Jen Dumiak's 20-point effort for the second consecutive night was not enough as the American University women's basketball team dropped its second straight road contest to Oakland, 70-60, on Monday night to open the season.
Dumiak went 6-for-13 from the field with two three-pointers, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line. She also matched the team-high with six rebounds, adding three steals. Geleisa George matched her career-high with 11 points, shooting 5-for-11 from the floor and hitting her first career trey in the game. Alexis Dobbs registered six boards for the Eagles, posting nine points with a team-high five assists and two steals. Shaquilla Curtis also finished the day with nine points, notching three assists.
"Despite the loss we made some important strides today," said Head Coach Matt Corkery. "We got 23 more shots than a good Oakland team. When we convert on more of those attempts we will see some success. For now we focus on progressing one day at a time."
Oakland tallied 10 consecutive points for the 10-2 advantage before Dobbs hit a three to make it a five-point game at the 15:55 mark. A lay-up from Annemarie Hamlet put the Golden Grizzlies up seven with under 12 left but George came up with the steal at the top of the key and drove it to the hoop to cut the score to 17-12 with 9:38 left in the first half.
The Eagles continued to chip away at Oakland's lead, using an 8-2 run to come back within three, 23-20, with under three minutes to play and forcing the Golden Grizzlies to call the timeout. Dumiak laid it in and Dobbs converted on a pair of free throws to make it a one-point game with 1:53 remaining in the half. But Oakland posted five straight points to close out the half to head into the break with the 28-24 lead.
The Golden Grizzlies outshot American 45.8 percent to 28.1 percent from the field and 60.0 percent to 36.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Dumiak opened the half with a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game but Oakland continued to answer point-for-point and slowly built up an advantage. A three-pointer from Nash gave the Golden Grizzlies a 37-30 lead and a pair of free throws from Elena Popkey put the lead at nine with 14:04 left in the game.
Oakland tallied nine straight points for its largest lead of the game, 54-38, with 7:28 remaining. The Eagles continued to fight back, using a 6-2 run to come back within 12 for the 58-46 score. American posted six consecutive points to cut its deficit to 60-52 with 1:12 to play.
Curtis brought the Eagles within five with 58 seconds remaining. The freshman hit her first free throw and missed the second, but came up with the rebound and hit the jumper for the 60-55 score. The Golden Grizzlies were able to hold off American down the stretch, hitting 10-for-10 free throws, with a lay-up from Curtis and a three-pointer from Ti'Asia McGeorge only able to bring the Eagles within six.
Olivia Nash led the Golden Grizzlies with the double-double, tallying 14 points with a team-high 15 rebounds. Hamlet had a team-high 20 points, shooting 60 percent from the floor.
Oakland outshot the Eagles 51.1 percent to 31.4 percent for the game, holding American to just 23.1 percent shooting from three-point range. The Golden Grizzlies held a 42-32 advantage in rebounds and had 20 turnovers, compared to American's 10.
American will next head to College Park, Md. to take on cross-town rival No. 5 Maryland on Wednesday, November 21 at 4 p.m. The Eagles return to Bender Arena for its home opener on Tuesday, November 27 at 7 p.m. when it hosts UMBC.