Eagles Begin Road Swing Saturday at UMass

Eagles Begin Road Swing Saturday at UMass


AMHERST, Mass. – Currently on a three-game winning streak, the American University women's basketball team begins another important streak of its season on Saturday when it travels to Amherst, Mass., to face the University of Massachusetts at noon. That meeting is the first of seven straight away from Bender Arena, with the Eagles trying to continue their preparation for the Patriot League season while facing 35 days between home games.



Live Stats:  UMassAthletics.com

Video:  Atlantic 10 Digital Network, linked from UMassAthletics.com

Series Records: American leads the series, 1-0

Last Meeting vs. UMass: American won, 82-59, last season in Washington, D.C., 11/17/13


American used a stellar second half to turn a 29-28 halftime lead into a comfortable 77-51 victory over UMBC last Wednesday night in Northwest D.C. The Eagles hit 9 of their first 11 shots in the second half to turn the one-point edge into a 55-33 advantage in the opening 7-1/2 minutes after the break. The Eagles hit 58 percent from the floor after halftime and added a 17-for-18 effort from the foul line.

Junior forward Michelle Holmes scored 20 points, reaching that plateau for the first time in her career. She hit 7 of 9 from the floor, 6 of 7 from the foul line while adding six rebounds and three steals in only 17 minutes. Sophomore Lauren Crisler scored 11 of her career-high 16 in the second half, going 8-for-8 at the line while also posting eight rebounds.
Senior guard Jen Dumiak continued her stretch of outstanding play, overcoming a 1-for-9 shooting night to chip in with 10 points, a team-high 12 rebounds and five assists, posting her second straight double-double of the season. She also went 8-for-8 from the line as American was an amazing 29-for-31 (.935) at the line against the Retrievers.
In addition, the Eagles were strong on the boards against a taller UMBC team, earning a 49-29 edge in rebounding. American had come into the game with a -14.0 average rebounding margin through its first five games, but five different players had at least six boards each to show the improvement.

Dumiak leads the Eagles in scoring (12.5 ppg), free throws (34), free-throw pct. (.944), rebounding (6.3 rpg), assists (6.5 apg), assist-turnover ratio (2.3) and minutes (37.0 mpg). In addition to her double-double against UMBC, she fell one board short of a triple-double (22 pts, 9 rebs, 10 asts) in a win over Oregon as AU swept the Ducks and Gonzaga in Las Vegas. Dumiak came into the week fifth in the nation assists per game.

Holmes is the other AU player averaging in double-figure scoring with an 11.8 ppg mark. She is second in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and leads the team with 12 steals. Senior forward Arron Zimmerman averages 9.7 points per game and leads the Eagles with 12 3-pointers thus far.

Senior guard Shaquilla Curtis (8.3 ppg, 3.0 apg) and sophomore wing Jordan Light (5.8 ppg, 28.7 mpg) are the other starters, as American has sent out the same starting lineup in each of its first six games.


UMass comes into Saturday's game at 3-4 after a 75-62 home loss to Harvard on Wednesday night... Senior forward Kim Pierre-Louis has been a bright spot for the Minutewomen so far and her 15.7 ppg scoring average stands as the lone UMass player averaging in double-figure scoring in the early-going... The 6-footer is hitting .517 from the floor, and has led UMass in scoring in five of the first seven games.

Junior wing Rashida Timbilla is the leading rebounder at 8.0 rpg, and also leads UMass with a 3.4 assists-per-game mark... Senior Emily Mital is UMass' 3-point leader, canning 10 in seven games this year.


American has shown it can go to different players for scoring on any given night... Seven Eagles have hit double figures so far this year. 


Over the last two games (vs. Oregon and UMBC), the Eagles have hit 43 of 46 free throws, shooting at a .935 percentage over those two games. Jen Dumiak is 16-for-16 in that stretch and the Eagles have improved their season FT percentage to a strong .750 (opponents are shooting .597 at the line).


It's no accident that American's early-season schedule has been difficult. Head coach Megan Gebbia and her staff purposely scheduled strong opponents to give her team a set of early tests. Both Gonzaga and Oregon, AU's opponents in Las Vegas, were receiving votes in the national polls when they faced the Eagles, with AU returning home with victories... James Madison was 23rd in the WBCA Coaches poll when AU lost 69-65 to the Dukes on Nov. 20... Including Princeton's early 7-0 mark, American's opening six opponents have a combined 27-11 (.711) record as of Dec. 5.