AU Heads Up to Holy Cross for Saturday Tilt

AU Heads Up to Holy Cross for Saturday Tilt

Jan. 19, 2006

American University women's basketball team heads up to Worcester, Mass., to take on Holy Cross on Saturday. The Eagles will be looking for their first win at the Hart Center in program history when the game begins at 1 p.m.

Matchup: American (4-13, 1-3 PL) vs Holy Cross (6-10, 2-1 PL)
Tip: 1:00 p.m.
Site: Bender Arena
Series: Holy Cross leads, 8-1

Notes on the matchup:
AU at Holy Cross Game Notes

Inside the Series: Holy Cross dominates the series with American, owning a 8-1 record, with AU's only win coming two seasons ago at Bender Arena. Holy Cross swept the series last year, defeating AU 56-47 in Worcester in their last meeting.

The Coaching Matchup: American is headed up by Melissa McFerrin, who is in her second season with the Eagles. McFerrin's squad owns a 4-13 record, 1-3 in the Patriot League after dropping their first conference home game to Army on Tuesday night (75-66). Bill Gibbons begins his 20th season at the helm of the Holy Cross Crusaders. Coming into this season he owned a 393-172 record and has the Crusaders off to a 6-10 (2-1 PL) start.

The Story: American enters into today's game with a 4-13 overall record and a 1-3 PL record after Tuesday's home loss to Army. The Eagles will attempt to get back on the winning track against the Crusaders, a team that they have beat just once in nine attempts. The Eagles held a two-point lead at halftime against the Black Knights, using 48.1 percent shooting and 50 percent from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, Army came out on a 21-6 run after halftime and the Eagles could get no closer than three, ultimately losing by 11. Senior Tala Hadavi continues to lead the Eagles in scoring with 13.2 ppg, coming off a 20 point effort against Army. Juniors Tara Williams and Abby Lipskis are second and third on the team in scoring with 9.7 and 9.4 ppg, respectively. Lipskis still leads the team in rebounds with 6.8 per game but freshman Tish Curry is right on her heels with 6.5 boards per contest. The Eagles are 1-6 on the road this year.

Scouting Holy Cross: Holy Cross comes into today's game with a 6-10 record and a 2-1 mark in the Patriot League. The Crusader's overall record is misleading as they have played many of the top-teams in the country including Duke, Boston College and UConn. Holy Cross lost to the Blue Devils 84-36 at home in their last outing. Junior Kaitlin Foley leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.0 ppg, which has her ranked fifth in the PL. She is also tied on the team in blocks with 11 and leads the team in rebounding with 6.2 rpg. Senior guard Shannon Bush is second on the team in ppg, with 11.0, with Brittany Keil second in rpg with 6.0. As a team, the Crusaders own the Patriot League's best three-point field goal defense, holding opponents to just 27 percent from beyond the arc. Holy Cross is second in the PL in three pointers made, averaging 5.94 per game. Holy Cross is 2-3 this season in Hart Center.

Stanfield Sets Career High Again... AU freshman guard Pam Stanfield set her career-high in scoring twice in her last two games, scoring 15 against Colgate before dropping 16 on the Black Knights on Tuesday night. The College Park, Md., product is averaging 25.8 minutes per game and has started half of AU's games this season.

Four Among PL Best... Four American players are ranked among the league leaders in scoring in conference contests with Tala Hadavi and Pam Stanfield tied for 19th with 10.8 ppg in PL games. Freshman Sahar Nusseibeh's 10.2 ppg in conference games has her tied for 21st as junior Tara Williams is 24th with 9.0 ppg.

Free Doesn't Come Easy... American's .536 free throw percentage is last in the Patriot League, with the Eagles hitting just 171 out of 319 attempts. Tala Hadavi leads the Eagles with .745 (38-51) with Talicia Jackson second on the team with a .650 ftp (13-20). AU's best output of the year came against UNCW when the Eagles went 15-20 (.750) from the charity stripe.

AU vs The Patriot League... American owns an 60-37 record all-time against the Patriot League and a 37-29 record in their four seasons of league play. AU is 1-3 this season, losing their last game to Army at home on Tues.

Eagle Snap Shots:
• First to Worst: While American's offensive rebounding average in all of their games ranked them first in the PL all season, through four league games the Eagles are ranked last with 10.75 offensive rpg.
• Weekend Warriors: The fact that today's game is being played on a Saturday is a good thing for American, which has won all four of its games on Saturday. The lone Eagle loss on a Saturday came in November when Delaware topped AU at home.
• An AU Win Would: Give American its first win at Holy Cross ever ... give the Eagles their second conference road win of the season ... give Melissa McFerrin her first win against Holy Cross.