Jackson Goodman/WRBB Sports File

It was a tough day at the office on Sunday for the injury-depleted Huskies, whose lack of roster depth was their downfall against a balanced Holy Cross opponent. 

The Crusaders’ offensive spark in the second quarter developed into a full-blown blaze of scoring in the second half, and Northeastern just couldn’t handle the heat, falling to Holy Cross 65-41.

“We have to play better,” said Northeastern head coach Priscilla Edwards. “We have to get healthy, we have to execute better, defend better, we’ve got a lot of things to do better.”

It took quite some time for the Crusaders to find their rhythm offensively, as they scored just seven points in the entire first quarter of play, shooting 3-for-17 from the floor. Meanwhile, the Huskies also struggled offensively, scoring only 12 points of their own. The pace of the game was sluggish, and both teams struggled to find high-percentage shot opportunities to capitalize on.

Following the break between the first two quarters, Holy Cross shifted their offensive attack: instead of running set plays, the Crusaders looked to capitalize in transition on a not-yet-set Northeastern defense. Already down junior forward Asha Parker, one of the team’s top defenders, the Huskies were left off-balance by Holy Cross’ quick pace of play. The offensive charge was led by senior guard Cara McCormack, who was used as the team’s point guard for the entirety of her 31 minutes on the court. McCormack operated as the motor of the Crusaders, her relentless hustle proving to be exhausting for an already short Northeastern squad.

The second half was more of what was seen in the second quarter, with the Huskies getting outscored 39-19 in the final 20 minutes of the game. Senior guard Bronagh Power-Cassidy could not be stopped, scoring a game-high 24 points,  which also cemented her as  Holy Cross’ 36th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. Power-Cassidy was a triple threat on the court, scoring from down low, mid-range, and beyond the arc, her versatility completely baffling the Northeastern defense.

To add to their in-game woes, the Huskies gave the Crusaders far too many free opportunities to score, with Holy Cross recording 19 points scored off of turnovers, Northeastern spilling the ball 17 times throughout the game. And on the opposite side, when the Huskies did have a chance to put numbers up in the scoring column, they struggled — They only recorded 4 points off of turnovers and shot 6-for-12 from the free throw line, in comparison to that of 11-for-14 for Holy Cross. The Crusaders also well exceeded Northeastern on the offensive glass, generating 13 second-chance opportunities versus the Huskies’ five.

Senior guard Derin Erdogan was the Huskies’ top performer, scoring 12 points to lead the team and recording team-highs in assists and steals with four apiece. Sophomore forward Oralye Kiefer replaced the injured Parker in the starting lineup and impressed, second on the Huskies in points with nine, shooting a team-high 50% from the floor, and recording three blocks, operating as Northeastern’s main paint defender.

The main undoing of the Huskies on Sunday was their lack of depth. With an already injury-riddled team, Northeastern put an incredibly heavy workload on their healthy players, with Erdogan and Kiefer playing 38 and 39 minutes out of the game’s total 40, respectively. Just eight total players received time on the court for Northeastern, a stark difference from the 14 athletes who saw playing time for Holy Cross.

Ultimately, it will be an afternoon to forget for the Huskies, as they will look to reset and escape their four-game losing streak with a Friday afternoon rivalry matchup against Boston University in their final non-conference game before CAA play gets underway in January.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Northeastern women’s basketball on WRBB Sports when conference play begins.