Jan. 21, 2006
Worcester, Mass. - American University came back from a 13 point second half deficit but the effort wasn't enough as the Eagles fell short to Holy Cross 59-55 at home on Saturday.
Down by three with 45 seconds to play in regulation, American had two chances to tie the game in that span but couldn't get the buckets to drop, ending AU's bid to win their first game in the Hart Center.
Holy Cross held on to a 58-55 lead after Tala Hadavi (Uppsala, Sweden/Vasalundsskolan) had a three pointer rim-out with 45 seconds remaining in regulation. American's defense held strong on the next Crusader possession forcing a turnover in the lane to give the Eagles 22 seconds to erase the five point deficit. Freshman Talicia Jackson (Minneapolis, Minn./De La Salle) set up and shot a three pointer that took a hard bounce off the iron, scooting out of bounds. A made free throw by Holy Cross after an American foul put the game out of reach for the Eagles
Holy Cross came out in the second half with a four point lead which quickly ballooned to nine points as the Crusaders found themselves ahead 40-31 with five minutes expired. AU found themselves back by 13 with 11:16 to go in regulation after Holy Cross' Shannon Bush scored seven consecutive points.
American would close the lead to 51-46 on eight straight points, five of which came from Hadavi. The Eagles continued their bid for the comeback, closing to within three when freshman Sahar Nusseibeh took a Hadavi pass in the post and layed it in.
The first half began with the two squads trading the lead back and forth through the first eight minutes of the game. AU took a 15-13 lead at the 12:08 mark on a Sahar Nusseibeh (Unionyoen, Ohio/North Canton Hoover) layup but lost it briefly before going back on top with eight minutes to go. A myriad of traveling calls gave the Crusaders the ball again and again with the defending PL champs building a 26-22 lead at the end of the first frame. Brittany Keil led all scorers at the break, tallying 12 points for Holy Cross.
Hadavi led all scorers with 18 points. Nusseibeh finished with a career-highs in points and rebounds with 13 and 12, respectively.
Keil's 16 points and 10 rebounds were tops for the Crusaders. Shannon Bush also finished with 15 points.
The two teams committed a combined 41 turnovers with American holding a 43-35 edge in rebounding. The Eagles shot 35 percent from the floor as Holy Cross finished shooting 39 percent.