March 5, 2009
Teams: American (19-10, 9-5) vs. Lafayette (8-21, 2-12)
Date & Location: Saturday, March 7, 5:00 p.m.; Stabler Arena, Bethlehem, Pa.
Web: Patriot League All-Access
WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team will begin play in the 2009 Patriot League Tournament this Saturday, March 11, as the No. 2 seed against seventh-seeded Lafayette. The game will be played at Lehigh's Stabler Arena, and can be seen live on Patriot League All-Access. Tip is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
The Eagles earned the second seed in the tournament by capturing with a 9-5 conference record. AU has defeated Lafayette twice this season, including a 75-54 home victory on Saturday, March 4 in the teams' final regular season contest of the year. In the first meeting this season, which took place on January 31st, American beat the Leopards 72-61 at Lafayette's Kirby Sports Center.
This marks the 23rd meeting in the all-time series between American and Lafayette. American holds a 19-3 advantage, including a five-game winning streak against the Leopards. This is the first time the two squads have met in Patriot League tournament history.
The American-Lafayette winner will square off against the Bucknell-Navy victor on Sunday, March 8 at 3:30 p.m. The game will also be played at Lehigh's Stabler Arena, and will be seen on Patriot League All-Access.
News and Notes
All-Patriot League Honors: Three American student-athletes have been rewarded with spots on the All-Patriot League Teams. Sophomore Michelle Kirk has been named to the All-Patriot League First Team. Freshman Ebony Edwards and Lisa Strack were recognized on the PL All-Rookie Team.
At the Half: The Eagles are 19-1 when entering the intermission ahead, but are 0-10 when trailing after the first 20 minutes of play.
Streaking Eagles: American has three separate four-game winning streaks this season.
Taking Care of the Rock: The Eagles lead the Patriot League in turnover margin. American averages 3.31 more turnovers forced than committed each game. American is ranked 46th in the country in this statistic.
Career Leader: Senior Talicia Jackson has become AU all-time leader in career three-pointers with 158. Jackson broke the previous three-point record of 147 held by Kari Gaskins, `99. Jackson is also the career all-time leader in games played with 119. The record of 114 was previously held by Chanel Hunt, `05.
Sophomore Sensation: Michelle Kirk ranks fourth in the Patriot League in scoring at 13.7 points per game.
Shooting With a High Percentage: AU sophomore Liz Leer is currently ranked 16th in the country in field goal percentage at 55.3 percent. She leads the Patriot League in this statistic.
Block Party: Leer has recorded 60 blocks for the Eagles this season, setting a new AU single-season record. Leer broke the previous record of 53 blocks set by Kirsten Keller during the 1992-93 season.
Leer's Breakout Performances: Leer had a career night with 18 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks in a 57-54 loss to Morgan State on Nov. 29 at Hill Field House. Leer's six blocks tied the AU single-game record, while her 14 rebounds set a career-high. It was the first 13+ rebound performance for an Eagle since Tish Curry recorded 18 against Navy in 2006. Leer currently ranks fourth all-time in career blocks (85) in just her second season in the red, white and blue. Leer tallied her second double-double of the season in the Eagles' 69-54 loss to Georgetown, in which she had 12 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Master of the Assist: Senior Pam Stanfield is steadily climbing up the charts in career assists. The Eagles point guard currently has 366 assists, which ranks her third all-time at AU. Stanfield's 108 assists this season places her eighth on AU's single-season list. Stanfield has two eight-assist performances this season. Her single-game career-high was 11, set on Feb. 21, 2006 against Navy.
Non-Conference Success: The 2008-09 season has marked the first-time American began conference play with 10 non-conference wins. Since joining the Patriot League in 2001, the Eagles have only had one winning record out of conference, which came in 2002-03 with a 7-6 mark.
Out of the Gate: The Eagles started the season with a perfect 3-0 record for the first time since the 2001-02 season. In that season, American opened the campaign with three straight wins over Marshall (89-87 OT), Southern (77-66) and Towson (69-60).
Inside the Series Versus Lafayette
All-Time Record: American Leads, 19-3
This Season's Series: W 72-61, 1/31/09 W 75-54, 2/28/09
On January 31st, American defeated the Leopards 72-61 at Lafayette's Kirby Sports Center. Senior Nicole Ryan led the Eagles with 17 points, while sophomore Michelle Kirk chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds.
The second meeting of the season took place on February 28th at American's Bender Arena. American prevailed with a 75-54 victory. Ryan paced the Eagles with 16 points. Liz Leer and Kirk scored in double-figures for AU with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Lafayette enters the contest in seventh place in the Patriot League with a 2-12 conference record. Lafayette lost its last 10 games in the regular season. Sophomore LeKeisha Wright leads the Leopards with 11.1 points per game, while senior Cristin Zavocki chips in 9.7 points per contest.