American Looks To Make It Two In A Row Against Lehigh

American Looks To Make It Two In A Row Against Lehigh

Feb. 3, 2006

American University's women's basketball team will try to earn their first back-to-back win of the season on Saturday when they travel to Bethlehem, Pa., to take on Lehigh at Stabler Arena. The Eagles and Mountain Hawks tip at 5 p.m. Fans who cannot make it to Stabler Arena can tune into and listen to the game for free.

Matchup: American (5-15, 2-5 PL) At Lehigh (7-12, 2-4 PL) Tip: 4:30 p.m.
Site: Stabler Arena
Series: AU leads 10-5

Notes on the matchup:
AU at Lehigh Notes

Inside the Series: American owns a 10-5 series advantage over the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh took the last meeting, a 60-41 win at Bender Arena in which they held the Eagles to 12 points in the first half. American holds a 3-2 record on the road against Lehigh.

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. Sue Troyan heads up the Mountain Hawks, with a 107-87-1 record coming into this season. This year her squad owns a 7-12 overall record and 2-4 record in the Patriot League..

The Story: American enters into today's contest with a 5-15 overall record and a 2-5 conference mark after winning their last time out, a one point victory over Lafayette at home. American comes to Stabler Arena looking to avenge this season's earlier loss in which the Mountain Hawks outscored the Eagles 31-12 in the first half. American came out more composed in the second half and managed to tie Lehigh in scoring, 29-29, but the first half deficit was too much to overcome. Like she has all season, senior guard Tala Hadavi leads the Eagles in scoring, racking up 14.3 ppg. Junior Tara Williams is second with 9.8, while freshman Tish Curry leads the Eagles in rebounding with 6.5 rpg. Curry is sixth among PL leads in the rebounding, with Abby Lipskis seventh (6.4 rpg). Freshman Sahar Nusseibeh is coming off a career game against Lafayette in which she scored a career-high 22 points and had 12 rebounds, tying her career best.

Scouting Lehigh: The Mountain Hawks enter into today's game on a four game skid after losing an overtime tilt against Colgate Wednesday night. Before that the Mountain Hawks dropped games to Bucknell, at Lafayette and at home against Holy Cross. Lehigh owns a 7-13 record overall and a 2-5 mark in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks feature two of the PL's top-three scorers in Jenny Callan and Sara Ellis. Callan averages 15.4 ppg, while grabbing 11.8 rebounds per contest, which ranks her tops in eight team conference. Ellis' 15.1 ppg is third in the PL, with Adrienne Blount scoring 12.8 per game and grabbing 7.6 rpg. The last time the two team's met Blount lit the Eagles up for 19 points on 7-12 shooting while Callan scored 14 points and seven rebounds. Ellis finished with 13 points with Claire Sullivan dishing out 10 assists. Lehigh owns a 6-5 record at Stabler this season, including a 1-3 mark in the conference.

Nusseibeh Enjoys Career Day... AU freshman forward Sahar Nusseibeh had a career day for the Eagles against Lafayette. The Uniontown, Ohio, native scored a career-high 22 points against the Leopards and tied a career-best in rebounding with 12 for her second double-double of the season. Nusseibeh was impressive on the floor, shooting 10-13.
Freshman Experience... After losing six seniors from last year's squad head coach Melissa McFerrin knew the five freshmen that comprised her first recruiting class would see serious numbers in their first year. So far the freshman have a total of 43 starts between them and have averaged 23.24 minutes per game. Pam Stanfield leads the rookies in playing time, averaging 25.3 minutes per game. Those numbers would be even higher but first year guard Nicole Ryan has not played since the ninth game of the season due to a leg injury.
AU vs The Patriot League... American owns an 61-38 record all-time against the Patriot League and a 38-31 record in their four seasons of league play. AU is 2-5 this season, winning its last game at home against Lafayette.

Eagle Snap Shots:
• Halfway Home: American's game against Lehigh marks the start of the second-half of the PL season.

• Paybacks: Head Coach Melissa McFerrin was 2-2 in the latter half of the season against teams that the Eagles lost to in the first half of the conference season in her first year at American.

• Glass Duo: The AU freshman duo of Sahar Nusseibeh and Tish Curry are tied for seventh in league play in rebouning, with each of them averaging 6.7 rpg.

• An AU Win Would: Give American its second away conference win of the season ... even up Melissa McFerrin's record against the Mountain Hawks (2-2) ... give AU its first back-to-back wins of the 2005-06 season.