Game 27 · American (18-8, 14-1 PL) at Holy Cross (16-10, 8-7 PL)
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 · 6:05 p.m. · Worcester, Mass. (Hart Center)
All-Time Record: Holy Cross leads, 22-18
Stream: Patriot League Network on Watch Stadium
WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team (18-8, 14-1 PL) will look to defend its No. 1 position in the Patriot League this week, starting with the final road game of the regular season on Wednesday with a 6:05 p.m. tip at Holy Cross (16-10, 8-7 PL).
The Eagles took over the top spot in the league over the weekend after the Crusaders stunned the then-No. 1 Bucknell Bison with a buzzer-beater, 61-60.
- Holy Cross remains the only Patriot League team to lead the series against AU with a 22-18 overall record. The Crusaders opened the series with an 11-1 run from 2000-06, starting with a one-point victory (61-60) on Jan. 22, 2000.
- The Eagles hit a run of their own from 2010-12, winning seven consecutive games before falling in the 2012 Patriot League semifinal, 67-52. Last season was the first sweep for AU against Holy Cross since 2012.
- American is on a three-game winning streak against the Crusaders after defending home court on Jan. 30 with a 70-58 final score.
- Head Coach Megan Gebbia is currently 5-6 against Holy Cross since she arrived at AU in 2013-14.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
- For the 12th consecutive game, AU controlled the final 10 minutes en route to its 14th consecutive victory as a 21-11 fourth-quarter run pulled the Eagles to a 67-57 win over Lafayette.
- Senior Cecily Carl once again paced AU with her seventh 20+ point performance in the last eight games, scoring 24 to bring her average to 24.8 ppg since the restart of conference play.
- Senior Elina Koskimies also found herself back in double-figures with 18 points off 5-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-9 from the perimeter as she marks her 32nd consecutive game with at least one trey.
- Carl now sits atop the conference rankings alongside Army's Madison Hovren with 17.9 ppg in PL play.
- AU took over the top spot in the league outright with Bucknell's loss to Holy Cross.
SCOUTING THE CRUSADERS
- Holy Cross comes into the midweek matchup off a thrilling upset victory over the then-No. 1 Bucknell Bison.
- Madalyn Smith hit the off-balance buzzer-beater as the clock expired to give the Crusaders the 61-60 victory and snap Bucknell's 12-game winning streak.
- Avery LaBarbera led Holy Cross with 16 points followed by 12 points and nine rebounds for Lauren Manis, and 11 points from Megan Swords.
- Manis continues to lead the team in scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (11.3 rpg) while Smith is the top distributor (3.8 apg).
- Smith also leads the PL in 3pt. percentage since the start of conference play (.451).
- Since Ann McInerney took over as interim head coach, the Crusaders have hit a 5-1 run with a loss only to Army, 60-53.
LAST TIME OUT
- Another strong fourth quarter, and a third-consecutive +20-point performance for senior Cecily Carl, pulled AU to its 14th consecutive win on Saturday with a 67-57 victory over Lafayette.
- Carl continues to dominate in the latter half of the conference schedule as she paced the Eagles with 24 points off 8 of 14 from the field, 2 of 5 from 3-point range, and a near-perfect 6 of 7 from the line.
- Senior Elina Koskimies joined her in double-figures for the first time in six games, scoring 18 points off 5 of 11 from the field, 4 of 9 from the perimeter, and a perfect 4 of 4 from the line to bump up to a .932 free throw shooting percentage on the season.
- Junior Kaitlyn Marenyi rounded out the double-figure scoring with 10 points while pitching in a team-high four assists alongside Koskimies.
- The Eagles had one of their strongest starts in recent games with a 10-2 run behind a pair of treys from Koskimies in the opening minutes.
- Lafayette responded in kind, though, going on an 8-0 run in the final two minutes of the first quarter to knot the score at 17-17 heading into the second.
- The two teams went back-and-forth over the next two quarters, with Lafayette gaining a 37-35 lead heading into halftime before another tight race in the third tied the score at 46-46 after the third.
- The Eagles dominated the final 10 minutes, though, as a 21-11 run earned them the 67-57 win.
MID-MAJOR TOP 25
American was back in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 on Feb. 5 after dropping out of the rankings since Nov. 20.
The Eagles landed at No. 25 on Feb. 5 and bumped up to No. 20 on Tuesday (Feb. 19).
The team opened the season at No. 24 and landed as high as 19th before the loss to Denver knocked them out of the poll.
The Eagles will return home for their final pair of regular season games, starting with a 2 p.m. tipoff against No. 2 Bucknell on Saturday for senior day. AU will close the regular season at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against Navy.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.