Women's Basketball Hosts Holy Cross On Saturday

Women's Basketball Hosts Holy Cross On Saturday

Feb. 17, 2006

Matchup: American (6-18, 3-8 PL)
vs Holy Cross (12-12, 8-3 PL)
Tip: 4:30 p.m.
Site: Bender Arena
Series: Holy Cross leads 9-1
Broadcast: www.AUEagles.com

Notes on the matchup:
AU vs Holy Cross Notes

Inside the Series: Holy Cross comes into Bender boasting a 9-1 series advantage over the Eagles. Earlier in this season the Crusaders defeated American 59-55 at home. AU's lone win against Holy Cross was a 81-65 win at home on 2/20/04.

The Coaching Matchup: American is headed up by Melissa McFerrin, who is in her second season with the Eagles. McFerrin's squad owns a 6-18 record, 3-8 in the Patriot League after dropping a 73-49 road game to the first place Army Black Knights on Tuesday. Bill Gibbons has led the Crusaders to a 12-12 record this season and a 8-3 mark in the Patriot League. Gibbons owns a 405-184 in his 21 seasons at the helm of the Holy Cross program.

The Story: American enters into today's contest with a 6-18 overall mark and on a three-game skid after losing to first place Army in West Point on Tuesday. The Eagles are currently in a tie for seventh place in the Patriot League with Lehigh, with the two teams splitting their two games this season. AU has been struggling on both sides of the ball as of late, with the Eagles hurting due to unfortunate injuries to upperclassmen Tala Hadavi and Abby Lipskis. Filling in for the injured Eagles have been Melissa McFerrin's first recruiting class, five talented freshman. Four of those freshman started the last two games, with Sahar Nusseibeh earning her third career double-double against the Black Knights. Tish Curry has led the Eagles are on the boards since Lipskis' injury, averaging 7.2 rebounds per game over the last seven games. American is 1-4 overall at home in conference games this season, with their lone win comign against Lafayette on Jan. 28.

Scouting Holy Cross: The Crusaders are in third place in the PL with an 8-3 record and just one game out of a tie for first place. Holy Cross is on a two-game win streak after downing Bucknell and Navy at home. The Crusaders have played their last three contests at the Hart Center, with today's game starting a two-game road swing that has them at Colgate next Tuesday. The Crusaders are led offensively by Kaitlin Foley, who is averaging 14.4 ppg this season, who is ranked fifth among all PL players. Brittany Keil and Shannon Bush are each averaging over 10 ppg, with Keil leading the team on the glass with 6.4 rebounds per game. Sophomore point guard Laura Aloisi has been solid for Coach Gibbons, recording team highs in steals (50) and assists (98). Holy Cross is 4-6 overall and 3-2 in conference road games this season. Five out of Holy Cross' losses this season have come to teams ranked in the Top-25.

Frosh Nets Third D-D... AU freshman Sahar Nusseibeh earned her team-leading third double-double of the season in the Eagles loss at Army. Nusseibeh was the lone Eagle to score in double digits against the Black Knights with 13 points. She also led American in rebounding with 10 boards in 32 minutes of work.Tish Curry and Tala Hadavi are the only other Eagles to have double-doubles this season.

Winning AU Trends... In AU's six wins this season the Eagles have had four players average in double figures for scoring, averaged 44.2 rebounds per game and committed 15.2 turnovers per contest. In the team's losses, the Eagles have had just one player average double-digit scoring, grabbed 35.3 rebounds and committed 20.6 turnovers. In AU's first meeting with Holy Cross two players scored in double-digits, the team recorded 43 rebounds and committed 21 turnovers.

AU vs The Patriot League... American owns an 62-41 record all-time against the Patriot League and a 39-34 record in their four seasons of league play. AU is 3-8 this season, losing its last game to Army.

Eagle Snap Shots:
• Rookie PL Scoring: AU Freshman Sahar Nusseibeh has scored in double digits in eight out of 11 conference games this season.
• 100+ Points: Only two American players have scored 100-plus points this season, with Tala Hadavi scoring a team-high 146 points and Sahar Nusseibeh scoring 126.
• The All-Important Half: In each of the Eagles wins this season, AU has led at the half, but they have lost every game in which their opponent leads at the break.
• Missing In Action: The Eagles will be without leading scorere Tala Hadavi for the third straight game after the senior suffered a knee injury during practice before the Colgate game.
• An AU Win Would: Break AU's three-game losing skid ... give Melissa McFerrin her first win against Holy Cross ... give AU it's first win over the Crusaders since the 2003-04 season.