The AU women’s basketball team had no trouble defeating the Colgate University Raiders for the second time this season as they coasted to an 82-47 victory on Saturday at the annual Phil Bender event.
Liz Leer led the Eagles with a career-high 27 points to go along with eight rebounds, while Michelle Kirk and Lisa Strack contributed 14 points apiece. Krista Moser was the only Colgate player in double figures as she led the Raiders with 15 points.
“She took good shots and she knocked down the open shots that she had,” AU Head Coach Matt Corkery said of Leer’s performance. “I’m very proud of the way [Leer] played but also proud of our team as far as how they got her the ball.”
By scoring 82 points, AU registered its highest point total of the season. The previous high came against these same Raiders, when the Eagles totaled 80 points in a January victory.
“I think that the key today was our chemistry,” Leer said. “All of our shots were in rhythm and none of them were forced.”
Saturday’s game set a new women’s basketball attendance record as 1,291 fans attended the contest. The previous record was 1,177 set during a 2009 home game against Lehigh.
“I thought it was a great atmosphere,” Corkery said. “I thought the crowd brought a lot of energy and we really fed off of that.”
Ohemaa Nyanin scored the first four points of the contest to give the Eagles a lead they would never relinquish. With AU leading 10-7, Leer hit two of her career-high four triples to extend the lead to nine with 14:28 remaining in the first half.
Colgate cut the AU lead to 19-13 before the Eagles went on an 8-0 run, capped by a Raven Harris steal and layup. With her team leading 36-25 at the end of the first half, Leer hit two free throws to expand the AU advantage to 13 and give her 18 first-half points. The Eagles held a 38-26 lead at halftime.
Coming out of the locker room, AU went on a 15-5 run to take full control of the game and push the lead to 22. A Nyanin jumper with less than four minutes to play put the Eagles up 70-40 and Stephanie Anya tallied the final two points in the 82-47 victory. The 35-point margin of victory is the largest of the season for the Eagles.
For the game, AU shot a sizzling 51 percent from the field and 47 percent from three-point range. The Eagles also capitalized at the free throw line, hitting 20 of their 23 attempts.
AU was just as strong on the defensive end, forcing 20 turnovers in the game. Ebony Edwards had a game-high five steals, while Harris had four. Colgate shot 28 percent from the field and under 60 percent from the free-throw line.
With the win, the Eagles improved to 16-8 on the year and 9-1 in the conference, having now won 10 of their last 11 contests. The loss dropped Colgate to 9-15 overall and 4-6 in the league.
AU’s next game will be on the road against the Army Lady Knights on Wednesday, Feb. 17.