Game 31 (Patriot League Semifinal) · American (21-9, 16-2 PL) vs. Lehigh (21-9, 12-6 PL)
Monday, March 14, 2019 · 7 p.m. · Washington, D.C. (Bender Arena)
All-Time Record: American leads, 32-13
WASHINGTON - The second-seed American University women's basketball team will continue its fight for a second consecutive Patriot League title on Thursday as the Eagles host three-seed Lehigh in the Patriot League semifinal at 7 p.m. in Bender Arena.
- The Eagles lead the 45-game series against Lehigh, 32-13. Lehigh opened the series with a 77-58 win over AU in Bethlehem, Pa., on Feb. 4, 1983.
- AU hit a seven-game win streak over the Mountain Hawks from 2014-2016 before Lehigh broke the run with a 61-51 win in Bender Arena on Feb. 6, 2016.
- American earned its third consecutive regular-season sweep against the Mountain Hawks in a thrilling battle in Bender Arena that concluded with an 11-4 run in the final 1:27 to give AU the 50-47 victory.
- Head Coach Megan Gebbia is currently 11-1 against Lehigh since she arrived at AU in 2013-14.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
- American advanced to the semifinal round after a commanding 67-47 win over No. 10 Lafayette on Saturday.
- That is the sixth 20+ victory for AU this season and the third in the last four games.
- Kaitlyn Marenyi led the squad with one of her top performances of the season, scoring 20 alongside her three rebounds and six assists.
- Player of the Year Cecily Carl added 12 points while PL Second Team and All-Defensive Team honoree Elina Koskimies scored 14.
- PL All-Rookie honoree Jade Edwards helped lead the team on the boards with seven rebounds.
- This is the second consecutive 20+ win season for AU, and the fourth since head coach Megan Gebbia and her staff took over in 2013-14.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAIN HAWKS
- Lehigh stretched to a six-game winning streak with the 78-68 win over No. 6 Colgate on Monday.
- Hailey Pascoe paced the team with a career-high 28 points, including a 6-for-9 performance from the perimeter.
- All-PL First Team honoree Cameryn Buhr closed with a dozen points alongside a team-high seven assists while Gena Grundhoffer earned a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
- PL All-Defensive Team selection Hannah Hedstrom was held to only two points and two steals but pulled down seven rebounds.
- Lehigh leads the league in scoring defense and ranks 18th in Division I after holding opponents to only 56.1 ppg. Their .365 field goal defense also leads the PL and is 34th in the NCAA.
LAST TIME OUT
- Kaitlyn Marenyi put up her highest scoring output since returning from injury with 20 points to lead the Eagles to a quarterfinal win over Lafayette on Monday, 67-47.
- Marenyi also pitched in a team-high six assists and failed to give up a single turnover.
- This was Marenyi's highest point tally since returning from injury against Lafayette on Jan. 26, and was only four points from tying her career-high from earlier this season.
- Elina Koskimies was also back in form, hitting 14 points including 3-for-7 from long-range while Cecily Carl added a dozen to close out double-figure scoring.
- Koskimies has now gone only one game in the last 35 without a trey after she went 0-0 against Navy to close the regular season.
- The Eagles pitched in an impressive 17 assists on their 23 made field goals.
- AU led from start to finish after an early nine-point effort from Marenyi sparked an opening 14-2 run.
- The Eagles held Lafayette to single digits in the first two quarters to enter halftime with their largest margin of the season at 22 points, 36-14.
- American shut down the PL Defensive Player of the Year, Natalie Kucowski, in the first half, holding her to only two points and one rebound.
- The Leopards put up a good fight in the second half, outscoring the Eagles by one point in both the third and fourth quarters, but it was too little too late.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO...
- Senior Cecily Carl became the second consecutive Eagle, third in program history, to be selected as both the Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the same season.
- The Eagles have now won seven of the last eight Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards and nine total since 2006-07.
- Carl was also selected to the All-Academic Team and First Team All-Patriot League.
- Senior Elina Koskimies earned her first postseason awards as a member of the Academic All-League Team, Second Team, and All-Defensive Team.
- Freshman Jade Edwards became the first AU player since Carl to earn a spot on the All-Rookie Team.
THE HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
- American was 23-0 at home against PL opponents before the loss to Bucknell broke the run that began during the 2016-17 season.
- Before Bucknell, Army was the last PL team to topple AU in Bender Arena, 68-57 (Feb. 11, 2017).
- The Eagles are on a 38-6 run at home since the start of the 2016-17 season.
- Coming into the season, the Eagles were ranked within the top ten in Division I for overall home win streaks. They reached 23 consecutive games (6th in the NCAA) before losing to Ohio on Dec. 29 (77-67).
- The run dated back to the Feb. 15, 2017, victory over Lafayette, 75-45.
- In the Megan Gebbia era, the Eagles are 67-22 (.753) in Bender Arena, including 52-12 (.812) against Patriot League opponents. 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 dropped from 17th to 20th after the loss to Bucknell while the Bison have bumped up to 11th.
- 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 winner of Thursday's game will advance to the Patriot League Championship at noon on Sunday to face either No. 1 Bucknell or No. 5 Holy Cross. The final will be hosted by the highest remaining seed.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.