Power-Cassidy scores 21 and Holy Cross beats Boston U 61-55 for Patriot League's auto-bid to NCAAs

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Bronagh Power-Cassidy scored 21 points, Cara McCormack added 15 and Holy Cross outlasted Boston U 61-55 on Sunday to win the Patriot League Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.

The Crusaders became the first repeat champion in the Patriot League since Navy won three in a row from 2011 through 2013. Holy Cross has the most Patriot League titles (13) and championship game appearances (20) since the league was formed in 1990-91.

The top-seeded Crusaders led 34-23 at halftime, but saw their lead slowly shrink in the third quarter. A layup by Aoibhe Gormley with a minute to go in the third and a free throw by Caitlin Weimar with 10 seconds left had the Terriers within 43-36. But a 3-pointer from McCormack put Holy Cross back up by 10 heading to the fourth quarter.

A jumper from Alex Giannaros had BU within six points with 8 minutes remaining in the fourth but another big 3-pointer by McCormack put Holy Cross ahead 49-40 and she added a layup on the next possession for an 11-point lead.

Holy Cross went the next five minutes without a point but managed to maintain a 51-43 lead. Kaitlyn Flanagan made two free throws for a 53-43 lead with 2:17 remaining, then Gormley's 3-pointer got BU within 53-46.

The Crusaders (20-12) made five trips to the foul line in the final 62 seconds and made enough — 6 out of 10 — to preserve the win although they went the final 6:58 without a field goal.

Giannaros had 21 points and Gormley scored 17 off the bench for Boston U (20-12). Weimar grabbed 14 rebounds.

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