WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team is returning to Bender for one final round of regular season home games this week, starting with the 7 p.m. tipoff against Navy on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
This will be the first game between the two teams this season. AU is currently tied with Boston University for fourth in the Patriot League with its 9-6 conference record (12-14 overall), while Navy sits alongside Bucknell at No. 1 with a 13-2 league run (20-6 overall).
American leads the 49-game series with the Midshipmen, 28-21, and hold a 15-5 record at home. The last matchup between the two teams closed out the 2016 regular season with the Eagles coming out on top, 61-56.
American is 4-2 in postseason play against Navy with the last win coming during the 2015 Patriot League title run, when the Eagles overcame the Midshipmen, 60-53, during the semifinal round. AU went on to win the program's first PL title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
American is coming off a tough loss at Holy Cross on Saturday, Feb. 18, 51-46. The Eagles led for the majority of the game, but a fourth quarter run by the Crusaders proved too much for the young AU squad, with Holy Cross making up the 12-point deficit after three quarters to eventually gain their final five-point edge.
Junior Emily Kinneston led the Eagles' for the 12th time this season, putting up her 19th double figure effort with 13 points. Senior Lauren Crisler followed with her second double-double of the season, hitting 12 points and leading the team for the eighth time with ten rebounds.
Junior Maria Liddane continues to lead the team's distribution efforts with three assists against Holy Cross. The PL leader in the category for the majority of the season, Liddane averages 4.9 assists per game and now ranks at No. 10 in American history for her career with 276 total. Liddane also tied her own No. 10 all-time season tally with 128 so far this year.
Kinneston continues to lead the the Eagles in scoring, averaging 13.2 ppg after putting in four games over the 20-point mark.
Sophomore Cecily Carl is the team's top rebounder, averaging 6.0 boards per game alongside her 10.3 ppg tally. Crisler pulls down 5.5 rpg and contributes 10.4 ppg for the Eagles.
AU is averaging 62.0 ppg off of 43.3 percent shooting from the field, 69.9 percent from the line. The Eagles rank second in the Patriot League behind Navy with 15.5 assists per game. The Midshipmen currently dish out 16.77 apg.
SCOUTING THE MIDSHIPMEN
Navy enters the midweek contest after a 67-62 win over Army on Saturday, Feb. 18. The Midshipmen are currently on a four-game winning streak, with their last loss coming at the hands of Colgate on Feb. 4, 69-61.
Senior Sarita Condie and junior Taylor Dunham combined for 38 points to lift Navy over Army. Condie led the overall scoring effort with 21 points, followed by Dunham with 17 points. Senior Justice Swett was the next-highest scorer for Navy with eight points. She led the team with nine rebounds and five assists.
The Midshipmen lead the Patriot League in scoring offense, averaging 69.1 ppg off of 41.2 percent shooting from the field. They currently rank just behind the Eagles with that field goal percentage, but lead the conference from the perimeter, shooting 36.1 percent from behind the arc.
Navy is the only Patriot League team to outperform the Eagles in assists, averaging 16.77 to AU's 15.50 per game.
The Eagles will close out their regular season home schedule on Saturday, Feb. 25, hosting Loyola Maryland at 2 p.m. The game will also serve as the Senior Day celebration for Lauren Crisler and Jordan Light, with the recognition preceding tipoff at 2:01 p.m. For the latest on AU Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.