Feb. 19, 2005
WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team put together a 20-10 run between the 16:29 and 6:04 marks of the second half to erase a 10-point deficit, and then outlasted visiting Lafayette College down the stretch for a 58-56 victory Saturday in Bender Arena.
With the win, American moves to 11-14 overall, 6-6 in the Patriot League, one-half game behind Army for the third seed in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament. The Black Knights square off against seventh-place Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa., tonight at 7 p.m. As it stands, American grabbed sole possession of fourth place from Colgate, who lost to first place Holy Cross today, 80-74.
Senior forward Chanel Hunt's (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft) three-point play with 6:04 remaining vaulted the Eagles into a 43-43 tie. American then took advantage of consecutive turnovers by the Leopards, capitalizing with a jumper by Joanna Barnes (Washington, D.C./Dunbar) and a layup by Abby Lipskis (Norfolk, Va./Norfolk Collegiate), which gave the hosts their first lead since the 13:30 mark of the first period.
However, Lafayette would not go away. The Leopards, down four with 4:02 left in the second stanza, sandwiched a pair of layups by Shannon Dorsey around a Brianne Welte free throw to retake the lead, 52-51, with 3:15 left. Lafayette traded a pair of free throws with an American layup to make the score 54-53.
Hunt then strapped the Eagles on her back with a clutch performance over the final minute. She ripped a two-point lead back from the Leopards with another three-point play with 55 ticks left, and then hauled in a defensive rebound on the ensuing possession. Hunt found Barnes off the board, and Barnes was fouled and hit both her free throws to put American up, 58-54.
The Leopards managed to get back within two points with 11 seconds left on a jumper by Lindsay Myers and had a chance to tie in the waning moments after Hunt missed a pair of free throws with seven seconds left, but the Eagles stifling defense did not allow Lafayette to even get a shot off.
American won for only the second time this season when being outshot by its opponent. The Eagles hit 20-of-60 field goal attempts (33 percent), while the Leopards managed 38.5 percent shooting. The Eagles gained a huge advantage from their bench, outscoring Lafayette in bench points, 32-10. Hunt, Lipskis and Kim Salem (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) each had 13 points. Lipskis' 13 points were a career-high. Hunt tallied a team-high nine rebounds in just 22 minutes. Despite struggling with her shooting (1-12), Barnes added eight rebounds, six points and five assists.
The Eagles return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 23, when they host second-place Lehigh at 7 p.m.