WORCESTER — After one frigid start Sunday, Holy Cross still had a chance to pull out a victory over Brown in a thrilling women's basketball game at the Hart Center.
Amanda Latkany, however, converted two free throws with 2 seconds left to give the Bears a 57-55 win over the Crusaders, halting HC's winning streak at three games.
Bronagh Power-Cassidy netted 18 points to lead Holy Cross (4-4), and Avery LaBarbera came on strong late, finishing with 13 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
The Crusaders next play at New Hampshire, a 6 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday.
Latkany led Brown (3-6) with 15 points and seven rebounds, Charlotte Jewel had 13 points and nine boards, and Kyla Jones netted 12 points with six rebounds.
The first quarter was a mighty struggle for the Crusaders. After Power-Cassidy's jumper tied the game at 2 with just over a minute gone, the Bears scored the next 17 points over the next 5½ minutes.
Grace Munt's basket with 2:34 to play finally snapped the drought, and HC got treys from LaBarbera and Power-Cassidy to pull within 19-10 by the end of the quarter. The Crusaders shot just 4 of 15 from the field for the period with six turnovers.
Holy Cross picked up its game in the second quarter, chipping away at its deficit and eventually tying the game at 28, on LaBarbera's conventional 3-point play with 1:05 left in the half. The Crusaders committed only two turnovers in the second.
But Brown converted two layups in the final minute, including one by Jewel at the buzzer for a 32-28 halftime lead.
The third quarter remained close, though the Crusaders continued to trail. The Bears were ahead by as many as seven midway through, and closed the quarter on Maddie Mullins' 3-pointer as time expired for a 46-40 edge.
A Jones layup with 7:43 left gave the Bears a 50-42 lead before the Crusaders surged with the next eight points. LaBarbera hit a jumper, Kelly Petro a 3-pointer and Power-Cassidy a layup and free throw in a two-minute span.
Brown led, 54-52, with 2:47 left following two Latkany foul shots, and it remained that way into the final minute. Each team missed three shots from the field, with HC committing four turnovers, until Jewell hit 1 of 2 from the line with 21 seconds left to give the Bears a three-point lead.
Off a Holy Cross timeout, LaBarbera missed a 3-point shot with 13 seconds left, but Janelle Allen collected the offensive rebound and fed LaBarbera, who buried a trey with 7 seconds left to tie the game at 55.
After Brown took time out, Allen fouled with 2 seconds left, and Latkany sank the free throws, and Holy Cross trailed, 57-55. LaBarbera tried a buzzer-beating 3 to no avail.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Holy Cross women's basketball falls shot to Brown despite late rally