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January 22nd, 2014

Three Black Knights Reach Double Figures At Holy Cross

Army’s Kelsey Minato led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting as the Black Knight’s defeated Holy Cross 70-57 Saturday. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Army women’s basketball team rebounded from its first conference loss of the season on Saturday by earning a 70-57 victory over Holy Cross in Patriot League action on Wednesday evening at the Hart Center. The win sends the Black Knights to 12-4 overall and 4-1 in the league, while the Crusaders slip to 11-5 and 3-2.

With the win, eighth-year head coach Dave Magarity captured his 133rd victory at the Academy to move into sole possession of first place on the program’s all-time wins list, surpassing Lynn Chiavaro, who collected 132 wins from 1987-88 to 1997-98. Magarity, who also holds the record for wins with the Marist men’s team (253), joins only a handful of coaches who lead two programs in coaching wins.

“I’m so proud the way we came out and played after coming off a tough loss to Navy,” said Magarity. “We caught Holy Cross at a time when it’s missing a couple key players, but we’re both coming off losses, so I knew it was going to be a challenge.”

Sophomore Kelsey Minato led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting for an Army squad that converted 27-of-53 (50.9 percent) of its attempts from the field. Minato also tallied five assists, four rebounds and four steals. Senior Jen Hazlett went for 16 points, while hitting 6-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-5 from long range. Junior Olivia Schretzman turned in 11 points and seven boards, and freshman Danielle Failor added nine points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench. Sophomore Jean Parker knocked in a pair of three-pointers during 15 minutes as a reserve.

Senior Alex Smith recorded 19 points, while going 8-for-9 from the charity stripe and dishing out four assists for Holy Cross. Sophomore Raquel Scott finished with 15 points and five rebounds, and classmate Lisa Mifsud chipped in 12 points and six assists. Sophomore Molly Hourigan contributed six points and six blocks in 27 minutes as a starter.

The Black Knights were first on the board, scoring with the game’s opening five points before extending that lead to 14-6, after back-to-back buckets from Hazlett and Schretzman. Junior Jordan Elliott’s lay-up capped a 10-5 Army run over the ensuing 6:00 to give the visitors at 14-point cushion. The Crusaders put an end to Army’s surge, using an 8-2 run to pull to within eight points and make the score 26-18 with 3:55 to play in the stanza. The Black Knights doused the Holy Cross comeback attempt by scoring eight of the next 10 points, including three points each by Oertner and Parker before Mifsud beat the buzzer with a last-second lay-in to cut Army’s advantage to 34-22 at the half.

Failor hit a jumper 3:05 into the second half to build the Black Knight lead to 41-25, extending the visitors’ run to 15-7. Four players scored for Holy Cross during an 11-5 Crusader run that lasted 4:18 and brought the hosts back to within 10. Army totaled six unanswered points to go back up 16 with 8:46 remaining before Smith, who netted 15 of her 19 points in the second half, went on a personal 7-2 run to cut Army’s margin to 11 at the 6:48 mark.

The Black Knights quickly bolstered their advantage after Failor hit a lay-up and a pair of free-throws, but the hosts once again cut their deficit to 11 with six straight points, as the score stood 58-47. Hazlett and Minato contributed to a 10-3 scoring stretch to give the Black Knights their largest lead of the game, 68-50, with 1:16 left in the contest. The Crusaders scored seven of the final nine points, but the late push proved not enough, as Army walked away with the win after not trailing for the entire 40 minutes.

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