BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Using a late second-half rally to force the extra period, the American University women's basketball team captured a 75-73 overtime victory over Lehigh on Wednesday evening to remain undefeated in the Patriot League.
The win pushed the Eagles' record to 10-6 overall and 5-0 in the league, while the Mountain Hawks dropped to 11-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
Senior Jen Dumiak finished with 22 points and nine assists, while classmate Shaquilla Curtis scored a career-high 16 points. Junior Michelle Holmes added 15 points for the Eagles, with 12 points coming in the second half.
In the opening half, the Eagles trailed by as many as 14 points before going on a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to 26-21 with 5:28 left in the period. The Mountain Hawks pushed the margin back to double digits, but American closed out the half with five straight points, including a three-pointer from freshman Emily Kinneston, to bring the score to 31-26.
American battled back in the second half, eventually taking a 54-50 lead with 8:34 remaining in the period. However, Lehigh fought back, outscoring AU 15-3 over the next five minutes to gain an eight-point advantage.
The Eagles still trailed by five as the one-minute mark approached. A basket by Curtis cut the margin to 67-64 and after a final defensive stand, the Eagles had the chance to tie the game. Curtis came through for American, knocking down a three-pointer—just her third of the season—with 0.8 seconds on the clock to send the game into overtime.
American never trailed in the extra period, taking the lead with a basket from Dumiak. The Eagles held a 74-69 advantage with 49 seconds to play, but Lehigh scored four points in the final minute, including a pair of free throws with seven seconds remaining, to get within one.
Dumiak, who scored five of AU's eight points in the extra period, knocked down one of two free throws to give the Eagles a two-point cushion and Lehigh missed its last shot attempt to secure the American victory.
Katie O'Reilly finished with 19 points to lead the Mountain Hawks, while Kerry Kinek added 18 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out of the game in overtime.
Lehigh had the advantage on the boards, outrebounding American 44-31, while the Eagles excelled in taking care of the ball, finishing with 25 assists and just 11 turnovers.
The Eagles return home for their next contest, hosting Lafayette on Saturday, Jan 17, at 2 p.m.