Teams: Lafayette (11-17, 4-9 PL) vs. American (19-8, 9-4 PL)
Date and Location: Saturday, February 26, 2:00 p.m. - Bender Arena, Washington, D.C.
Web Broadcast: Patriot League All*Access
The American University women's basketball team will play its regular season finale on Saturday, February 26 when it hosts Lafayette in Bender Arena. With a victory, the Eagles will earn at least a share of the Patriot League regular season championship, which would be their third in the last four seasons.
Saturday will be a special day in Bender as AU's three senior student-athletes -- Liz Leer, Nicole Ryan and Ashley Yencho -- will be honored in a pregame ceremony. The trio of seniors will go down as winningest class in program history, accumulating a 78-44 overall record thus far, including a 42-13 mark in Patriot League play. They have been part of two Patriot League regular season championships along with a program-record three straight postseason appearances. Leer, meanwhile, will set the new program-record for career appearances with her 123rd game, breaking the previous record of 122 held by Talicia Jackson '09.
In addition to the Senior Day festivities, AU is also proud to celebrate its annual "Pink Zone" on Saturday, which supports the WBCA's mission of raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campus, in the community and beyond. Fans are encouraged to wear pink at the game in support of the cause.
On the court, American (19-8, 9-4 PL) is currently in a three-way tie for first place in the Patriot League along with Lehigh and Navy. AU has clinched a top-three seed in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament, which will begin next Saturday, March 5 with the quarterfinal matchup in Bender Arena. In order for the Eagles to earn the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage throughout the tournament, they must beat Lafayette combined with losses from both Lehigh and Navy on Saturday.
AU is also shooting for its second straight 20-win season following its 22-10 campaign a year ago. This would mark only the fifth time in program history that the Eagles have reached the 20-win plateau.
Lafayette (11-17, 4-9 PL) is already locked into the No. 7 seed for the Patriot League Tournament regardless of Saturday's outcome. The Leopards have lost five of seven heading into Saturday, although one of their victories during the stretch was over Navy. Lafayette is 3-11 on the road this season, including 1-5 in conference play, with its lone PL road win coming at Lehigh on January 22.
The Eagles defeated Lafayette, 66-51, in the two squads' first matchup this season on January 29 in Easton. Stephanie Anya recorded a career-best 16 points along with nine rebounds to pace the Eagles, while Alexis Dobbs chipped in 13 second-half points as AU outscored the Leopards, 37-22, over the final 20 minutes. Ryan added 12 for American as she recorded her 1,000th career point in the game.
American leads the all-time series against Lafayette, 23-4, which includes a perfect 12-0 record at home. In last season's matchup in Bender Arena on January 30, 2010, the Eagles held Lafayette to 31 points, setting a new program-record for fewest points allowed in a game.
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