Feb. 9, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - American University was able to hold off Lehigh and avenge an 18 point loss on Jan. 12 and defeat the Mountain Hawks 62-49 at Stabler Arena in Patriot League women's basketball action on Saturday.
American (11-12, 5-3 PL) was in control from the get-go, opening the game with a 16-5 run led by eight consecutive points from Liz Leer. Talicia Jackson and Michelle Kirk then hit back-to-back treys to extend the Eagles lead to 22-5 with 9:23 to play in the half. Lehigh got within 13 after Tricia Smith rattled off six of her 11 first half points, 26-13, but AU used a Leer hoop and a Pam Stanfield free throw to take a 29-16 lead into the locker room.
The Eagles were able to hold the substantial lead in the first 20 minutes despite holding a 12-5 disadvantage in fouls, and played stellar defense, allowing the Mountain Hawks to shoot just 17.9 percent from the field (5-28) in the opening stanza.
Lehigh (13-10, 5-3 PL) came out shooting to open the second half, making four straight hoops to cut the AU lead to 33-25. The Mountain Hawks found themselves down just three, 35-32, at the 13:26 mark, courtesy of a Smith lay-in and tested the Eagles' gumption for the first time in the game. AU would answer the call, led by a pair of freshmen. Leer and Kirk would combine for 10 points over the next four minutes and Stanfield completed a conventional three-point play to reclaim a 13 point, 50-37 lead with 7:42 remaining in the game.
Hard defense on both ends of the court kept the scoring to a minimum, and AU held onto a 52-41 advantage with 3:51 on the clock. Lehigh got within eight, 55-47, but were unable to get any closer, sending the Eagles to the line the rest of the way out, to claim the 62-49 win.
Leer finished with a team-high 16 points and added seven rebounds and a career-high five blocks. Kirk scored 11 points and Maggie Smith-Davidson tallied a game-high 11 rebounds.
Smith scored a game-high 17 points for Lehigh and added nine rebounds, four blocks and four steals.
American will play at Bucknell on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with the game scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. AU fell to the Bison at Bender Arena on Jan. 16 in overtime, 67-64.