LEWISBURG, Pa. - A fourth quarter battle fell just short for the Eagles Friday night, as they fell to Bucknell in the Patriot League Tournament Semifinal, 69-57.
The American University women's basketball team closes its 2016-17 campaign with a 15-16 overall record and No. 4 in the Patriot League regular season. Bucknell will move on to the Championship game as the No. 1 seed after a 26-5 season. They will take on Navy at 11 a.m. on Sunday in Sojka Pavilion.
Three Eagles put up double-figure efforts, starting with the 12-point performance of junior Maria Liddane, who also led the team on the boards with eight rebounds. Sophomore Cecily Carl and junior Emily Kinneston both added another ten points, and Kinneston contributed a team-high seven assists.
AU shot 37.5 percent from the floor, 44.4 percent from the line, brought down 30 rebounds and gave up a season-low five rebounds for the night.
The Bison were led by five double-figure games, starting with the double-double from Claire DeBoer who put up a game-high 14 points and ten rebounds. Sune Swart added another 13 points followed by a dozen from both Kaitlyn Slagus and Kyi English, and Kate Walker contributed ten off the bench.
Bucknell shot 47.2 percent from the field, 87.5 percent from the line, and brought down 40 rebounds.
The Eagles came out strong in the first quarter, building an early lead before a late trey from Bucknell's Gia Hayes put them behind by two heading into the first break, 17-15.
A strong defensive effort from Kinneston held the PL Player of the Year, Claire DeBoer, to only two shots and no baskets during the first half. But a seven-point second quarter by the Eagles but them behind, 29-22, heading into halftime.
The Eagles cut into the Bison's lead throughout the early portion of the third period with a pair of baskets from senior Lauren Crisler and a layup by sophomore Elina Koskimies putting AU within five. The Bison responded, though, with a run of their own, shooting 10-0 to build up to their largest lead of the game, 45-30.
A pair of treys from freshman Katie Marenyi and Carl, and a final-second layup from Liddane, brought American back within nine heading into the final break at 38-47. From there, it was a battle between the two teams, with AU coming as close as six off of a trey from Koskimies. But missed layups down the stretch haunted the Eagles as the Bison pulled away to end with a 12-point lead at 57-69.
Junior Emily Kinneston was one of five women selected to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team, as released by the League office on Sunday, March 12. Kinneston led the Eagles in their win over No. 5 Boston University during the Quarterfinal Round on March 6, tallying a game-high 19 points. She was the No. 2 scorer for the Eagles during the Semifinal game against No. 1 Bucknell, hitting ten points and leading the team with seven assists. Out of the two tournament games, Kinneston averaged 14.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 6 apg.
Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team
Claire DeBoer, Bucknell - MVP
Sune Swart, Bucknell
Sarita Condie, Navy
Emily Kinneston, American
Madison Hovren, Army
For the latest on AU Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.