The American University women's basketball team picked up its 20th win of the season and handed first place Navy its third conference loss of the season, defeating the Midshipmen, 63-50, on Wednesday night in Bender Arena.
Arron Zimmerman scored 20 points for the second straight game, going 8-of-12 from the floor, while Alexis Dobbs added 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds to fill the stat sheet. Michelle Holmes led the Eagles with seven rebounds. Zimmerman also tallied a career-high four steals.
"I felt good coming into it just because at their place it was a defensive battle and I felt like our offense has been getting better in the last month," said Head Coach Megan Gebbia. "We tried to isolate some people coming off ball screens and our team did a nice job and made good decisions. We also hit shots when we needed to hit shots."
American (20-8, 13-4) opened the game with five unanswered points and the Midshipmen knotted it up at 14:12. Navy held a 14-12 edge before the Eagles went on a 5-0 run for a 17-14 lead with 6:32 to play, forcing the Midshipmen to call a timeout. Sarita Condie hit a triple to tie it back up but American responded with a 10-2 run for the 27-19 advantage with 2:30 remaining. Kara Pollinger and Chloe Stapleton hit back-to-back treys for Navy to battle back within two but Dobbs had a breakaway and laid it in at the buzzer to send the Eagles into the break with a 29-25 lead.
American shot 41.4 percent from the floor in the first half and went 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. The Midshipmen shot 37.5 percent from the field and were 5-for-15 from 3-point range.
Navy (22-6, 14-3) took a 29-28 edge out of the intermission on a trey by Stapleton but a steal by Dobbs and lay-in by Holmes put the Eagles back on top for the remainder of the game. A 6-0 run gave American a 43-35 lead with 13:56 to play and Zimmerman nailed a triple from the corner, forcing the Midshipmen to call a timeout.
The Eagles took its first double-figure lead on consecutive buckets by Geleisa George. Navy cut the lead to 10 on a jumper by Peri Curtis but wouldn't be able to get any closer. A Dobbs 3-pointer gave American its largest advantage, 61-46, with 1:34 to play and Zimmerman hit a pair of free throws to close out the scoring for the Eagles. M.L. Morrison scored the last bucket of the contest with 29 seconds to go for the 63-50 final score.
Audrey Bauer led the Midshipmen with nine points and Jade Geif finished with eight points and a game-high nine rebounds as Navy held a 33-31 edge on the glass. Pollinger posted eight points to go along with five assists.
American shot 45.5 percent from the field in the game and went 3-of-10 from beyond the arc. The Midshipmen finished the game shooting 40.0 percent from the floor and were 8-of-22 from 3-point range.
With tonight's win, Coach Gebbia became the winningest first year head coach in program history.
The Eagles close out the regular season on Saturday, Mar. 1 when it travels to Bucknell. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. from Lewisburg, Pa. The game will be broadcast live on the Patriot League Network.