March 18, 2009
Teams: American (19-11, 9-5 PL) at James Madison (23-9, 14-4 CAA)
Date & Location: Friday, March 20, 7:00 p.m.; JMU Convocation Center, Harrisonburg, Pa.
WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team will travel to Harrisonburg, Va., this Friday, March 20, to face James Madison in the first round of the WNIT. This is one of 16 first round matchups in the 48-team WNIT field.
AU is making its second-consecutive postseason appearance. This marks the first time in program history that AU has earned postseason bids in back-to-back years. Last season, the Eagles fell 53-52 to Villanova in the first round of the WNIT.
This is the fourth time in program history that AU has reached postseason play. The Eagles also made WNIT appearances in 1973, 1998 and 2008.
Three American student-athletes have been rewarded with spots on the All-Patriot League Teams. 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.
AU finished in second place in the regular season of the Patriot League. The Eagles were defeated by Lafayette in the PL Tournament Quarterfinals, 58-56.
James Madison finished with a 23-9 record, including a 14-4 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes were the third seed in the CAA Tournament, and lost 64-58 in the finals to top-seeded Drexel.
News and Notes
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 3.20 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 159. 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 121. The record of 114 was previously held by Chanel Hunt, `05.
Charity Stripe Success: Nicole Ryan and Liz Leer are in the process of record-setting years from the free throw line. They currently have the top two single-season percentages in AU history (Ryan-.878, Leer-.867).
Ryan from Downtown: Ryan has 62 made three-pointers this season, placing her third on the all-time AU list. Her 2006-07 mark of 61 threes is good for fourth in AU history.
Sophomore Sensation: All-Patriot League First Team selection Michelle Kirk ranks fifth in the conference in scoring at 13.8 points per game.
Shooting with a High Percentage: AU sophomore Liz Leer leads the Patiot League in field goal percentage at 55.3 percent.
Block Party: Leer has recorded 61 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 367 assists, which ranks her third all-time at AU. Stanfield's 109 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.
Inside the Series Versus James Madison
This is the 48th all-time meeting between the two teams with James Madison holding a 37-10 advantage. The Dukes have won the last eight head-to-head matchups. The most recent meeting took place on December 28, 2004, a 63-61 James Madison win.
AU recorded its last win against the Dukes on January 1, 1999 by the score of 61-59.