Nov. 24, 2006
LOS ANGELES - American University was outscored 40-33 by Loyola Marymount in the second half en route to a 67-62 loss at Gersten Pavilion in the first game of the LMU Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Classic on Friday night.
AU started the second half with a 29-27 lead and came out hard in the opening minutes. Just 20 seconds after the whistle blew, Letitia Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Woodrow Wilson) drove hard to the basket to put the Eagles up four. On the inbound, sophomore guard Nicole Ryan (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater) stepped in for the steal, made the lay-up despite a foul and connected for a three-point play. Ryan finished with 16 points on the night.
Loyola Marymount took its second lead of the game, not being ahead since 14:46 into the first half and remained in control for the rest of the night. With Amanda Patton scoring a game-high of 17 points and dishing out four assists, the Lions went on a 12-0 run in four minutes.
Sahar Nusseibeh (Uniontown, Ohio/North Canton Hoover) ended the drought for American University on a Pam Stanfield (College Park, Md./Riverdale Baptist) assist. Stanfield drove hard through the lane and dished a lob pass to Nusseibeh who brought the Eagles to within four on a lay-up.
With LMU extending its lead to 10 with 3:06 remaining, Liz Hayes (Easton, Pa./Easton) and Rachel Brazell (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield Summit) stepped up for American University and hit key three-pointers to bring the lead down to four with 1:12 remaining in the game. With Hayes on fire, she hit another basket from downtown to bring the Eagles as close as two, but the Lions stopped it there, to go on to win by five. Hayes ended the game with 16 points and five assists.
American held the lead for the majority of the first half, going up by 11 with 4:32 left in the half. AU went into the locker room up by a bucket, 29-27.
Loyola Marymount held a 39-32 advantage in rebounds, while forcing AU to commit 23 turnovers. The Eagles caused the Lions to hand over 19 of their own.
AU is now 1-4 overall and will play West Virginia at 2 p.m. tomorrow in the tourney's consolation game before returning home to the East Coast.