American Wins Overtime Thriller, 89-87, in Season-Opener

Costenbader Scores 10 Points in Overtime to Lift Eagle

Katryn Costenbader scored 21 points, including 10 in overtime, to lead AU to an 89-87 win over Marshall in the season-opener.

WASHINGTON -- Katryn Costenbader scored 10 points in overtime, including a jumper with 22 seconds remaining, to lift American to an 89-87 win over Marshall in the first round of the AU Tip-Off Classic here on Friday evening in a season-opening win for the Eagles.

American advances to tomorrow evening's championship game where it will face Southern, a 69-47 winner over South Carolina State.

In a game that went back-and-forth all night, it was American who had to rally at the end of regulation to force the extra session.

The Eagles had the ball and a one-point lead (74-73) with 34 seconds to play, but a forced shot by American gave possession back to the Thundering Herd with under 20 seconds to play. Amy Reed caught the ball on the right wing, converted a driving layup and was fouled on the play. The subsequent free-throw put Marshall up, 76-74, with five seconds remaining.

Damarah Ryhmer proved to be the first hero of the night for the Eagles, as she laid the ball in as time expired to knot the game at 76, sending it to overtime. That is where Costenbader took over, scoring 10 of American's 13 points on two three's, two free throws and the game-winning jumper.

American opened the game with an 11-0 run , but Marshall patiently whittled away at the margin, and finally got within one (28-27) with 6:07 to play in the first half. The Thundering Herd trailed the entire period until Andrea Fitzgerald's banked three-pointer at the buzzer knotted the game at 36 heading into the lockerroom.

The Eagles came out hot in the second half, much like the spurt they used to open the game. Within three minutes, American had built an 11-point lead (47-36). Once again, Marshall's patience paid off, as they shot 60 percent from the field (12-of-20) in the period to get back into the contest. Marshall trailed the entire second half until the three-point play by Reed.

Costenbader led all scorers with her 21 points, while Chanel Spriggs came off the bench to net 19 on nine-of-19 shooting for the Eagles. Kaitlin Schuyler added 16, while Chanel Hunt added 11.

Marshall put five players in double figures, led by Au'Yana Ferguson's 16 points and game-high 11 rebounds. Reed added 15, while Cassie Hackworth had 14. Ida Dotson scored 12 and Andrea Fitzgerald netted 11.