first half after a three-point play by Gorczynski gave the Griffins a 25-17 lead. On the ensuing possession, Holy Family answered back with a three-pointer by junior Mary Ellen McCollum (Abington, Pa./St. Basil Academy), which fueled an offensive run by the Tigers.
McCollum's three-pointer made the score 25-20 at the 6:18 mark of the half as the Tigers went on 14-5 run to close out the first half. As a result, Holy Family led 31-30 entering the locker rooms at halftime.
In the second half, Holy Family maintained its lead for most of the half, however Chestnut Hill eventually regained the lead after back-to-back jumpers by Alexander gave the Griffins a three-point advantage. Alexander's basket at the 10:31 mark gave Chestnut Hill a 46-43 lead.
As the half progressed, Holy Family grabbed the lead back after a layup score by Mann made the score 47-46 in favor of the home team. Mann's basket with 8:03 to play gave the Tigers' the lead for good, as the defense did not relinquish the lead back to Chestnut Hill the rest of the way.
However, over the next six minutes, Holy Family maintained only a one-possession advantage. It wasn't until the 2:55 mark that the Tigers would lead by more than one-possession after a jumper by Brady made the score 57-52.
Chestnut Hill cut the lead back down to two points with 1:11 to play (57-55) after a free throw by Alexander. Holy Family converted 4-of-4 from the free throw line the final :23 seconds and held Chestnut Hill without a basket the final 1:11 to secure the victory.
As mentioned, Holy Family will face Goldey-Beacom College in the regular season finale on Saturday, Feb. 23 on the road in a key CACC contest. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.
- HFU -