Freshmen Cindy Baruch, Ann Male and Gloria Murphy scored George Washington's final nine points as the Colonials defeated Holy Cross, 78-74, to win the championship of the GW Invitational yesterday in women's basketball at the Smith Center.

In the consolation, Queens College (2-1) was a 76-69 winner over Howard (0-3).

In a game in which GW (3-0) never led by more than three points until the final minute, the Colonials took their first lead with 9:38 to go on Patty Pfiefer's jump shot.

The lead changed hands several times down the stretch. Murphy's jump shot with 2:39 remaining broke a 72-72 tie. Baruch, who finished with 26 points and earned tournament MVP honors for her two-game, 53-point performance, hit a driving layup with 54 seconds remaining to give GW a 76-72 advantage.

Male, who came off the bench to play point guard, provided the final field goal when she found herself open underneath the basket with 11 seconds left.

GW Coach Denise Fiore was unconcerned about having three freshmen on the floor in the final three minutes. "I didn't worry," Fiore said. "They (Baruch, Male and Murphy) have experience and court savvy beyond their freshmen years."

Holy Cross is 2-1.