WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team kicked off its home schedule on Wednesday with an overtime thriller against Delaware, but trailed the Blue Hens at the final buzzer, 55-56.
The Eagles, who won their season debut at Youngstown State on Friday, are now 1-1 for the season. The Blue Hens remain undefeated with a 2-0 record.
Sophomore Cecily Carl led the scoring for AU, putting up a season-high 15 points and six rebounds. Junior Emily Kinneston also had a good showing, putting her consistency on display with 13 points and tying her career-high with eight rebounds. Kinneston returned to the court after posting 16 points and eight assists against Youngstown State over the weekend.
The Blue Hens were led by a trio of double-digit scorers with Sade Chatman, Nicole Enabosi and Hannah Jardine. Chatman led the squad with 17 points, and Enabosi had a team-high eight rebounds while posting 14 points.
The Eagles put up a solid first quarter against Delaware, shooting 63.6 percent from the field to lead, 16-13. They were unable to maintain the momentum after the break, though, and Delaware put up a ten point run to gap AU by seven points midway through the second.
The teams entered the locker rooms at halftime with the largest gap of the game, as Delaware led American by ten, 33-23.
The Eagles showed their grit in the second half, starting with 8-2 run against the Blue Hens to put them within four midway through the third quarter. They held that gap through the end of the period, and trailed Delaware 37-41 heading into the final ten minutes.
AU started out the fourth quarter with an eight-point run, and led Delaware 47-43 with five minutes left in regulation. Although Delaware retook the lead, a set of free throws from Kinneston, and a late layup from Michaela Nieuwenhuizen tied the game at 51-51 and sent the teams into a five-minute overtime period.
A series of missed opportunities late in extra time put AU behind, and they trailed Delaware 55-56 at the final buzzer.
American will be back on the road this weekend, as they travel to La Salle for a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday. For the latest on the Eagles, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.