Women’s basketball falls to 0-6 in loss to Howard
The Eagles’ full-court press put them in striking distance, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their second-half deficit
The Bisons set the pace of the game immediately after tip-off by opening in a full-court press. However, Howard’s attempts to force early turnovers proved to be futile, as the Eagles advanced the ball across the court with ease throughout the first quarter. This, in large part, was thanks to the ball handling of junior guard Kayla Henning, who was able to dribble past Howard before their defense could get set up in the half court.
“We know we’re a fast-paced team that can break the press,” Henning said postgame. “With the ball in my hands, we can get the ball to our really fast wings and get up the floor pretty easily.”
Despite giving up a few easy baskets, AU remained in striking distance as the first quarter ended, entering the second quarter with a 5-point deficit. Junior forward Emily Johns found her rhythm early, scoring six of AU’s 12 points in the first quarter. She would finish the game as the Eagles’ leading scorer with 23 points.
American University’s second quarter featured a series of forced turnovers, as the Bisons intensified their on-ball pressure. The Eagles relinquished the ball eight times in the second quarter, allowing Howard to score 14 easy points in transition.
In addition to the Bisons’ swarming defense, their guards dismantled AU’s zone defense with a storm of 3-point shooting. Howard’s junior guard Destiny Howell and graduate guard Aziah Hudson combined for four threes in the second quarter, contributing to their 17-point lead going into the second half.
During the first seven minutes of the third quarter, the Eagles put pressure on Howard’s guards with a full-court press of their own. This new defensive look forced the Bisons to make bad passes in the backcourt, catalyzing two scoring runs that put the Eagles within 10 points at the end of the third quarter.
Despite AU’s strong third quarter, Howard overpowered the Eagles with 19 fourth-quarter points, including three late-game 3-pointers. AU struggled to respond to this scoring explosion, shooting just 24 percent from the field in the fourth quarter. Howard’s junior guard Howell sealed the win with a deep three from the left wing with one minute left in the game.
“We just had a let down today,” head coach Tiffany Coll said. “We played really well in our previous two games, we’re just inexperienced and inconsistent as we try to build a culture.”
The Eagles lost to the George Mason Patriots 59-71 on Saturday, Dec. 3.