WASHINGTON - A third consecutive double-double from junior Cecily Carl and career-highs from junior Elina Koskimies and sophomore Katie Marenyi led the American University women's basketball team to an 18-point victory over Lehigh on Sunday, 82-64.
The Eagles continue to separate themselves from the rest of the Patriot League at 6-0 in the conference, 13-4 overall. The Mountain Hawks, who came into the contest ranked second in the league, now fall to 4-2 in the PL and 10-7 overall.
Cecily Carl continued to emerge as one of the top players in the league, hitting her third consecutive double-double with a career-high 27 points and 12 rebounds. Michelle Holmes (2012-15) was the last Eagle to earn three double-doubles in a row in 2015. This was also the second consecutive game that Carl earned a career-high after she led the team with 15 rebounds against Loyola (Md.) on Thursday.
Katie Marenyi and Elina Koskimies joined Carl with career-highs, scoring 20 points apiece. Koskimies topped her previous single-game high of 17 points after tying her record performance from three-point range, shooting 5-for-7 from the perimeter and 6-for-10 from the field. Marenyi eclipsed her previous single-game record of 12 points within the first minute of the fourth quarter and closed the game shooting 5-for-7 from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the line.
The Eagles had one of their best games in program history from long-range, shooting 63.2 percent (12 of 19) from the perimeter. The 12 treys rank second in the Eagles' single-game record book while the 63.2 percent lands this game at No. 7. The team also landed just below their season-best from the field with 50 percent shooting (26-for-52).
The Mountain Hawks were led by a double-double effort from Camryn Buhr, who put up a team-high 20 points and 11 rebounds. Gena Grundhoffer and Quinci Mann also broke into the double-figures with 11 points each.
Lehigh shot 35 percent from the field and was held to 38.1 percent from three-point range after averaging 46.2 percent in conference play.
Carl set the tempo almost immediately for AU, closing the Eagles' first possession of the game with her first three to send American on a 7-0 run to start. Lehigh started the game shooting 0-8 from the floor before Mann finally broke the drought with a trey in the fifth minute of the first quarter. The Mountain Hawks sank another pair of treys and a jumper to close in on the Eagles, but a quick five points from Marenyi maintained the AU cushion at 16-12 by the end of the quarter.
American struggled from the field early in the second quarter, relying instead on a series of fouls from Lehigh as the Eagles shot 8-8 from the line to build up to an eight-point lead. A layup from Carl with less than five minutes left sent AU on an 18-9 run to close the half, powered by threes from Carl, Koskimies, and Kinneston, along with a pair of free throws from Marenyi who entered the locker room with 11 points in only nine minutes.
The Eagles closed the first half with a nearly perfect performance from the charity stripe, shooting 15-for-16 for 93.8 percent. They also went 61.5 percent from the perimeter and 46.2 percent from the field.
Lehigh was able to close the gap a bit during the third quarter, limiting the Eagles to only two shots from outside and 46.7 percent from the field. Carl and Koskimies were the only two AU players to get on the board during the third, hitting nine points and eight points, respectively.
American opened its lead with a 23-19 fourth quarter behind nine points from Marenyi and eight points from Carl. Back-to-back treys from Koskimies gave the Eagles their largest lead of the game at 82-60 with 1:00 left on the clock, but four last-minute points from Lehigh cut that lead back down below 20 at 82-64 by the final buzzer.
The Eagles will be back in Bender Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 17, with a 7 p.m. tipoff against Boston University. Tickets for this and all AU home basketball games can be purchased here. AU students are admitted free to all home games with an AU ID.
For the latest on AU Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.