Game 28 · American (19-8, 15-1 PL) vs. Bucknell (23-5, 14-2 PL)
Saturday, March 2, 2019 · 2 p.m. · Washington, D.C. (Bender Arena)
All-Time Record: American leads, 25-19
Stream: Patriot League Network on Watch Stadium
WASHINGTON - The stage is set for the American University women's basketball team to battle for the right to host the Patriot League Tournament as the top-ranked Eagles welcome No. 2 Bucknell to Bender Arena on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tipoff. The day is made even more special by the celebration of the three-player senior class as AU bids farewell to Cecily Carl, Elina Koskimies, and Kaitlyn Lewis.
THE GUEST OF HONOR...
The Eagles are proud to welcome American University President Sylvia Burwell as the honorary coach for Saturday's game. This is the second time President Burwell has joined the women's basketball bench, after she sat alongside the team last season during a win over Boston University, 66-50.
President Burwell was a student-athlete in her own right, as she played basketball in high school and during her time at Oxford University. She is the 15th President of American University and the first female President.
President Burwell was the 22nd Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Obama Administration from 2014-17. Prior to that, she was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Treasury, and Special Assistant to the Director of the National Economic Council.
THANK YOU, SENIORS
As the trio of Cecily Carl, Elina Koskimies and Kaitlyn Lewis begin to wind down their extraordinary careers, they look to add yet another milestone to their time at American University as they fight for the program's first back-to-back Patriot League titles.
Carl, Koskimies and Lewis have earned an overall record of 68-54 over the last four years, 47-23 in the Patriot League, including one 20-win season, one Patriot League title, and one NCAA Tournament berth. They will depart as three of the most prolific shooters in program history, becoming the first class to have every player finish her career with over 100 three-point makes.
- This will be the 45th meeting between Bucknell and American. The two teams first met on Jan. 15, 1983, when the Eagles overcame the Bison in Lewisburg, 77-72.
- Both teams defended their home courts last season, splitting the two games with the Eagles coming out on top on Dec. 29, 68-58, before Bucknell came away with AU's first Patriot League loss of the season on Feb. 24, 57-52.
- The Eagles enter Saturday's game looking for redemption after Bucknell delivered American its only loss of the season to open the Patriot League schedule on January 3, 71-56.
- Head Coach Megan Gebbia is currently 7-6 against Bucknell since she arrived at AU in 2013-14.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
- American made a big statement on Saturday, earning a resounding 71-44 win over Holy Cross behind double-figure efforts from Cecily Carl (17 pts.), Jade Edwards (15 pts.) and Elina Koskimies (14 pts.).
- The win stretched the Eagles' undefeated run to 15 consecutive games as AU steadily approaches its program-record 17-game win streak from last season.
- AU currently sits alone in the No. 1 spot in the league, followed by Bucknell in 2nd.
- Carl leads the squad in scoring and is 3rd in the overall PL standings (15.7 ppg) and 2nd in the league-only stats (17.8 ppg).
- The Eagles lead in scoring defense (53.1), 3FG defense (.262), and assists (16.) during conference play, and rank 2nd behind Bucknell in scoring offense (72.9), margin (11.9), FG percentage (.433), and 3FG percentage (.346).
SCOUTING THE BISON
- Four days after the upset loss to Holy Cross, 61-60, Bucknell returned home to put up a dominant 90-48 victory over Navy on Wednesday.
- The Bison were led by a double-double effort from Ellie Mack (15 pts., 10 reb.) and a pair of 11-point efforts from Kyi English and Kate Walker.
- All 13 players scored at least two points and all but four pulled down at least one rebound.
- Prior to Saturday's game against Holy Cross, the last Bison loss was to Boston University on Jan. 6 (70-62).
- Kaitlyn Slagus ranks fourth in the league-only standings for scoring (13.6 ppg) and 10th in rebounding (7.4 rpg), but leads in FG percentage (.585).
- The Bison lead the PL during conference play in six categories including FG defense (.350) and blocks (4.6).
LAST TIME OUT
- AU made quite the statement on Saturday with a dominant 71-44 victory at Holy Cross.
- Senior Cecily Carl paced the Eagles for the eighth consecutive game, reaching her average during the conference season with 17 points alongside a team-high nine rebounds.
