Women's Hoops to Celebrate NGWSD Against Lafayette on Saturday

Women's Hoops to Celebrate NGWSD Against Lafayette on Saturday

Jan. 27, 2006

American University's women's basketball team returns home to host Lafayette on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in Bender Arena.

The entire AU Athletics Department will be celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Saturday, which will include presentation of the flag and the national anthem by local girl scout troups, a post-game mentorship program which will include a question and answer session by female AU Athletic Department members and an autograph session by American Univeristy athletes. "Count Me In" is this year's theme and girls 18 years and younger will be given free admission to the Eagles game against Lafayette.

Matchup: American (4-14, 1-4 PL)
vs Lafayette (6-12, 1-4 PL) Tip: 4:30 p.m.
Site: Bender Arena
Series: AU leads 13-1
Broadcast: www.AUEagles.com

Notes on the matchup:
AU vs Lafayette Notes

Inside the Series: American owns a 13-1 record all-time against the Leopards, with the lone Eagle loss coming at on Feb. 24, 2004 when Lafayette won the last regular season game of the year by a 64-61 margin. The Eagles are 7-0 all-time at Bender against Lafayette.

The Coaching Matchup: American is headed up by Melissa McFerrin, who is in her second season with the Eagles. McFerrin's squad owns a 4-15 record, 1-5 in the Patriot League after Navy came back from an eight point halftime deficit to defeat the Eagles. Tammy Smith is in her fourth year at the helm of the Lafayette program. Coming into this season, Smith had a career record 7-77. Lafayette finished eighth in the Patriot League last season.

The Story: American enters into tonight's game with a 4-15 overall record and a 1-5 conference mark after Navy came back from an eight point first-half deficit to down the Eagles in Annapolis, 70-60 on Tuesday. American is 0-11 in night games, 0-12 in weekday games and1-5 in January. Senior Tala Hadavi leads the Eagles in scoring with 14.0 points per game and is fresh off her first career double-double. Junior Abby Lipskis leads the team in rebounds with 6.6 per game but freshman Tish Curry is right on her heals averaging 6.3 rpg. As they have all season, the Eagles' four healthy freshman will see significant time with forward Sahar Nusseibeh and guard Pam Stanfield in the probable starting lineup. Nusseibeh has scored in double digits in five of the Eagles' last seven games, while the speedy Stanfield is a tenacious defender who can drive to the hoop and draw fouls, going to the charity stripe 65 times this season.

Scouting Lafayette: The Leopards enter into today's contest with a 6-12 overall record and a 1-4 conference record after losing to Army on Wednesday. Lafayette's lone conference win came against PL rival Lehigh, a 67-64 victory at home on January 21. Sophomore forward Vanessa Van De Venter paces the Leopards with 11.1 points per game while grabbing 6.2 rebounds per game, which is second on the team. Brittany Purr leads the team in rebounding with 6.9 rpg but only appearing in 13 of the Leopards' 18 contests. Junior guard Kara Stetler's 9.3 ppg is second on the team, while senior Lindsay Myers has contributed 9.0 ppg and leads the team in assists with 60. As a team, Lafayette's scoring defense of 64.2 ppg ranks third in the Patriot League, with their .341 three point field goal percentage also third best in the PL. Lafayette is 2-6 on the road this season, with their two wins coming against Long Island and Penn.

Hadavi Heating Up... American senior guard Tala Hadavi has been on fire in her last three contests, capped with her career-day against Navy on Tuesday. Hadavi scored a career-high 24 points against the Mids, hitting five three-pointers which was also a career-best. Hadavi also grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds- all on the defensive glass for her first career double-double. In the two games previous to that, she scored 18 and 20 points to lead the Eagles. Hadavi's 14.0 points per game has her ranked sixth in the PL.
Guarding the Arc... Lafayette's third-ranked three point field goal percentage (.341) could spell doom for the Eagles who own the conference's worst three point field goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot 35%. In their last outing, Navy scored 30 points on threes, shooting 10-22 (45.5%) and 54% in the second half.
AU vs The Patriot League... American owns an 60-38 record all-time against the Patriot League and a 37-31 record in their four seasons of league play. AU is 1-5 this season, losing to Navy on Tuesday.

Eagle Snap Shots:
• Still on the Glass: American has two players ranked in the top-five in the conference in rebounding with junior Abby Lipskis' 6.6 rpg ranked fourth and freshman Tish Curry's 6.4 rpg fifth among all PL players.
• Scoring First: American has scored first in four out of their last five games, with the lone exception coming vs. Army.

• AU Shines From the Line: AU shot 62.5 percent from the line against Navy, by far their best effort this season. The Eagles were led by Tish Curry's 6 of 7 shooting from the charity stripe.

• An AU Win Would: Give American its first home conference win of the season ... up AU head coach Melissa McFerrin's record against Leopards 3-0 ... keep AU undefeated at home against Lafayette.