Nov. 25, 2006
LOS ANGELES - Despite a 20-point effort from Liz Hayes (Easton, Pa./Easton) and outscoring West Virginia 32-27 in the second half, American University was defeated by the Mountaineers 57-55 in its final game of the LMU Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday afternoon.
AU took its first lead of the game with 9:19 remaining in the second half on one of 12 turnovers by West Virginia. Letitia Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Pennsauken) picked off the inbound and found Rachel Brazell (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield) open behind the arch. Brazell found Anna Baran (Rzeszow, Poland/SMS PZKosz Warsaw) open under the basket for the lay-up, giving the Eagles 40-39 advantage.
There would be six more lead changes throughout the second until West Virginia extended its lead to one with 6:16 left in the game and held onto it from there. Despite back-to-back three-pointers and two clutch foul-shots from Nicole Ryan (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater) and a key three from Brazell with less than six minutes remaining, American University was unable to regain the lead and come out with the win.
AU went into the locker rooms down by two after a 14-point first-half by Hayes. Hayes went 4-4 from behind the arc in the first and 6-9 overall, just one shy of tying her season high and American's All-Time record of seven in a game. With 16 points yesterday and 20 today, Hayes was chosen for the All-Tournament Team.
The Mountaineers went on a 10-0 run in the opening minutes until Sahar Nusseibeh stepped in for the Eagles and connected for the lay-up.
American University shot 45.5% from three-point territory and 87.5% from the charity stripe, netting 7-8 free-throws. The Mountaineers outrebounded the Eagles 45-30 and converted on second-half chances in the win.
AU returns home to the East Coast going 0-2 in the tourney and holding a 1-5 overall record. The Eagles are looking forward to getting back on track and taking advantage of Bender Arena on Tuesday when they host UMBC at 7 p.m.