Feb. 18, 2006
WASHINGTON - American University's women's basketball team suffered a 74-55 loss to the defending champion Holy Cross today at Bender Arena.
Holy Cross held a nine point lead in the second half and continued to expand on their margin, leading the entire final frame to cruise to a 19 point win.
Already in charge of a nine point lead the Crusaders came out in the second half and hit two three pointers, expanding their lead to 41-29 four minutes in. Back by 12 with 14:06 showing on the clock, AU's Tara Williams (Newport News, Va./Heritage) had a shot at converting a three-point play after getting fouled on a layup but could not get the free throw to fall. Williams made good on the next AU possession, driving to the hoop and hitting a layup put the Eagles back by eight.
Holy Cross continued to play strong on the offensive end of the court, opening up a 54-39 lead with eight minutes left in regulation. The Eagles tried to get back into it down the stretch but their defense could not slow the Crusader advance, with Holy Cross taking the 74-55 win.
After going down 4-0 early to the Crusaders AU took its first lead of the game after scoring three straight buckets, two off of Holy Cross miscues. A Crusader three pointer gave the visitors a 7-6 edge but Eagle freshman Pam Stanfield (College Park, Md./Riverdale Baptist) hit her third shot in the first four minutes to regain the American lead. Holy Cross launched a 11-5 run over the next six minutes to hold a 18-15 lead.
Nicole Ryan (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater) finished with a team high16 points on the afternoon, tying her career-high while playing 24 minutes, the most since coming back from her injury three games ago. Williams and Stanfield each finished 10 points on the night. Tish Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Woodrow Wilson) and Talicia Jackson (Minneapolis, Minn./De La Salle) led all players on the glass with nine boards apiece.
Holy Cross' Kaitlin Floey led all scorers with 22 points, with Laura Aloisi and Jessica Conte scoring in double digits. Holy Cross shot 53 percent from the floor during the contest.
AU closed to within 23-21 but Holy Cross strung together eight unanswered points to expand their lead to 31-21, with the AU offense failing to score for a span of over seven minutes. At the end of 20 minutes of play, the third place Crusaders held a 33-24 lead.
The Eagles fall to 6-19 overall and 3-9 in the PL, Holy Cross improves to 13-12, 9-3 in the conference.
AU is back at home against Navy on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.