@AU_WBasketball Selected to Finish Third in the Patriot League

Michael Harris takes tip against Loyola (2/25/2017)

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – The American University women's basketball team will open the 2017-18 season third in the Patriot League preseason poll, released by the league office on Wednesday.

The Eagles, who closed the 2016-17 season third in the league after advancing to the semifinal round of the PL Tournament, received 134 total points and five first-place votes in the poll, as voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors. 

AU returns all but one of its starters from last year after graduating senior and 2017 PL Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Lauren Crisler. Crisler led the team in rebounds, averaging 5.6 per game, and ranked third for the Eagles in points per game (10.3).

Included among the four returning starters are two 2017 All-Patriot League selections in senior guard Emily Kinneston (Second Team, All-Defensive Team) and junior forward Cecily Carl (Third Team). Kinneston led the team in scoring last year, averaging 12.9 ppg, followed by Carl, who averaged 10.4 ppg and tied with Crisler with a team-high 5.6 rpg.

Senior Maria Liddane and junior Kaitlyn Lewis round out the Eagles' returning starters. Liddane led the league in assists last season, averaging 4.9 per game and posting 153 total to rank fifth on AU's single-season list.

Lewis also landed in the AU record book last season, ranking within the top five of the NCAA during the non-conference schedule for 3-point percentage and tying the program record for single-game 3-point percentage when she went 5-for-5 against UMBC.

The Eagles also welcome a pair of freshmen with guard Indeya Sanders (Reston, Va. / Herndon HS) and forward Maddie Royle (Oakton, Va. / Oakton HS). 

Bucknell, which finished first in the Patriot League last year, shares the top spot in the preseason poll with Army West Point at 140 points and seven first-place votes each. Bucknell lost the 2017 Player of the Year, Claire DeBoer, while the Black Knights return Madison Hovren, who was selected as this year's Preseason Player of the Year. 

Navy sits at fourth in the poll with 119 total points and one first-place vote, followed by Boston University (91 points), Holy Cross (81 points), Lehigh (64 points), Colgate (55 points), Loyola Maryland (54 points) and Lafayette (22 points).

The Eagles open the 2017-18 campaign on Friday, Nov. 10, at Tulsa before making their home debut on Monday, Nov. 13, with a 7 p.m. tip against La Salle.

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

2017-18 Patriot League Women's Basketball Preseason Poll

  1. Army West Point, 140 points (7 first-place votes)
  2. Bucknell, 140 (7)
  3. American, 134 (5)
  4. Navy, 119 (1)
  5. Boston University, 91
  6. Holy Cross, 81
  7. Lehigh, 64
  8. Colgate, 55
  9. Loyola Maryland, 54
  10. Lafayette, 22

2017-18 Patriot League Women's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year
Madison Hovren, Army West Point, Jr., F

2017-18 Patriot League Women's Basketball Preseason All-League Team
Madison Hovren, Army West Point, Jr., F
Sophie Beaudry, Boston University, Sr., C
Kaitlyn Slagus, Bucknell, Jr., F
Lauren Manis, Holy Cross, So., F
Bri Betz-White, Loyola Maryland, Sr., G