Jan. 13, 2007
WASHINGTON - A 14-0 run starting with 2:34 left in the first and extending into the second leads American University Women's Basketball to a 69-58 victory over Colgate in its Patriot League opener on Saturday at Bender Arena.
AU held a three-point lead with 2:36 remaining in the first twenty minutes when Liz Hayes (Easton, Pa./Easton) nailed a shot from downtown to put fire into the Eagle offense. Hayes hit two threes in the win, combining for 50 on the season, tying her for fifth place in the AU All-Time Record Book for three-point field goals made in a season. Teammate Nicole Ryan (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater) took it from there, netting two fast-break lay-ups and going 2-2 from the free-throw line to give American a 33-18 advantage at the half, with the Eagles ending the first on a 9-0 run. The sophomore guard posted 17 points and went 6-8 from the line.
Seconds into the second stanza, Abby Lipskis (Norfolk, Va./Norfolk Collegiate) furthered the distance between the two foes, hitting a quick lay-up to extend the host's lead to 17 points. Lipskis tallied her first double-double of the season, registering 17 points and 10 rebounds on the day.
With American leading by as much as 20 throughout the beginning of the second, Colgate stepped it up from three-point territory and cut the lead to within nine with 10:10 remaining in the game. Raider guard Melanie Cargle hit a bucket from beyond the arch to bring the visitors within six with just over nine minutes left on the clock. Cargle ended with a game-high 19 points. Maggie Smith-Davidson (Ontario, Ore./Ontario) was there to answer for the red, blue and white on a quick transition lay-up just one play later. Smith-Davidson finished with nine points and ten rebounds, even after leaving the game mid-way through the second because of blood.
The six-point margin was as close as Colgate would get, as American went on to win by 11. AU caused 27 turnovers, scoring 18 points off the Raiders' mistakes. The Eagles also held the slim advantage in rebounding, 38-37, with Lipskis and Smith-Davidson combining for 20 of those.
The win marks Head Coach Melissa McFerrin's first win at American in Patriot League home openers. AU improves to 7-11 on the season, matching last season's total wins, and 2-1 in conference play. Colgate falls to 2-16 and 1-2 in Patriot League action. The Eagles return to action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they head to West Point, N.Y. to face first-place Army.