#2 @AU_WBasketball Set for PL Title Battle at #1 Bucknell

Team huddle

Game 32 (Patriot League Championship)  ·  #2 American (22-9, 16-2 PL) at #1 Bucknell (27-5, 16-2 PL)
Sunday, March 17, 2019  ·  Noon ET  ·  Lewisburg, Pa. (Sojka Pavilion)
All-Time Record:
 American leads, 25-20

TV: CBS Sports Network
Jason Knapp (pxp); Julianne Viani (analyst)

Game Notes:  American  |  Bucknell

How to Watch:  CBS Sports Network is available on YouTube TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu and through CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app with select cable providers. For more information, go to CBSSportsNetwork.com

WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team (22-9, 16-2 PL) will look to make history on Sunday as the second-seeded Eagles travel to one-seed Bucknell (27-5, 16-2 PL) to fight for the program's first back-to-back Patriot League title.

AU claimed the program's second PL title last season after a historic run through the regular season, including a record-breaking 23 wins, a program-record 17-0 run, and a 16-0 record at home. That was also the second PL title for head coach Megan Gebbia and her staff, who will now look for their third championship in five years.

SERIES HISTORY

  • This will be the 46th 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 two Patriot League losses this season.
  • American is 0-4 against Bucknell in the PL Tournament and is looking for its first win in Sojka since 2013-14.
  • Head Coach Megan Gebbia is currently 7-7 against Bucknell since she arrived at AU in 2013-14.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES

  • American is looking to make history with the first back-to-back Patriot League title in program history.
  • The Eagles pulled away with the win over Lehigh during the semifinal on Thursday behind an impressive double-double effort from Patriot League Player of the Year Cecily Carl (20p, 11r).
  • Kaitlyn Lewis also stepped up in a big way on Thursday, finishing with one of her best performances of the season with 17 points and four assists.
  • The Eagles also placed Elina Koskimies (2nd Team, All-Defensive) and Jade Edwards (All-Rookie) on the All-PL Teams.
  • American sits just behind Bucknell as the No. 2-ranked offense in the PL with 64.8 ppg, .426 field goal percentage and .357 3-point percentage.

SCOUTING THE BISON

  • Bucknell shut down the Holy Cross offense en route to the 66-31 win during the PL semifinal, holding the Crusaders to only 12 points in the first half.
  • Holy Cross was one of the two regular-season losses for Bucknell this year along with Boston University.
  • Four Bucknell players put in double-figures to pace the team: Kaitlyn Slagus (13), Abby Kapp (13), Ellie Mack (12), and Kate Walker (12).
  • Three of those four were selected as All-Patriot League honorees with Slagus (1st Team), Mack (1st Team) and Walker (2nd Team).
  • Kapp currently ranks 13th in Division I for 3-point field goal percentage (.430).
  • Bucknell owns the top-ranked offense in the Patriot League, averaging 72.8 ppg off 45.9 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from the perimeter.

LAST TIME OUT

  • Player of the Year Cecily Carl paced AU in the 68-57 semifinal win over Lehigh on Thursday, hitting her fourth double-double of the season (career 17th) with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Kaitlyn Lewis was next with one of her best performances of the season, and her highest scoring output since returning from injury on Jan. 26, scoring 17 points while pitching in four assists.
  • Jade Edwards picked up 14 points, just one away from tying her career-high, alongside seven boards while Kaitlyn Marenyi rounded out the double-figure scoring with 13 while leading the team with five assists and four steals.
  • Carl set the tempo early, hitting a three in the opening possession before Lehigh started matching basket-for-basket and a closing 9-2 run gave them their largest lead of the game at 17-15 at the end of the stanza.
  • The score remained tight early in the second but a set of clutch three's from Edwards, Marenyi and Carl put AU back up by six at 34-28 with just under 5:00 left in the half. 
  • Lehigh tied the game up once more midway through the third quarter, but Lewis picked it back up for the Eagles with four unanswered points to bring AU back up by five, 50-45.
  • It was all AU in the fourth quarter, as the Eagles slowly built on that lead throughout the final 10 minutes. A fastbreak layup from Sanders with :09 left on the clock gave American its largest and final lead of the game at 68-57.

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.

CHASING THAT REPEAT

AMERICAN IN THE PATRIOT LEAGUE FINAL

  • This is the first time that the Eagles and Bucknell will meet in the Patriot League Championship game. The two teams have gone head-to-head in the semifinal twice and quarterfinal twice.
  • AU is 2-4 in the championship game and won its last two appearances in the final over Lehigh in 2014-15 and Navy in 2017-18.
  • The Eagles have also faced off against Colgate (2003-04), Holy Cross (2006-07), Lehigh (2009-10) and Navy (2010-11).

The winner of Sunday's game will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament while the tournament runner-up will move on to the WNIT.

For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.