Feb. 17, 2007
WORCESTER, Mass. - American University overcame a 14 point deficit and came within seven, but it wasn't enough as Holy Cross defeated the Eagles 61-54 at the Hart Center on Saturday afternoon, taking sole possession of third-place in the Patriot League standings.
AU opened the second down by 14 and with the hosts extending their lead to as much as 20 in the final eight minutes, a comeback didn't look promising for American. The Eagles had other plans in mind and with Liz Hayes (Easton, Pa./Easton) tallying 11 second-half points, the Crusaders lead began whittling away with just over three-minutes remaining. The Eagles went on an 11-0 run in a two minute span, climbing to within nine with 3:25 left on the clock. In the run, Maggie Smith-Davidson (Ontario, Ore./Ontario) connected on a three-point play and Hayes netted six of her 11 second-half points, including two free-throws to bring the visitors within seven. The Easton, Pa., native finished with a team-high 17 points. The late splurge wasn't enough, with Holy Cross leading buzzer to buzzer and coming out with the 61-54 win.
In the opening eight minutes, the hosts went on an 18-4 run over the Eagles. With 11:43 remaining in the first, Hayes stepped up and hit a trey to end the scoring drought for American. Holy Cross answered with 12 quick points, holding a 29-7 advantage over AU. With Rachel Brazell (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield Summit) netting five points and Hayes hitting another bucket from downtown, the Eagles cut the Crusader's lead to 14 by half, heading into the locker room down 36-22.
Crusaders' Kaitlin Foley registered a double-double in the win, combining her game-high 18 points with 10 rebounds. Smith-Davidson led the Eagles underneath with seven boards, helping AU hold the slim advantage in rebounds, 40-38.
With the win, Holy Cross improves to 6-6 in the Patriot League, taking sole possession of the third-place seed. AU drops to 5-7 and 10-17 overall. The 2006-07 series between the Patriot League rivals is split, with American earning the 59-55 win earlier this season. The Eagles return to action on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when they make the short trip to Annapolis, Md. to take on Navy at 7 p.m.