WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team fell just short of grabbing a late win over Holy Cross on Sunday, Jan. 22, dropping the home contest, 61-60.
The Eagles are now 8-11 overall for the season, 5-3 in the Patriot League, while the Crusaders rise to 5-14 overall and 3-5 in the PL.
Junior Emily Kinneston and senior Lauren Crisler led the Eagles' scoring efforts with 18 points and 16 poinst, respectively. Kinneston also led the team on the boards with six rebounds. Junior Maria Liddane put up a team-high nine assists, good for a new season-best.
Holy Cross was led by freshman Lauren Manis, who hit her seventh double-double of the season with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Juniors Tricia Byrne and Infiniti Thomas-Waheed also put up double-figure tallies for the Crusaders with 14 points and 10 points, respectively.
Although the Eagles outshot Holy Cross from the field, 70.6 percent to 34.8 percent, the Crusaders dominated on the boards with 42 rebounds to the 27 from American. Holy Cross closed the game with 23 offensive rebounds and 22 second chance points, while the Eagles were held to five points off of offensive rebounds.
American had a dominating first period against the Crusaders, going on a 16-1 run in the first eight minutes before Holy Cross sunk a pair of jumpers to enter the break at a 19-5 deficit.
The Crusaders responded with a strong second quarter, putting up an 8-0 run early on, and a 7-0 run in the final two minutes, to head into the locker room with a seven point deficit against the Eagles, 35-28. Of Holy Cross' 23 points, seven came from second chance opportunities, as the Crusaders began to maintain control of the offensive boards.
Missed opportunities on the boards continued to haunt the Eagles' in the third quarter, as Holy Cross gained an eight point lead after hitting 14 second chance points and pulling down 14 rebounds to AU's seven.
American regained some momentum in the fourth period, as a jumper from sophomore Cecily Carl in the fifth minute brought AU within four. A series of baskets from Crisler, and a pair of key free throws from Liddane, put the Eagles within three with a minute to go, and a set of points from sophomore Kaitlyn Lewis tied the game with seven seconds left on the clock.
A late foul by the Eagles, though, gave Holy Cross the final say, and a made free throw by Thomas-Waheed pushed the Crusaders into the lead for the final time.
The Eagles will be back on the road next weekend, heading to Hamilton, NY, to match up against Colgate on Saturday, Jan. 28. For the latest on the American women's basketball team, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.