Jan. 28, 2006
WASHINGTON - After going down by as much as seven in the second half, American University rallied to earn their first conference home win of the season in dramatic fashion with a 75-74 victory over Lafayette on Saturday.
Lafayette clung to a 74-71 lead with one minute remaining in regulation, which was cut to one after freshman Pam Stanfield (College Park, Md./Riverdale Baptist) hit two free throws. After AU's defense forced a turnover with 24 seconds remaining, AU head coach Melissa McFerrin called a timeout to put together a play.
Stanfield gave the Eagles a one point lead (75-74) with eight seconds left when she grabbed an offensive board and immediately put the shot back up. After a Lafayette timeout, the Leopards had 5.4 seconds left to get a shot off but the AU defense tightened under the basket forcing a walk with 1.4 showing on the game clock.
The second half started with AU holding on to a three point lead which they held on to through the first media timeout. Lafayette tied the game at 47-47 on a Lindsay Myers jumper, in which she was fouled and then took a one point lead after Myers completed the three-point play. The two teams traded buckets, including a couple of three pointers and the game was knotted up at 53-53 with 11:14 to play.
Lafayette held a 67-60 lead with just over six minutes to play after scoring seven consecutive points. AU came back, cutting the lead to one on a Sahar Nusseibeh (Uniontown, Ohio/North Canton Hoover) layup.
Lafayette jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first frame after the iron proved to be unkind to the Eagles who started off shooting 1-5 from the field. A Tala Hadavi (three pointer put AU back four but Lafayette junior Kara Stetler answered with a three of her own for her eighth point of the game. A 7-0 run by the Eagles gave the home squad their first lead of the game capped off by an Alicia Zorzetto (Niagara Falls, Ontario/A.N. Myer) turn- around jumper with just over eight to play.
The two teams went back and forth over the next five minutes with American taking a two point lead but Lafayette answering to tie the game. A Stetler three pointer gave the Leopards the lead but the Eagles strung together seven straight points gave AU a 38-33 lead with 20 seconds to go. Hadavi led the Eagles with 13 points at the break while Stetler was a perfect 6-6, including 5-5 from beyond the arc for the Leopards.
Nusseibeh led the Eagles with a career-high 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the year. Hadavi finished with 19 points, while Tara Williams (Newport News, Va./Heritage) had 15 before fouling out. Stetler finished with 26 points on the night after shooting 90 percent from the floor. Myers chipped in 16 points for the Leopards.
American finished the game shooting 46 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the three point line. American crushed the Leopards under the boards, 47-28.
AU will get a week layoff before taking on Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. on Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.