WASHINGTON - It came down to the wire on Saturday for the American University women's basketball team as the Eagles earned their 12th straight victory with a gritty fourth quarter against Lehigh, 50-47.
The Eagles rise to 16-8 overall, 12-1 in the Patriot League, while the Mountain Hawks now sit at 15-9 overall, 7-6 in the league.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- For the fourth time in five games, senior Cecily Carl paced the squad with a +20-point performance, scoring an even 20 off 7 of 16 from the field and a perfect 6 of 6 from the line.
- Freshman Jade Edwards closed with her second career double-double, scoring 12 points while bringing down a team-high 10 rebounds.
- Senior Elina Koskimies stretched her run to 30 consecutive games with a trey after sinking the team's lone three in the early minutes of the game.
- Camryn Buhr paced the Mountain Hawks with 23 points followed by 10 from Gena Grundhoffer. Buhr added a game-high 11 boards to complete the double-double.
- Both teams struggled from the perimeter - the Eagles hit only 1 of 21 while the Mountain Hawks were held to 2 of 16.
- AU closed the game with 30.8 percent shooting from the floor (16-52) and 73.9 percent from the charity stripe (17-23) while Lehigh hit 34.5 percent from the field (19-55) and 63.6 percent from the line (7-11).
- AU held the advantage in points off turnovers, 19-10, points in the paint, 26-20, and bench points, 10-2, while giving up only eight turnovers to Lehigh's 13.
- American fell to an early deficit as Lehigh hit an opening 7-1 run over the first 6:00 before a jumper from Carl ended the drought.
- Koskimies' lone trey of the day spurred on a 9-2 closing run for the Eagles as they took their first lead of the game to close the stanza, 13-12.
- Edwards opened the second quarter with a quick four points, converting a pair of steals into transition points to lead the Eagles on an 8-2 run to pick up a 20-15 lead midway through the stanza.
- Both teams hit a dry spell over the next 4:00, though, before another bucket from Edwards put the Eagles up by five with under two minutes left in the half. Lehigh responded with a jumper in kind, sending the teams into the locker room at 22-17.
- The 22 points ties for the lowest first-half point tally for American so far this year. The 17 points from the Mountain Hawks is the second-lowest first-half performance for an AU performance this season - Tulsa, UMBC and Boston University were all held to 15 points in the first half earlier in the season.
- The Eagles had a strong start to the second half, picking up their largest lead of the game at 26-17 after a pair of baskets from Edwards and Carl.
- Lehigh found its rhythm after a trey from Gena Grundhoffer opened a 12-0 run midway through the quarter, putting the Eagles a ta 31-28 deficit before a layup from Carl closed the gap back down to one.
- A free throw from junior Kaitlyn Marenyi tied the game at 31-31, but another four points from Lehigh gave the Mountain Hawks a 35-33 edge heading into the final 10 minutes.
- Lehigh continued building its lead early in the fourth quarter, picking up a seven-point cushion at 40-33 before a pair of free throws from Koskimies halted the run.
- The two teams matched basket-for-basket over the next 2:30 as AU struggled to cut into the two-possession advantage.
- Momentum shifted, though, in the final 90 seconds after a key defensive stop from the Eagles ended with a steal for Marenyi. She was fouled on the layup on the other end of the floor and hit the and one to cut the lead down to 43-42.
- Another foul, this time on Edwards after a defensive rebound, put the freshman on the line where she went 2-for-2 to pick up a 44-43 lead.
- A jumper put the Mountain Hawks back up by one before another set of free throws from Carl and Marenyi put AU up, 48-45 with 15 seconds left on the clock.
- Lehigh cut that lead back down to one but another late foul put Carl on the line where she hit both shots to secure the 50-47 win.
The Eagles will be back home on Wednesday, Feb. 20, for an 11:30 a.m. tilt against Boston University. The game will also serve as the team's annual Play4Kay Pink Day and Elementary School Day.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.
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