Dec. 7, 2008
WASHINGTON - Nicole Ryan's game-high 17 points led the American University women's basketball team to its third straight win, a 77-58 victory over Rhode Island on Sunday at Bender Arena. The Eagles hit 10 three-point baskets in the contest en route to their best shooting percentage of the season at 57.4 percent (31-54).
The Eagles trailed 12-7 early in the first half but embarked on a 16-2 run led by a barrage of three-point baskets to open up a 23-14 margin. American connected on 5-of-7 from behind the arc in the first 13 minutes of play and led 31-20 following a Kristin Coles lay-up at 6:57. Nicole Ryan's third trey of the game at 2:23 gave AU a 43-26. The Eagles defense applied a tremendous amount of pressure on the Rams, forcing 14 first half turnovers, while taking a 48-28 lead into the intermission on another Ryan three at the buzzer.
American shot an outstanding 66.7 percent from behind the three-point line in the first half, as four Eagles combined for 8-of-12 from long range.
Rhode Island closed the gap to 12, down 52-40, at 13:13 after outscoring American 12-4 coming out of the break. The Eagles struggled to regain the shooting success they found in the first half and had nine turnovers in the first 11 minutes of the second half, but played well on the defensive side of the ball to maintain a double-digit lead.
The Eagles built their biggest lead of the game with 3:39 left in regulation on an Ashley Yencho three followed by a Janelle McDonald lay-in, giving American a 22-point, 71-47 advantage. Yencho and McDonald would each add another basket down the stretch as American easily claimed a 77-58 victory.
Four Eagles scored in double-digists, with Ryan leading all scorers with 17 points and adding three assists. Kirk finished with 14 points (6-of-7), Leer had 12 points and Yencho contributed 10 off the bench. Pam Stanfield had a game-high six assists and added a team-high five rebounds.
Sierra Cooper led Rhode Island with 12 points and six rebounds. Ebony Evans also picked up six boards for the Rams in the defeat.
American will have a 12-day lay-off before returning to play on Friday, Dec. 19 when the Eagles welcome Princeton at Bender Arena for a 7 p.m. tip-off.