WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team battled back to earn its third consecutive home win of the season on Saturday, powering to a 66-53 victory over Denver.
The Eagles now sit at 6-3 this season while Denver falls to 6-5.
Senior Emily Kinneston tied her career-high from the 2016-17 season, leading the team with 26 points and nine rebounds. Junior Cecily Carl also put up double-figures with 18 points while contributing seven rebounds.
Denver was led by a 12-point effort from Samantha Romanowski, followed by 10 points off the bench from Carie Weinman. Madison Nelson led the Pioneers on the boards with 12 rebounds.
AU had its best performance of the season from long-range, shooting 8-of-18 for 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Eagles also had one of their best games so far on the boards with 40 rebounds.
Both teams struggled to score in the early minutes as the Eagles shot 5-of-19 (.263) from the floor to close the first quarter with a 12-10 lead over the Pioneers, who went 4-for-12 (.333).
AU separated itself in the first few minutes of the second quarter after a series of three's from Carl and junior Elina Koskimies built up a six-point lead at 22-16. The momentum changed in the final four minutes of the half, though, as Denver went on a 12-2 run to take a 28-24 lead with two minutes left.
Late baskets from Kinneston and Carl, who went 3-for-3 from 3-point range during the quarter, cut the lead back down to two by halftime at 31-29.
As has been the case throughout the season, the Eagles put up a strong second half to come away with the win, leading Denver 11-8 in the third quarter and 26-14 in the fourth after shooting an impressive 72.7 percent from the field while holding the Pioneers to only 25 percent.
Kinneston was back atop the scoresheet in the third quarter, scoring eight of the Eagles' 11 points. She put up another eight points in the fourth, tying her single-game career-high after a pair of free throws in the final two minutes.
Senior Maria Liddane also contributed down the stretch with five points in the last ten minutes as the Eagles closed with their largest lead of the game at 13 points.
The Eagles will take a week-long respite before traveling to crosstown rival George Washington on Sunday, Dec. 17. The team will return home for one final game before the holiday break, hosting Penn State at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20. Tickets for this and all AU home basketball games can be purchased here. Students are admitted free with a valid AU student ID.
For the latest on AU Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.