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WOMEN'S HOOPS SNAPS SKID; UPHENDS AMERICAN, 56-47
WASHINGTON ó The American University womenís basketball team dropped its fourth straight game, 56-47, to UMBC. The loss was AUís first in Bender Arena this season. After trailing by five at halftime, the Eagles (6-6) used strong defense to climb back into the game and take a lead midway through the second half. AU could not hold on, as the Retrievers (3-7) stormed back and made their free throws down the stretch to seal the victory. Katryn Costenbader led American with 18 points and Chanel Spriggs grabbed seven rebounds for AU while earning four steals.
The Eagles had another slow start to the game, managing only eight points in the first 15 minutes as UMBC built an 12 point lead. Costenbader started an AU run with one of her four three-pointers and another basket to cut the margin to seven. Maria Werries hit a basket to make the score 20-15, but Christine Catalanotto drained a three to extend the lead back to eight for UMBC.
To close the half, Mariam Veppumthara scored three of her career-high eight points and Costenbader made another three to bring AU within two. As time expired in the half, Shalayna Johnson made a three-pointer to send the Retrievers to the break holding a 26-21 advantage.
As they have done often this season, the Eagles used solid defense to keep themselves in the game. UMBC went without a basket for the first 8:25 of the second half and American was able to bulid a seven-point lead as part of a 12-0 run.
Lara Seamon ended the drought for the Retrievers with a basket and Johnson scored two of her game-high 23 points to close the AU advantage to 33-30. A traditional three-point play by Jessie Brown tied the game at 37 and Johnson gave UMBC the lead for good with a lay-up with just under seven minutes to play.
The Retrievers stretched the lead to five with under two minutes left on a three-pointer by Johnson. AUís Angel McNatt answered with a three-pointer of her own to close the margin to 48-46, but the Eagles would get no closer. Just a 51 percent free throw shooting team for the season, UMBC made eight-of-10 from the stripe in the final 1:12 to clinch the victory.