Nov. 19, 2008
WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team won its third straight game, defeating cross-city opponent Howard, 77-50, in non-conference action on Wednesday at Bender Arena. The win marks the first time since 2001-02 that the Eagles opened up the season with three-consecutive wins.
American jumped out to a 5-0 lead courtesy of five Talicia Jackson points, but Howard responded with a 7-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 7-5, on a Lonice Kenley basket. Howard extended its lead to six, 15-9, with 10:28 left in the first half when Tamaya Daniels hit one-of-two from the line. The Eagles answered with six straight points that was capitalized by a Kristin Coles lay-in to knot the score at 15-15.
After Coles was called for a travel, Pam Stanfield came up with a steal that led to Jackson's second trey of the game to give American an 18-15 advantage with 7:35 on the clock. The Eagles retained possession after the Bison failed to get out of their defensive end, turning the ball over. Stanfield took advantage of the opportunity to nail her first three-pointer of the season to stretch the lead to six, 21-15. A Howard miss was followed by Liz Leer's first basket of the game and AU had its biggest lead of the game at 23-15. The Eagles extended their run to 11-0 on a Nicole Ryan three-pointer before the Bison's India Bradford hit two-of-two from the charity stripe to cut the AU lead to nine, 26-17.
Another Stanfield steal led to a Michelle Kirk lay-in. Stanfield then grabbed the defensive board on the other end of the floor and was fouled, hitting a pair of free throws for the Eagles. Kenley hit a basket for Howard, but American responded with back-to-back threes from Kirk and Jackson and led 37-19 with just under two minutes to play in the first.
Stanfield picked up her third steal of the half and dished off an assist to Ryan, who drilled her second three of the game and AU took a comfortable 40-21 lead into the halftime break.
American started the second half where it ended the first, going on a 10-2 run sparked by high pressure defense that caused Howard turnovers into easy Eagles baskets. Howard got its offense going and outscored American 9-4 over the next five minutes, but the Eagles maintained a 22-point advantage, up 54-32 with 12:36 remaining in the game.
The Eagles led 64-40 following Coles' seventh points of the contest as the American offense was rolling. Howard had trouble getting opening looks and resorted to taking tough jumpers. Jalisa Pullins scored her first basket of the game for the Bison to make it 67-43 and then Howard forced a turnover that resulted in a Morgan Neal lay-up to cut the deficit to 22. The Eagles closed out the game on a 10-5 run and easily claimed their third straight win, 77-50.
"We shot the three well and our pressure defense was successuful and allowed us to get some easy baskets," said AU head coach Matt Corkery. "We weren't happy with our miscues, we turned the ball over too much and didn't really execute as well as we are capable of. That being said, our young players are getting more experience and we look forward to a very challenging opponent in Minnesota over the weekend."
Jackson and Kirk each tallied a game-high 13 points for the Eagles. Edwards finished with a career-high 11 points off the bench , including going 3-4 from behind the arc, and adding three assists. Ryan scored in rounded out the double-digits, scoring 10 points. Lisa Stack tallied a career-high eight assists to go with two steals.
Stanfield grabbed a team-high five rebounds and added three assists and four steals. Daniels led the Bison with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kenley and Bradford each added 10 points off the bench for Howard.
American returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 23 when they head to Minnesota to play the Gophers in the opening round of the Subway Classic at 1 p.m. The Eagles will then play either Yale of N.C. State on Sunday at 11 a.m.