The American University Eagles women’s basketball team (6-3) lost its final home game of the calendar year, falling to the Towson Tigers (9-1) 79-61.
The AU offense struggled to get going against a tough defensive team and the Eagles moved to 6-3 on the season. AU came out aggressive from the onset, but Towson didn’t have too much trouble getting points in the early going. On the other end, AU missed open looks as they went 4-9 from the floor with three turnovers. Towson took a 14-10 lead at the first media timeout.
The Towson pressure eventually began to gnaw at AU as senior Emily Fisher and sophomore Emily Johns each had a pair of bad turnovers. AU’s defense started to bend on the other end too, and the Eagles couldn’t stop the Tigers from draining a pair of 3s as Towson held a 21-12 lead. Senior Maddie Doring was a difference-maker early with five points, but too many Towson attempts at the rim caused her to pick up her second foul at the 4:07 mark.
From there, Towson maintained control of the game, at one point leading by 17 in the second quarter. Senior Jade Edwards responded with two free throws which cut AU’s deficit to ten. However, disaster struck when Edwards rolled her ankle and sat briefly next to Doring.
AU went into the intermission with a 39-24 deficit. AU shot 29 percent from the floor in the first half. Towson turned the ball over seven times to AU’s six but won the rebounding battle 19-15.
Towson came out of the half and threw the first punch with an 8-5 run. Doring picked up a foul and was forced to sit with three. AU punched back as Edwards was fouled on a shooting attempt and made both. Then a Doring rebound led to an Edwards jumper in transition to cut the Towson lead to 49-38.
After that, it was all downhill for AU which was forced to play catch up.
Edwards tried to buoy the Eagles offense down the stretch, but the defense was unable to get the necessary stops to put a run together. AU players, worn down from Towson’s defensive pressure, struggled to rotate to open Tigers players. Towson made the defense pay with layups and 3s. AU never got back within three possessions and fell to 6-3 on the season.
“It exposed a lot of things we need to be better at,” Doring said postgame. “We have to start better, especially in the second quarter.”
While AU played competitive basketball in the second half, the Eagles ultimately got outmatched in the second quarter and lost by 18 when the final buzzer sounded. There were many bright spots from tonight’s loss, with some negatives scattered along the way as well.
“It’s good for us to have this experience this early in the season,” head coach Megan Gebbia said. “So we know when we face teams like this, we know what we have to do better offensively in attacking the defense.”
AU will play Longwood in their fifth away game on Saturday at 1 p.m. EST.