Feb. 25, 2006
EASTON, Pa. - American University closed out the 2005-06 regular season with a 73-66 road loss to Lafayette on Saturday night.
Lafayette led the entire second half on their senior night, leading by as much as 11 at one point, a lead that proved too much for the Eagles to overcome.
The Leopards expanded their eight point halftime lead to 10 through the first four minutes of the second frame. Each team struggled to score out of the break, combining for eight points after four and a half minutes of play. After finding itself in an 11 point hole, American scored on three straight trips down the floor cut the lead to 50-44 on a Tara Williams (Newport News, Va./Heritage) free throw. Lafayette let AU close to within four points then went on a 5-0 run to regain a nine-point margin.
A Talicia Jackson (Minneapolis, Minn./De La Salle) three ball put the Eagles back six at the 7:25 mark. American closed to within one point until two straight Katie Kokolus buckets gave Lafayette a 63-58 edge with 2:44 left in regulation. AU freshman Nicole Ryan (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater) hit her second three pointer of the game to close within two but Lafayette answered right back with a layup. Lafayette junior Kara Stetler drove to the lane on their next possession, scoring the bucket while getting fouled to put the game out of reach for the Eagles.
Lafayette came out of the gates looking to put the Eagles out early, building a 7-0 lead after two minutes of play. American trailed for most of the opening period but clawed their way back in to the game grabbing the lead at the 6:25 mark, 25-23. Lafayette launched an 8-0 run over the next three minutes to retake the lead. From that point to the end of the half it was all the home team as the Leopards earned a 41-33 lead going into the half. Senior Kristin Doherty led all scorers at the break with 14 points, including four three pointers. Freshman Sahar Nusseibeh (Uniontown, Ohio/North Canton Hoover) led the Eagles with 10 points during the first half.
Nusseibeh led the Eagles with 18 points, while adding six rebounds. Williams finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in the game. Ryan and Pam Stanfield (College Park, Md./Riverdale Baptist) each had nine points in the loss.
Doherty led the Leopards with 18 points, with Stetler finishing with 11 and Kokolus recording 13.
Lafayette shot 52 percent from the floor in the contest, compared to Americans 30 percent. American held the edge from beyond the arc, shooting 6-of-14 in the game, with Lafayette going 6-of-18. The Eagles also held a 40-35 advantage in rebounds.
The game marked just the second time in history that the Eagles have lost to Lafayette. AU finishes up the regular season with a 7-20 mark, 4-10 in the Patriot League. Lafayette improved to 8-19 with the win, 3-11 in conference play.
The Eagles will travel to Worcester, Mass. for the opening round of the Patriot League Tournament where they will face the host Holy Cross Crusaders at 8 p.m. on Thurs. March 2. For ticket information, please call (202) 885-TIXX.