- Freshman Jade Edwards also closed with nine boards to go along with her 15 points while Elina Koskimies rounded out the double-figure scoring with 14 points after shooting 50 percent from both the field (5-10) and 3-point line (4-8).
- The Eagles closed with their highest shooting percentage from the field since the win over Loyola on Feb. 13, hitting 45.8 percent (27-59) while going 33.3 percent from 3-point range.
- They opened shooting 81.8 percent from the line in the first half (9-11) but went only 2-for-6 in the second to bump down to 64.7 percent overall.
- AU also put up one of its top performances of the season on the glass, leading Holy Cross 43-33 in rebounding.
- The Crusaders held the advantage early in the game, picking up a 15-10 lead in the first quarter after an 8-0 closing run. The Eagles chipped away at that lead in the opening minutes of the second before a layup from Edwards sent AU on a 17-2 run to take the lead that would last through the end of the game. One of AU's top defensive performances in recent games held Holy Cross to single-digits in the second and third quarters.
#AUWBB vs. THE PATRIOT LEAGUE
- American holds a 237-118 overall record (.668) against Patriot League teams, and are 188-87 (.684) since joining the league in 2001-02.
- Holy Cross is the only team in the conference that holds an advantage over AU with a series record of 22-19.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- The Eagles are 14-1 in games where they led at halftime, and remain undefeated at 17-0 when leading with 5:00 left.
- All four of AU's second-half victories have come in the last six games - the Eagles overcame halftime deficits against Holy Cross, Colgate, Army, and Lafayette.
- AU overcame a 13-point deficit against Holy Cross (1/30) for the largest comeback victory of the season so far.
- Virginia has been the only team to bounce back from an early deficit against AU, making up the nine-point spread at halftime to win, 57-54.
- AU has entered halftime with a tie in only two games this season - Penn State (L, 80-59), and Lafayette (W, 60-45).
- Performance along the perimeter has also been key for AU - 12 of the Eagles' 19 wins came when they were shooting over 35.0 percent from 3-point range, and they are 12-1 in games where they held their opponents to under 30.0 percent from long-range.
- American is 23-0 at home against PL opponents in a run that dates back to the 2016-17 season.
- Army was the last PL team to topple AU in Bender Arena, 68-57 (Feb. 11, 2017).
- The Eagles are on a 36-5 run at home since the start of the 2016-17 season.
- In the Megan Gebbia era, the Eagles are 65-21 (.756) in Bender Arena, including 50-11 (.820) in Patriot League play. Among the highlights in her six seasons was the program's first undefeated season at home since the 1970s last year.
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 are currently ranked 17th, only three places behind PL rival Bucknell (No. 14).
- 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.
5 ON 5
- AU has had only five different starting lineups throughout the season so far with Carl and Elina Koskimies being the only mainstays. Indeya Sanders started all but one game so far this season while freshmen Jade Edwards and Emily Fisher both stepped into the lineup after injuries sidelined Kaitlyn Marenyi and Kaitlyn Lewis, respectively, and senior Morgan Bartner moved in for Fisher to add size against Lehigh.
- American is the only Division I school to have two players ranked in the top-15 for free throw percentage - Koskimies (No. 2) and Cecily Carl (No. 12).
- The threesome of Sanders, Carl and Koskimies have accounted for 53.0 percent of the team's scoring with 34.2 ppg, and 43.0 percent of AU's rebounding with 14.2 rpg.
- Before Marenyi and Lewis were sidelined with injury, the starters were averaging 55.7 ppg and 20.8 rpg.
- Edwards is averaging 9.4 ppg and 6.8 rpg in games that she started. In games where she doesn't start, she is averaging 2.7 ppg and 2.2 rpg.
The Eagles will close out their regular schedule against Navy at home with a 7 p.m. tip on Wednesday.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.
AU Women's Basketball to Host Patriot League Tournament on March 11th
The American University Eagles women's basketball team has earned the right to host a Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal round game in Bender Arena on Monday, March 11th at 7pm. Ticket prices for the quarterfinal game, set by the Patriot League, are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors (65+) and youth (under 13). Rates for groups with 10+ are $3 per person and must be purchased in advance through the box office. AU students with valid AU ID will be admitted free of charge. Tickets are now on sale via AUeagles.com/Tickets. Fans can also visit the Athletics Ticket Office in person, or call (202) 885-TIXX (8499) Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to secure their seats.