LEWISBURG, Pa. –The American University women's basketball suffered its first conference loss of the season on Thursday, Jan. 5, falling to Bucknell in the fifth overtime contest of the season, 73-67.
The Eagles now fall to 5-9 overall and 2-1 in the Patriot League. Bucknell remains undefeated in conference play with a 3-0 record, and holds an 11-3 tally overall.
Junior Emily Kinneston put up her second-consecutive career game, reaching well into the 20-point range for the first time as an Eagle. She entered the midday contest after a 17-point effort against Colgate on Monday, Jan. 2, and cruised through that tally midway through the third period before closing out her 43 minutes of play with 26 points.
Senior Lauren Crisler put up a team-high nine rebounds while facing some tough post defense. She was the only other Eagle to score in the double-digits with 13 points.
Bucknell put four players into double-figures, starting with 14-point efforts from both Claire DeBoer and Kate Walker. Sune Swart and Kaitlyn Slagus followed with 13 points apiece, and Slagus contributed 11 rebounds to end with a double-double.
The Eagles shot 38 percent overall from the field, and 78.6 percent from the free throw line. The Bison went 41.4 percent from the field and 86.4 percent from the free throw line.
AU came out of the gate strong, holding Bucknell to only nine points in the first period. Kinneston put up an early eight points off of 4-for-6 shooting from the field to spark the Eagles' scoring efforts.
Bucknell began to regain their momentum during the second period, though, steadily chipping away at the Eagles' lead to close out the half only three points behind.
From there, it was a battle between the two teams, with the lead changing hands four times throughout the ten-minute period. The Eagles' press midway through the period pushed the momentum in their favor, with a layup from Crisler starting a 13-2 run. A last-second three from Bucknell's Kyi English closed the gap slightly, but AU still held a six-point lead heading into the final regulation period, 48-42.
The Eagles were able to hold the Bison at bay for most of the fourth period, but a 9-2 run by Bucknell heading into the final minutes of regulation put them within striking position. A pair of final-minute layups from Walker and Swart tied the game at 61-61, and the Eagles' failure to capitalize on their final possession sent the team into their fifth overtime period this season.
AU's scoring drought early in extra time gave Bucknell a seven-point edge with two minutes left, and a late push by the Eagles fell just short in making up that gap. By the final buzzer, the Bison led, 73-67.
The Eagles will close their three-game week at home, hosting Lehigh at 4 p.m. on Saturday in Bender Arena. For the latest on AU women's basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.