By Army West Point Athletics, Office of Athletic CommunicationsFebruary 18, 2016
WORCESTER, Mass. (Feb. 18, 2016) -- The U.S. Military Academy at West Point women's basketball team collected its 12th consecutive win to match a program record with an 80-49 Patriot League victory over Holy Cross at the Hart Center, Feb. 17.
Army, which ties the 2006-07 squad for the longest winning streak in team history, improves to 22-2 overall and 13-1 in the Patriot League, while Holy Cross slips to 11-14 and 8-6.
Cadet senior Kelsey Minato paced four Black Knights in double figures, netting 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting, to include 4-of-5 from deep. Minato also posted a career-high-tying nine assists and six rebounds. Cadet sophomore Janae McNeal posted 17 points and a career-best five steals, while Cadet senior Aimee Oertner netted 12 points to finish in double digits for the fifth straight game and also added four blocks.
Cadet sophomore Destinee Morris established a career best with 11 points and dished out three assists, while Cadet freshman Madison Hovren contributed six points off the bench on 3-of-4 shooting.
Katie Dougherty led Holy Cross with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Amy Hasenauer and Lisa Mifsud each tallied eight points.
Army trailed 2-0 early, but answered with eight of the game's next 10 points to take an 8-4 advantage with 4:08 left in the opening period. Minato accounted for four of the Black Knights' first eight points.
Molly Hourigan split a pair of free-throws at the 3:56 point of the first quarter, to make the score 8-5, before the Black Knights finished the period on a 10-2 run, which included eight straight points for the visitors. The scoring stretch began with back-to-back three-pointers from Morris and Minato and was capped with a lay-in from McNeal with 15 seconds on the clock. The run lasted 2:44 and left the Black Knights with an 18-7 lead at the end of one.
A lay-up from Dougherty 1:16 into the second quarter took the score to 20-11 and brought the Crusaders back to within 10 points before Morris knocked in her second triple of the contest to cap a 7-2 run and give the Black Knights their largest lead of the first half, 27-13, with 5:55 left until the halftime break.
Hourigan tallied four of Holy Cross' final eight points of the half, as the Crusaders closed the gap to 11 points, 32-21, heading into the locker room.
Army forced 10 Holy Cross turnovers and came away with four steals in the first half before causing 22 turnovers and tallying 11 takeaways by the end of the night.
Holy Cross finished a 5-0 run following a jumper from Hasenauer with 6:52 remaining in the third frame and cut the deficit to eight points, 36-28.
Minato scored the game's next seven points to help the Black Knights regain a double-digit advantage, 43-28, with 5:53 to play in the third. Minato scored all seven of her points during the run in 1:00, including a four-point play at the 6:35 mark.
Holy Cross twice came back to trail by 10 points, at 47-37 with 2:58 remaining in the third and at 51-41 with 51 ticks left. Army scored the last five points of the quarter, including three from McNeal and two by Minato.
The Black Knights forced three turnovers during a 10-0 run to begin the fourth quarter, stretching their lead out to 25, 66-41, by the 6:35 point of the frame.
Army outscored Holy Cross, 24-8, during the final period to close out the victory.
Army heads to Annapolis, Md., this weekend for a game against Navy Feb. 20, at 11 a.m. The Army-Navy contest will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network and will precede the men's game, which is slated for a 1:30 p.m. start.