Dec. 8, 2006
WASHINGTON - American University women's basketball dropped a 60-53 home decision against George Mason on Friday night, dropping the Eagles' record to 3-7 overall.
Despite fighting back from a 13 point deficit with 9:12 remaining in the game, the struggle to get its offense going in the opening half proved to be damaging to AU as its 35-34 advantage in the second stanza still wasn't enough to come out with the win.
The Eagles started the second half off down by eight and didn't net their first bucket until 3:10 was underway. After Liz Hayes (Easton, Pa./Easton) attempted a three, Maggie Smith-Davidson (Ontario, Ore./Ontario) was there for the rebound, followed by the tip-in. This started the scoring off for American as the squad went on a 6-0 run in the next two minutes, including jumpers from Hayes and Sahar Nusseibeh (Uniontown, Ohio/North Canton Hoover). Nusseibeh tied her season high in tonight's game, finishing with 12 points.
After the Patriots responded with buckets of their own, American University was down by 13, the largest margin of the night. With 8:51 remaining on the clock, sophomore Letitia Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Woodrow Wilson) hit a lay-up, starting a 13-0 run for the Eagles. Thirty-four seconds later, Hayes nailed a three to bring the red, blue and white to within eight. Ryan stepped it up and went on a 6-0 run of her own, connecting on falling jumper and forcing the foul. After converting the three-point play, the sophomore guard sunk a bucket from downtown. With 5:21 left, Talicia Jackson (Minneapolis, Minn./DeLaSalle) hit two clutch free-throws to bind the game at 47. Jackson went 6-6 from the charity stripe in tonight's game. This was as close as American University would get, with Tracy Ann Holness answering with a three of her own. Holness finished the game with 16 points.
In the opening minutes of the first half, the teams went back and forth trading buckets, but a quick 8-0 run gave George Mason an advantage it wouldn't lose. Both squads suffered a four-minute drought half-way through the first with Pam Stanfield (College Park, Md./Riverdale Baptist) eventually ending it with a jumper.
With Curry leading American with seven boards and Ryan and Nusseibeh each chipping in six, the Eagles outrebounded the Patriots 42-31, just six behind their season-high of 48 rebounds. Scoring 53 points marked a season low for American University and for the first time in the 2006-07 season, AU's opponent doubled its three-point field goal percentage. American shot just 15.8% from beyond the arch, a shot that normally can be counted on.
The Eagles hit the road for the first time in four contests when they head to Philadelphia to go head to head against Penn in the Palestra at 1 p.m. on Sunday.