WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team (20-9, 16-2 PL) earned a share of the Patriot League regular season title on Wednesday with a decisive 69-44 win over Navy (10-18, 5-13 PL).
AU enters postseason play tied with Bucknell atop the league with a 16-2 PL record but will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament after being swept by the Bison in the regular season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- This marks the second consecutive Patriot League title for the Eagles after they won the regular season outright last year. AU has now won seven PL regular-season titles since joining the league in 2001, including three years as co-champions. This is the first time American has had to share the title with Bucknell. The Eagles previously tied with Lehigh (2009-10, 2010-11) and Navy (2010-11).
- Senior Cecily Carl paced the Eagles with her seventh 20-point performance over the last 10 games, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from the perimeter, 8-for-13 from the field and 1-for-2 from the line.
- Junior Kaitlyn Marenyi was next with 13 points and a team-high four assists followed by freshman Emily Fisher who scored 10 points off the bench while bringing down a team-high eight rebounds.
- Senior Kaitlyn Lewis joined Marenyi with four assists while freshman Jade Edwards picked up a team-high three steals.
- Ten of the 11 players who put in minutes added to the scoresheet, including seven who pitched in assists as AU closed with 16 to Navy's five.
- The Eagles closed with one of their highest shooting percentages of the season, hitting 49.1 percent from the field (26-53) and 66.7 percent from 3-point range (8-12). For the third consecutive game, though, American struggled from the line, hitting only 9 of 15 for a .600 shooting percentage.
- American dominated in the paint, 30-14, and led the Mids in points off turnovers, 10-6, and second-chance points, 10-4. Navy just edged AU on the boards, though, bringing down 34 rebounds to the Eagles' 33.
- Jennifer Coleman closed with over half of Navy's points, scoring 25 to lead the team. Sophie Gatzounas was the next highest scorer for the Mids with eight points while adding a game-high 10 rebounds.
- Navy closed shooting 31.5 percent from the field (17-54), only 11.8 percent from the perimeter (2-17), and 80.0 percent from the charity stripe (8-10).
- Coleman took charge of the Mids from the start as she single-handedly kept them within striking distance with a 13-point performance in the first quarter.
- The Eagles opened with a 7-0 run before Coleman started matching basket-for-basket, not letting AU stretch past an eight-point advantage before hitting a final three to bring the score to 16-13 heading into the break.
- American found its rhythm in the second quarter, though, spreading the gap to 12 points behind strong efforts from both Carl and Fisher.
- The Mids tied the game briefly to start the stanza after Laurel Jaunich opened with a three, but a 9-0 AU run, powered by baskets from Carl and Fisher, put American back up at 25-16 midway through the quarter.
- Navy cut the lead down to five but a three from Marenyi sparked a closing 7-0 run that included a fastbreak layup from sophomore Indeya Sanders and a buzzer-beater from Fisher.
- The teams entered the locker room with a 32-20 score.
- American continued to open the gap in the third quarter, outscoring the Mids 18-14 behind a pair of three's from Edwards.
- The Eagles put up another nine-point margin in the fourth quarter, closing with a 19-10 run in the final 10 minutes to end with their largest lead of the game at 69-24.
- This was the fourth time this season that AU finished with a 20+ point margin over its opponent after wins over UMBC (64-42), Loyola Maryland (82-38) and Holy Cross (71-44).
PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT
The No. 2 seed Eagles will host the winner of the Patriot League first-round game between #7 Army West Point and #10 Lafayette for the quarterfinal round at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 11.
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 7 p.m. 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.