WORCESTER, Mass. - A double-double from junior Cecily Carl helped lift the American University women's basketball team to an overtime victory over Holy Cross on Wednesday, 68-63.
The Eagles continue their undefeated run at 9-0 in the Patriot League, 16-4 overall, while the Crusaders fall to 4-5 in the conference and 9-11 for the season.
This was the first victory for AU against Holy Cross since Jan. 3, 2015, and the first time the Eagles won out on the Crusaders' home court since Feb. 1, 2014.
Cecily Carl walked away with her sixth double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and leading the team on the glass with 13 rebounds. Senior Emily Kinneston led with 18 points while sophomore Katie Marenyi contributed a team-high six assists - a new career-high.
The Eagles had their lowest shooting percentages since Navy (Jan. 5), shooting 36.9 percent (24-65) from the floor and 24.0 percent from the perimeter (6-25). They had their best performance on the boards since Army West Point (Jan. 8), bringing down 40 rebounds.
The Crusaders were led by a pair of double-double efforts from Lauren Manis (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Infiniti Thomas-Waheed (15 points, 12 rebounds). Tricia Byrne joined them in double-figures with 14 points after shooting 4-for-4 from three-point range.
Holy Cross shot 39.1 percent from the field (25-64), 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (7-22), and hit one of their lowest percentages of the season from the charity stripe at 54.5 percent (6-11). The Crusaders led the Eagles on the boards with a season-high 47 rebounds.
The Crusaders jumped to an early lead, gapping the Eagles by 12 points with four minutes left in the first quarter after 10-0 run. Junior Elina Koskimies' first of two treys of the night cut that deficit back down to nine and sent AU on a 13-1 to close the quarter with an 18-18 tie.
AU took a 2-point lead on the first possession of the second quarter off a quick layup from senior Maria Liddane. A three from sophomore TaeKenya Cleveland brought that lead up to four points before five unanswered points by Holy Cross' Byrne and Jenay Faulkner put the Crusaders back ahead.
Holy Cross maintained the lead until the final seconds of the half as both teams hit a four-minute drought. A pair of layups by Liddane and Koskimies closed the stanza with AU back ahead, 31-30.
The Eagles held their momentum for most of the third quarter, with Holy Cross tying the game briefly at 35-35. Koskimies' final trey of the night gave AU one of its largest lead of the game at 43-35, and the Eagles closed with the stanza with a seven-point advantage, 47-40.
American looked to be in control of the game early in the fourth quarter after a pair of three's from Carl and Kinneston put the Eagles up by nine, 52-43. But late perimeter shots from Byrne put Holy Cross back in the hunt, and a set of free throws by Thomas-Waheed tied the game at 57-57 with just over a minute in regulation.
Neither team was able to capitalize in the final possessions of the fourth quarter, sending the Eagles into their third overtime period of the season, and the Crusaders into their fourth.
Kinneston and Marenyi led the charge for AU during extra time, putting up eight points and three points, respectively, to give the Eagles their 11-6 run to close the game.
American returns home on Saturday to host Colgate at 2 p.m. in Bender Arena. Tickets for this and all AU home basketball games can be purchased here. AU students are admitted free to all home games with an AU ID.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.