@AU_WBasketball Looks to Make History at Penn in WNIT First Round

Senior Cecily Carl vs. Bucknell (3/2/2019)

Game 33 (WNIT First Round)  ·  American (22-10, 16-2 PL) at Penn (23-6, 12-2 Ivy)
Friday, March 22, 2019  ·  7 p.m. ET  ·  Philadelphia, Pa. (The Palestra)
All-Time Record:
 American leads, 25-20

Stream: Facebook Live (Penn Athletics)
Dan Fritz (pxp); Jake Gali (analyst); Marissa Pilla (sideline)

Game Notes:  American  |  Penn

WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team (22-10, 16-2 PL) is looking to make history this weekend as the Eagles travel to the historic Palestra in Philadelphia to face Penn (23-6, 12-2 Ivy) in the first round of the WNIT. This is the ninth postseason appearance for AU, seventh in the WNIT, as the team looks to notch the program's first-ever postseason win.

SERIES HISTORY

  • This will be the eighth meeting between American and Penn since the series debut on Jan. 9, 1981.
  • The Quakers came out on top in that first game, 64-54, but have won only one since (Jan. 20, 1984; 58-57). 
  • The Eagles are on a four-game win streak over Penn after their last win in Philly on Dec. 10, 2006 (61-51).
  • Head Coach Megan Gebbia has never faced Penn since her arrival in 2013-14.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES

  • American closed with a heartbreaking loss at Bucknell in the Patriot League Championship, 66-54, after being swept by the Bison in the regular season.
  • The Eagles earned the program's seventh regular season title after tying with Bucknell and third since Head Coach Megan Gebbia and her staff took over in 2013-14. 
  • In her sixth season at AU, Gebbia has led the team to four postseason appearances in the WNIT (two) and NCAA Tournament (two).
  • Bucknell was the only PL team to topple AU this season after the Eagles went on a 15-0 tear through the majority of the PL slate.
  • Player of the Year Cecily Carl continues to lead the team with 15.8 ppg and 5.8 rpg followed by Kaitlyn Marenyi (11.6 ppg) and Elina Koskimies (10.9 ppg).

SCOUTING THE QUAKERS

  • Penn is coming off its sixth Ivy League regular season title in program history, and fourth in the last six years, before the Quakers fell to Princeton in the tournament championship, 65-54.
  • The Quakers were 23-6 overall in the season and 12-2 in the Ivy League with losses to only Harvard and Princeton. They also closed with an 11-2 home record.
  • Penn has one of the top defenses in Division I, ranking 5th in FG defense (.336), 8th in scoring defense (54.4), 15th in 3FG defense (.271) and 8th in fewest fouls per game (13.3).
  • Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Eleah Parker paces the team with 15.4 ppg and 8.9 rpg. She is second in Division I with 3.17 blocks per game and led the Ivy League with her rebounding average and FG percentage (.492).

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.

REACHING HISTORIC HEIGHTS

  • Despite losing six seniors after last season, including three starters with Patriot League Player of the Year Emily Kinneston, PL All-Defensive Team honoree Maria Liddane and Michael Harris, the Eagles find themselves back in the postseason for the second consecutive season.
  • Those six players also accounted for 47.5 percent of the team's scoring, 41.1 percent of the rebounding, and 58.5 percent of the assists.
  • Seniors Cecily Carl and Elina Koskimies are the only two returning starters from that historic 2017-18 squad that broke records with its 23-win regular season, undefeated 16-0 record at home, and 17-game win streak.
  • Undaunted by the loss of much of the team's offensive and defensive production, and the need to rely on the five incoming freshmen, head coach Megan Gebbia led this year's team to a second-consecutive +20-win season, a share of the Patriot League regular season title, and another postseason tournament appearance with a berth in the WNIT after falling in the PL Championship.
  • Gebbia and her staff, in their sixth year at the helm of the program, have now earned a staggering four postseason appearances, including two berths in the NCAA Tournament, four +20-win seasons, three Patriot League regular season titles, and have won three Patriot League Player of the Year and five Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards.
  • Although the team may have fallen short of the program's first back-to-back appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the squad is still looking to make history with its first-ever win in a postseason national tournament.

LAST TIME OUT

  • The second-seeded AU fought back time and again but couldn't overcome the early seven-point deficit to one-seed Bucknell in the Patriot League Championship, falling to the Bison 66-54.
  • Three players landed in double-figures for the Eagles, starting with PL Player of the Year Cecily Carl who hit 16 points off 6-for-10 shooting form the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from the line.
  • Junior Kaitlyn Marenyi followed with 12 points while senior Kaitlyn Lewis continued with her impressive postseason run with 11 points alongside a team-high four assists.
  • Senior Elina Koskimies pulled down a team-high six rebounds followed by five from Carl.
  • Production under the basket was a difference-maker throughout the game as the Eagles were held to only 23 rebounds while the Bison pulled down 40. Bucknell closed with 13 second-chance points and 30 points in the paint while AU picked up only four second-chance points and 24 on the inside.
  • Despite falling to an early 7-0 deficit after a quick start from the Bison, the Eagles didn't let Bucknell get too far, holding them to no more than a 10-point lead throughout most of the game and taking a brief lead in the second quarter.
  • Shooting woes haunted AU throughout the game as the team closed shooting only 37.5 percent from the field (21-56) and 33.3 percent from three-point range (6-18).

WNIT TICKET INFO FOR AU FANS
Eagle fans and alumni planning to attend AU's first-round WNIT road game at the University of Pennsylvania this Friday at 7pm (at The Palestra, Philadelphia, Pa.) are encouraged to reserve tickets with fellow Eagle fans via the AU Ticket Office and can do so by clicking here and filling out a ticket request form.  A representative will then call you back to confirm your order. All tickets in the AU fan section must be requested by Thursday at 5 p.m. Tickets are priced at $10 each, and AU students with ID will be admitted for free.

AU WNIT PREGAME RECEPTION
The Palestra – University of Pennsylvania
Class of '71 Room (in the arena).
Friday, March 22 (5:30pm – 7:00pm)

Join fellow Eagles alumni and friends as we cheer on the women's basketball team in the WNIT First Round match-up against Penn.  FREE event with dinner and cash bar included.

Ticket to the game is required for admission to the reception.

GAME TICKETS ($10)
PLEASE RSVP with number of guests to eaglesclub@american.edu 
More information: 202-885-8499

NEXT UP
The winner of Friday night's game will face the winner of Thursday's contest between Hartford and Providence. Date, time and location of the second round game are TBD.

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