Patriot League Tournament Semifinals
Teams: No. 3 American (21-8, 10-4 PL) vs. No. 2 Lehigh (21-9, 10-4 PL)
Date and Location: Wednesday, March 9, 7:00 p.m. - Stabler Arena, Bethlehem, Pa.
TV: Service Electric Channel 2 (Lehigh Valley)
Web Broadcast: Patriot League All*Access
The American University women's basketball team will head to Bethlehem, Pa., to take on Lehigh on Wednesday, March 9 in one Patriot League Tournament Semifinal. Game time from Stabler Arena is set for 7 p.m.
American (21-8, 10-4 PL) has won 19 of its last 23 games heading into play on Wednesday, which includes a 72-44 victory over No. 6 Holy Cross on Saturday in the quarterfinals. Third-seeded AU faced an early nine-point deficit to the Crusaders, but rallied with a 19-3 run to take the lead and run away with the victory. Lisa Strack led all scorers with 15 points on 5-of-19 shooting while Ashley Yencho came off the bench to add 13 on a highly-efficient four total shot attempts. The Eagles held a 35-10 advantage in bench scoring and a 43-25 margin on the glass.
The victory was the Eagles' 21st of the season, giving them the third-most single-season victories in program history. AU can match the second-most single-season wins (22 last season) with a victory on Wednesday.
Picking up a win over two-time defending champion Lehigh, however, will certainly not be easy for American. The second-seeded Mountain Hawks (21-9, 10-4 PL) shared the regular season title with AU and come into action on Wednesday riding a 10-game win streak after beginning Patriot League play with a 1-4 record. Lehigh advanced to the semifinal round with an 82-58 victory over seventh-seeded Lafayette on Saturday.
American and Lehigh split their two regular season matchups this season with each team winning on each other's home floor. The Eagles began conference play with a 64-51 win at Lehigh on January 8 on the strength of 25 points and seven rebounds from Liz Leer. AU's win snapped Lehigh's then-18-game home win streak against conference foes. Lehigh, however, returned the favor with its 57-46 victory at AU on February 5. Patriot League Player of the Year Erica Prosser led Lehigh's effort with 29 points in that win.
Wednesday's matchup marks a rematch of last year's Patriot League Championship Game, which was held in Stabler Arena. The Mountain Hawks got the better of AU in that contest, 58-42, to claim the conference crown. American is attempting to return to the PL Championship Game for the second straight season and fourth time overall in program history since joining the conference in the 2001-02 season. AU is 3-2 all-time in Patriot League Semifinal games, which includes a 71-58 victory over Lehigh in the 2004 tournament.
American leads the all-time series against Lehigh, 16-11. The teams' have split their 12 meetings in Bethlehem. This will be the third meeting between AU and Lehigh in the Patriot League Tournament with each team earning a victory.
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