0-fer start for HC.


Byline: Paul Jarvey

WORCESTER - If an 0-4 start for the first time in 30 years wasn't troubling enough for the Holy Cross women's basketball team, now the schedule gets a whole lot tougher.

After a weekend tournament in Evanston, Ill., with games against Missouri and Western Illinois, HC plays UConn in Storrs on Wednesday.

The Crusaders don't figure to beat the top-ranked Huskies, but they did expect to get something from their season-opening four-game homestand. Instead, they're off to their worst start since Bill Gibbons became coach.

The last time the Crusaders were 0-4 was the 1978-79 season, when they lost to Westfield State, Assumption, Dartmouth and Rhode Island and finished 7-11.

The competition is a bit stiffer these days, but that didn't reduce the sting of another loss any.

"Frustrating, frustrating, frustrating," Gibbons said after the Crusaders fell to St. Peter's, 60-52, last night at the Hart Center. "We play with tremendous intensity and drive and all the things we talk about when our backs are against the wall, but early in the game we're not doing all the little things."

HC was outmanned by a very quick St. Peter's team, which picked up its first win after an 0-2 start. The Purple have lost three in a row to the Peahens and trail in the series, 14-9.

The Crusaders made a run late when they began to press and Bethany O'Dell hit a pair of 3-pointers, but the damage was done earlier with HC unable to dent the St. Peter's defense.

"We're waiting until the second half to kind of get going," said O'Dell, who led HC with 15 points. "It's hard when you're down 14 points to chip away point by point."

The players and coaches know what the problem is - they just don't know how to solve it.

"This is what we're trying to figure out," O'Dell said. "There are a few of us on the court who are energized and into it right from the start, but we need people to respond and we need people to be hungry for that win. I know my teammates are getting a little frustrated, but we're trying to stick together. That's the only thing we can do."


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