Feb. 1, 2009
WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team defeated Lafayette Saturday afternoon, 72-61. Nicole Ryan led the scoring with 17 points while Michelle Kirk and Liz Leer contributed 15 and 10, respectively. Talicia Jackson's first half three brought her career total to 147, tying the all-time AU record.
"I am proud that we stepped up and made a run in the second half when we needed to," Head Coach Matt Corkery said. "Nicole Ryan hit some big shots during that stretch. We also did a nice job defensively not giving up open looks."
American (15-7, 5-2) and Lafayette (8-14, 2-5) traded the lead back-and-forth in the opening minutes of the first half before the Leopards staked themselves to a four-point lead on a LaKeisha Wright jumper. AU stormed back with an 8-0 run powered by back-to-back three-pointers from Ryan to take a 15-11 lead with 10:35 remaining. Lafayette came back and tied the score at 18 but Leer put the Eagles back on top on the team's next possession with a pair of free-throws, 20-18. AU went on top by five on a Pam Stanfield jumper with 4:39 in the half, 24-19, before taking a two point lead into the half, 26-24.
Lafayette evened the score at 26 after the break and with 16:27 remaining the team's were still deadlocked, 29-29. American scored the game's next five points though on a Kirk lay-in and Stanfield three to take the lead for good, 34-29. The Eagles pulled away midway through the half as Ryan scored seven-consecutive points to jump start a 12-0 run which gave the team its largest lead of the game, 52-38. The Leopards chipped away at the lead and brought it to within single-digits but AU hit 10-of-12 free-throws in the final 1:36 to seal the victory, 72-61.
Ryan led all scorers with 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the line. Ryan also sank three three-pointers and was credited with one block. Kirk tallied 15 points which included a 9-of-10 performance from the charity stripe and narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Leer added 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists and three blocks.
Jackson tied AU's career three-point record with a trey just over one minute into the game. Jackson has made 147 career three's, matching the program record held by Kari Gaskins (1995-99). Jackson finished the game with six points, two rebounds and one assist.
American will return to action next Saturday, Feb. 7, at home against Lehigh at 4 p.m. The game will be host to National Girls and Women in Sports Day and will be broadcast live to a national TV audience on ESPNU. Tickets to the game are still available and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling (202) 885-TIXX.