Feb. 23, 2005
WASHINGTON - American University's women's basketball team improved to 12-14 overall and 7-6 in the Patriot League with a 65-50 win over Lehigh on Wednesday night.
The Eagles played a complete game, never letting up on offense and playing aggressive defense the entire 40 minutes to come away with the 15 point margin. AU owned leads of 16 and 21 points in the first and second halves, respectively, en route to locking up the win.
With a 10 point lead held over from the first half, American went on a 7-3 run in the opening minutes of the second half. Guard Angel Jordan (Glendale, Md./Newport School) continued her red-hot shooting, hitting a three pointer to put AU ahead by a 49-32 margin. The Eagles defense held Lehigh scoreless for almost four minutes until Mary Francis Hynoski scored two consecutive baskets for the Mountain Hawks. Eagle center Kim Salem (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) kept up her low post dominance of the first half, putting American up 59-40 on a layup.
American notched a 14-point lead in the final three and a half minutes in regulation when Lehigh started fouling, hoping to gain ground on the Eagle lead by forcing the league's worst free throw shooting team to make their shots from the charity stripe. Lehigh's early foul strategy did little more than delay the inevitable, as the Eagles shot a perfect 13-of-13 in the game, tying the school record set back in 1986 against George Washington.
The first half started with the two teams trading baskets until AU's rebounding and defense propelled the team to a 12-6 lead in the first five minutes. After a Mountain Hawk three-pointer cut the lead to three, Jordan began her assault on the offensive end of the floor, scoring nine points which were capped off by a three pointer to give American a 23-12 lead at the half-way point of the period. Lehigh attempted to close the lead but a late three-pointer by senior Chanel Hunt (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft) put the Eagles up 37-27 at the break.
AU used a well-balanced attack led by four seniors, including a team-high 16 points from Salem. Senior Joanna Barnes (Washington, D.C./Dunbar) had 14 points while Jordan added 12 and Hunt chipped in 11. Guard Damarah Rhymer (Colorado Springs, Colo./Widefield) grabbed seven rebounds and dished out eight assists on the night.
Lehigh's Jessica DePalo scored more than half of the Mountain Hawks' points with 27, while shooting 12-of-22 from the floor. The rest of the team shot 7-of-32, with Sara Ellis contributing nine points.
With an Army win tonight, AU remains a half game back of the Black Knights, as American heads into a crucial matchup with Navy on Saturday. American will wrap up the regular season on Feb. 26 when they travel to Annapolis for a 1 p.m. game.