March 15, 2014
Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament Central
at No. 2 Army
68, No. 5 Holy Cross
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Prior to their semifinal victory over American on Monday, the 2013-14 Army women's basketball team watched a tribute video to the 2005-06 Black Knights squad - the only team in program history to win a Patriot League championship.
On Saturday night, coach Dave Magarity's squad created memories of their own as they complete a three-game run through the Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament with a 68-58 win over No. 5 Holy Cross at Christl Arena.
Sophomore guard Kelsey Minato, the regular season Patriot League Player of the Year, scored a finals record 31 points to add a postseason MVP award to her expanding trophy collection. Four other Army players scored seven points apiece, including major contributions off of the bench from Danielle Failor and Krishawn Tillett.
Holy Cross (20-12) jumped out to an early lead, with Molly Hourigan scoring a basket on the Crusaders first possession. A pair of buckets by Brisje Malone, a three-point field goal by Alex Smith and a layup by Raquel Scott pushed the visitors to a 11-6 lead 6-1/2 minutes in to the contest.
Holy Cross maintained an advantage until Minato was fouled on a three-point field goal attempt midway through the half. She converted all three on an 8-for-8 night from the charity stripe and Army never trailed again.
After scoring only one field goal in the first 10 minutes, the free throws began a stretch where the Huntington Beach, Calif native would score 15 of the final 22 points of the half as the Black Knights took a 33-26 lead into the locker room.
Army (25-7) would stretch the margin to as many as 15 points in the second half. The Crusaders battled back, but could draw no closer than seven in the final minute.
Seniors Brisje Malone and Alex Smith led Holy Cross with 16 points apiece and sophomore Raquel Scott registered 15 points and 15 rebounds. Scott and Malone were named to the Patriot League Women's Basketball All-Tournament team along with Army's Jen Hazlett, Navy's Jade Geif and American's Alexis Dobbs.
The Patriot League champion Black Knights now await an announcement of their destination for the opening round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament which gets under way at 16 sites on March 22-23. The tournament field and matchups will be unveiled at 7 p.m. on Monday evening.
Patriot League Women's Basketball All-Tournament team
Sr. Alexis Dobbs, American
Sr. Jen Hazlett, Army
Sr. Brisje Malone, Holy Cross
So. Raquel Scott, Holy Cross
Sr. Jade Geif, Navy
MVP: So. Kelsey Minato, Army