Cruz
HFA

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Sixth-seeded Holy Family advanced to the NCAA Division II East Region semifinals for the seventh consecutive year after knocking off third-seeded Dowling 71-64 in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon at the Dana Center.

Holy Family improves to 25-7 overall.  The Tigers have now won 12 in a row and 18 of their past 19 games. Dowling concludes its season at 22-7.

Junior Ana Cruz led Holy Family with 19 points after shooting 6-of-12 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. Cruz sparked a second half surge by the Tigers as she scored seven of the team's last 11 points in the final 90 seconds.

Junior Kelly Brady recorded her fourth double-double of the season after recording 12 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore Mary Ellen McCollum also scored in double figures with 10 points. Fellow classmates Katie Duma and Maggie Serratelli scored nine and eight points respectively.

For Dowling, junior Connie Simmons led the Golden Lions with a game-high 27 points. Simmons also drained three three-pointers and shot 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. Sophomore Julia Koppl added 13 points, while senior Sarah Schicher grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.

Dowling opened the game with a 10-2 run to quickly take an eight-point advantage within the first three-plus minutes of action.

The Golden Lions eventually increased their lead to double digits after a three-pointer by Koppl at the 7:04 mark of the half. Koppl's three gave Dowling a 30-20 lead.

However, Holy Family rallied back and used a 9-2 run to cut the Dowling lead to three points after Duma drained a pair of free throws to make the score 32-29 with 4:01 remaining in the half.

Before the half came to a close, Dowling managed to score the final four points to take a 38-30 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Holy Family began chipping away at the lead and came within one point on two separate occasions early in the half.

The Tigers eventually took the lead for the first time after Duma scored a layup to give Holy Family a 45-44 lead with 11:51 to go.

Dowling recaptured the lead and led 49-48, but Duma came through with a clutch three-pointer to give Holy Family a 51-49 lead with less than 10 minutes left.

Holy Family maintained the lead the rest of the way. Dowling would come within one point at the 6:17 mark (53-52). However, Holy Family went on a quick 7-0 run to take its biggest lead of the game to that point at 60-52 with 3:49 to play.

The Tigers shot 8-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch to help secure the victory.  Holy Family converted 14-of-19 from the line for the game, while Dowling shot an impressive 12-of-13 from the free-throw line.

Holy Family held the advantage in shooting as the Tigers shot 40.6-percent from the field compared to Dowling's 34.4-shooting percentage.  Both teams struggled from beyond the arc as Holy Family converted 5-of-18 from long range, while Dowling finished 8-of-27.