Teams: Lehigh (13-2) vs. American (7-7)
Date & Time: Saturday, January 9, 2010, 2:00 p.m.
Location: Bender Arena, Washington, D.C.
Web Broadcast: Patriot League All*Access
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The American University women's basketball team will take on Lehigh, last year's Patriot League champion, on Saturday, January 9 in the conference opener. Tip time from Bender Arena is set for 2 p.m.
American (7-7) completed the non-conference portion of its schedule with an even .500 record. The Eagles are 4-2 at home after defeating Maryland-Eastern Shore in their most recent game on Monday night by a final score of 57-46. Junior Michelle Kirk led AU with 19 points - which happens to be right on her Patriot League-leading season average - while also grabbing a game-high eight rebounds. Fellow junior Liz Leer contributed 12 points and seven boards for the Eagles, while classmate Ashley Yencho notched 11 points. Additionally, Leer recorded three blocked shots against UMES, which moved her into second in school history in career blocked shots with 129.
Through the non-conference play, American leads the Patriot League in team free throw percentage (73.9 percent) and blocked shots per game (3.4). The Eagles also rank second in the conference in several team statistics, including scoring defense (58.6 ppg), scoring margin (+1.1 per game), field goal percentage (41.3), three-point field goal percentage (35.5), three-point field goal percentage defense (31.0) and rebounding defense (35.1 per game).
Lehigh (13-2) comes into Saturday's contest riding an eight-game win streak. Last year's Patriot League champions last lost on December 2, 2009, an 86-68 defeat at Princeton. In the Mountain Hawks' most recent game on Tuesday night, they beat Penn, 66-51, on the strength of 15 points and 10 rebounds from Emily Gratch. For the season, Erica Prosser leads Lehigh with 16.3 points per game, while Alex Ross chips in 12.6 ppg.
American and Lehigh split last season's two conference matchups with each team recording victories on its home court. The Mountain Hawks won in Bethlehem, Pa., 77-69 on January 10, while AU defeated Lehigh, 65-56, on February 7. In the latter matchup in Washington, D.C., 1,177 fans turned out for the game, setting a new attendance record for women's basketball at Bender Arena.
The Eagles lead the all-time series against Lehigh, 14-8. AU is 7-4 versus the Mountain Hawks in Bender Arena.
Additionally, on Saturday, the American women's basketball program will be hosting its annual Alumnae Day. A dinner reception will take place following the game at 4 p.m. For more information on the event, click here.
Click here for the full game notes.