American (1-3) at the San Juan Shootout
5:45 p.m. at Daytona Beach, Fl. (Ocean Center)
Series Record: Georgia State leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Dec. 30, 2001 at the Loyola Holiday Classic (Baltimore, Md.) – Georgia State 87, American 81
DAYTONA BEACH, Fl. – Despite a season-high five Eagles breaking into the double-digits from the field, the American University women's basketball team (1-3) fell in their Thanksgiving road contest to VCU, 68-62.
This was the first of two games for the Eagles in the San Juan Shootout, a tournament originally scheduled in Puerto Rico but moved to Daytona Beach due to concerns over the Zika virus. AU will close out the week at 5:45 p.m. on Friday against Georgia State.
For the first time this season, all five starters for AU scored in the double-digits, led by senior Lauren Crisler who put up 14 points and a team-high six rebounds. This was the second consecutive game that Crisler led the squad after she tallied 18 points at La Salle on Sunday, Nov. 20.
Junior Emily Kinneston and sophomores Cecily Carl and Kaitlyn Lewis all put up 11 points apiece, followed by junior Maria Liddane with 10. Carl also led with five assists, while Liddane contributed three steals.
The Rams (3-2) were led by senior guard Keira Robinson, who put up a total of 18 points, ten of which came from the free throw line. Senior Mooriah Rowser and sophomore Bria Gibson also shot in the double-digits, while Gibson and sophomore Sandra Skinner each contributed eight rebounds.
VCU maintained a consistent lead throughout the first quarter, putting up 19 points to AU's 11. AU matched that effort in the second, though, scoring 19-11 to close the half at an even 30-30.
The Eagles outshot VCU from the field throughout the game, shooting 49.1 percent to the Rams' 36.5 percent. However, VCU's 87 percent shooting from the free throw line made all the difference, as the Rams went 20-for-23 from the charity stripe. AU, on the other hand, was only brought to the line four times, and shot 3-for-4.
The Eagles will be back on Friday for a 5:45 p.m. tipoff against Georgia State in Ocean Center.
SCOUTING GEORGIA STATE
Georgia State (3-2) also started their season with a road win, beating out Morehead State 68-50 before tallying their first loss against Eastern Michigan, 69-59. The Panthers are coming off a three-game home series, winning games against Allen University (96-58) and Kennesaw State (62-59), and losing to UNCW (72-66).
GSU is led by senior transfer Tiffany Holston, who has put up two double-doubles so far this season, averaging 14.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg. Freshman Jada Lewis is the only other Panther to average in the double-digits, putting up 11.0 ppg.
This is only the second time American has faced George State. Their only other meeting came during the 2001 Loyola Holiday Classic, when the Eagles fell to GSU, 87-81.
For Megan Gebbia, Thursday's game had a special significance, as it marked her 100th as head coach of the Eagles. Since her arrival in 2013, Gebbia has brought AU to new heights on the national stage, most notably in 2014 when she made history with the program's first Patriot League Tournament title and NCAA Championship berth.
Her first year with the Eagles quickly established her in AU's record books, as she became the winningest first-year coach in program history, guiding the team to a 22-10 overall record. Since then, she has been recognized as a finalist for the 2014 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award and earned the Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2015.
This week also serves as a milestone for assistant coaches Tiffany Coll, Nikki Flores and Emily Stallings, who arrived at AU with Gebbia in 2013.
COMING BACK HOME
The Eagles will return home for a three-game stretch, hosting UMBC on Nov. 30, William & Mary on Dec. 3, and George Washington on Dec. 7. Tickets for these and all home AU Basketball games can be purchased at AUEagles.com by clicking here.