Nov. 10, 2006
WASHINGTON - Letitia Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Woodrow Wilson) registered a double-double, while Liz Hayes (Easton, Pa./Easton) and Nicole Ryan (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater) scored in double-digits to lead American University to a 78-53 win over Fordham in its season opener.
The Eagles were in control from buzzer to buzzer, with the Rams only two leads of the game lasting less than a minute. The game remained close in the first half, with American taking a six point lead, the largest of the half, with 9:26 remaining. Fordham forced itself to within one as the half winded down, but on a Liz Hayes steal and lay-up, AU went into the locker room up by three, 33-30.
American University started the second half with a 15-0 run, with Nicole Ryan and Hayes combining for 13 of those points. AU took it from there, extending its lead to as large as 28, giving the Rams no chance to recover.
The Eagles forced 23 turnovers in the game, with the quick transition leading to 25 points for American. Talicia Jackson (Minneapolis, Minn./DeLaSalle) recorded four steals and Hayes followed close behind with three.
"We played with a huge amount of defensive intensity and I am extremely happy with the execution of our full-court defense," said head coach Melissa McFerrin. "Depth was a major factor in the win, fatigue set in for the other team and we were still going strong."
Hayes led AU offensively with a team-high 12 points and added four assists to go along with her three steals. It was Hayes' first season-opener as an Eagle after sitting out in 2005-06 due to transfer regulations. Ryan went 4-6 in field goals, netting three three-pointers in her 11 points.
Curry is picking up right where she left off last season, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds and tallying 10 points. Curry went 4-5 from the free-throw line.
American shot 50 percent from the floor and 76.9 % from the free-throw line. The Eagles also held a 32-29 margin in rebounds over the Rams.
Fordham was led by Lisa Carrol, who had a game-high 15 points along with four rebounds and two assists.
This was the first time since 2003-04 that AU opened its season with a win. American University returns to action when it faces Longwood in Bender Arena on Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. for its home opener.