Junior Michelle Kirk scored a team-high 18 points on seven-of-14 shooting to lead three Eagles in double-digits, but it was not enough as the women's basketball team fell to Maryland, 75-64, at Bender Arena on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Lisa Strack netted 14 points and added three steals while Liz Leer notched 11 points.
Maryland (9-2) jumped out to a quick 7-0 start in the game's first two minutes before American (5-5) got on the board on a Leer three-pointer, her first of a career-high three made trifectas. The Terrapins played from ahead for the entire first half, although AU continued to play tough and hang around. The Eagles' deficit remained constant between three and seven points for the final 15 minutes of the opening stanza before Maryland took a 37-31 advantage into intermission.
AU came out of halftime firing on all cylinders in the first minute of the second half, scoring the first five points on a three-pointer by Kirk and a Raven Harris bucket to cut the Maryland lead to one, 37-36. But that's as close as the Eagles would get in the game, as the Terps scored the next nine points to open up a 45-36 advantage at the 16:27 mark.
The Eagles made one final run midway through the second half, as they trimmed the Maryland advantage to three, 51-48. But Maryland responded to score the next 10 points and regain a 13-point margin, 63-50, with 7:26 to play. The Terps' lead would remain relatively constant for the last few minutes of the ballgame, coming away with a hard-fought 75-64 road victory.
The Eagles took care of the basketball, only committing 11 turnovers compared to 19 for the Terps, but that was not enough to overcome Maryland's dominace on the glass and its high shooting percentage. Maryland outrebounded AU, 46-21, and shot 51.9 percent from the floor compared to 40.3 for AU.
For the ninth time in 10 games this season, Kirk led the Eagles in scoring with 18 points in 39 minutes. She was three-of-six from three-point range. Strack scored a career-high 14 points off the bench for AU on six-of-11 from the floor, while Leer chipped in 11.
Maryland was led by 21 points from Lynetta Kizer on seven-of-nine shooting, along with 13 rebounds. Tianna Hawkins scored 20 points on eight-of-10 from the floor, and she also recorded 12 rebounds. Diandra Tchatchouang and Kim Rodgers chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Terps. Dara Taylor dished out 11 assists for Maryland as well.
The Eagles will be back in action on Monday, December 28 at 3 p.m. against Buffalo in the Hatter Classic in DeLand, Fla. Depending on Monday's results in the four-team tournament, the Eagles will take on either host Stetson or St. Francis (Pa.) on Tuesday, December 29.