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Women’s basketball drops Turnpike Trophy contest to Holy Cross, 61-50

The last time the Boston University women’s basketball team faced College of the Holy Cross, the Crusaders ended BU’s dreams of making the NCAA tournament in heartbreaking fashion in the Patriot League Finals.

Junior forward Caitlin Weimar (11) protecting the ball from a Holy Cross player in Jan. 2024. The Terriers lost 50-61 on Monday. HUI-EN LIN/DFP STAFF

Holy Cross (14-6, 8-1 Patriot League) proved once again to be a hurdle the Terriers (13-7, 5-4 PL) could not clear. BU lost the Turnpike Trophy matchup 61-50 on Monday afternoon.

“Just looking back at the history of us as teams, it’s such a huge rivalry,” head coach Melissa Graves said. “It’s always an emotional game.”

The Terriers held their own in the first quarter, going back and forth with the Crusaders. BU was only down 16-14 after the first quarter. 

The Crusaders began to run away with the lead in the second quarter, outscoring BU 18-7. The Terriers were able to tie the game in the first minute of the quarter, but that was the last time Holy Cross would let go of their lead for the rest of the game.

Both teams shot frequently from beyond the arc in the first half, with both teams combining for 23 three-pointer attempts. However, BU only went three for 12 while Holy Cross landed five in 11 tries, helping them pull away with the lead, ending the half with a 13-point lead.

The Terriers looked much better coming out of the locker room for the second half.

BU senior forward Caitlin Weimar finished two quick layups, and the rest of the team forced four turnovers, forcing Holy Cross head coach Maureen Magarity to call a timeout three minutes into the half.

“We needed to come out in the third strong, not have any flaws and then make our run,” Graves said. “[The players] definitely did that, forcing the timeout pretty quickly into that quarter, and we finished that quarter really strong.”

The Terriers clawed their way back toward a close game, reducing the Crusaders’ lead to three points with a minute left in the third quarter, before Holy Cross senior forward Janelle Allen sank a layup in the closing seconds to give the Crusaders a 40-35 advantage going into the fourth. 

The fourth quarter looked more like the second for the Terriers.

Holy Cross senior guard Cara McCormack opened the fourth with a three-pointer, and her team never looked back. McCormack ended with a game-high of 18 points, dishing out six assists to help the Holy Cross offense.

During the next five minutes, the Crusaders solidified their double-digit lead and did not let it slip too far out of their grasp until the final buzzer sealed their victory.

Weimar and senior guard Kelsi Mingo were bright spots for the Terriers. Weimar racked up 13 points and a season-high of 17 rebounds. Mingo led the team with 15 points, including going 4-5 shooting threes.

“There’s a lot to learn from this game,” Graves said. “I thought it was a very good prep game as we move forward. There is always an advantage somewhere and we just have to try to execute that more frequently.”

The Terriers will travel to Bethlehem, PA to face Lehigh University on Saturday, who handed Holy Cross their only Patriot League loss of the season last Saturday.

“It’s a big week for us,” Graves said. “It’s a good opportunity to get a good quality win and to bounce back.”

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