Ambassador Susan Rice Joins @AU_WBasketball on NGWSD

Team huddle before La Salle (11/13/17)

Game 22 ·  American (17-4, 10-0 PL) vs. Army West Point (11-10, 4-6 PL)
Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018  ·  2 p.m. ET  ·  Washington, D.C. (Bender Arena)
All-Time Record: 
American leads, 19-18
Stream: Patriot League Network on Watch Stadium

Game Notes:  American | Army West Point

WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team will look to extend its win streak with a special guest looking on from the sidelines, as former US Ambassador Susan Rice joins the team as the honorary guest coach during Saturday's 2 p.m. game against Army West Point.

The Eagles are three games ahead of the Patriot League field with their undefeated 10-0 record, 17-4 overall. The Black Knights enter the Saturday matinee at 11-10 overall, 4-6 in the conference.

The Eagles are proud to welcome yet another distinguished guest on Saturday, as Ambassador Susan Rice joins the staff as the honorary guest coach. Ambassador Rice is the first guest coach to join the team after AU President Sylvia Burwell graced the home bench during the victory over Boston University on Jan. 17.

Ambassador Rice comes into the weekend with some coaching experience, having coached President Burwell while the two were at Oxford University. Rice, the former US Ambassador to the United Nations (2009-2013) and President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor (2013-2017), is a Visiting Distinguished Research Fellow in AU's School of International Service.

American is also proud to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) on Saturday. Following the game, each of American's seven varsity women's teams - basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, and volleyball - along with the cheer and dance squads, will lead skills clinics and sign autographs for kids of all ages in Bender Arena. 

NGWSD is celebrated across the country with community-based events, award ceremonies and activities honoring the achievements and encouraging participation of girls and women in sports. NGWSD began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympian volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women's sports.

The event is free for all with a game ticket, and children are asked to wear athletic shoes for the clinic. Click here to purchase tickets in advance online for just $4 by using the coupon code "NGWSD18".

American regained the lead in the 37-game series after overcoming Army West Point on its home court on Jan. 8, 64-46. That win marked the first AU win at Army since Jan. 21, 2012, when American took home the one-point victory, 40-39.

AU now leads the Black Knights, 19-18, overall. The two teams first met on New Years Eve, 1996, when the Eagles walked away with a 79-39 victory in West Point.

Army and Holy Cross were the only two teams to sweep American last season.

Head Coach Megan Gebbia is currently 2-8 against Army since she arrived at AU in 2013-14. Before this season, her only win over the Black Knights was on Feb. 21, 2015, in Bender Arena, 45-42. That victory was in the midst of an 11-game winning streak that carried the Eagles to a Patriot League title and the program's first berth into the NCAA Tournament.

American tallied its largest win of the year on Saturday with the 23-point victory over Colgate, 67-44. Emily Kinneston led the team with her seventh consecutive double-figure performance with 16 points. Cecily Carl followed with 10 points.

A total of 11 players contributed to AU's final point tally as head coach Megan Gebbia emptied her bench in front of the home crowd. The Eagles shot 42.6 percent from the field (23-54), 35.3 percent from three-point range (6-17), and 83.3 percent from the free throw line (15-18).

For only the third time in conference play, AU beat an opponent on the boards with 33 rebounds to Colgate's 31. The Eagles also led the Raiders with 19 assists and a season-high 14 steals while also forcing a season-high 24 turnovers.

Kinneston continues to lead the team in both scoring (14.4 ppg) and assists (4.0 apg), while Carl leads on the boards (8.1 rpg). Junior Elina Koskimies remains at the top of the league rankings for 3-point field goal percentage at .462 (36-78).

The Eagles lead in the conference schedule for scoring offense (68.3), scoring margin (+13.7), field goal percentage (.430), 3-point field goal defense (.270), and assists (16.6).

AU also continues to give up a league-low 12.2 turnovers per game in PL play.

Army West Point comes into the weekend contest off of two consecutive wins against Colgate (62-54) and Loyola (Md.) (62-47). Madison Hovren led the Black Knights in their latest victory over Loyola with 23 points and 11 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the season. Hovren also tallied her 1,000th point against the Greyhounds and is now only two rebounds away from hitting 600 for her career.

Hovren leads Army with 14.5 ppg and 9.9 rpg. Janae McNeal averages a team-high 2.7 assists while Daizjah Morris leads the Black Knights with 2.1 steals per game.

The Black Knights are averaging 63.2 ppg while holding their opponents to 60.1 ppg. They have shot 38.7 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from long-range so far this season.

Army is second in the PL for rebounding with 40.1 rpg and a +4.2 margin. Since the start of conference play, though, the Black Knights have been held to just a +0.1 rebounding margin with 38.1 rpg.

Army leads the league in offensive boards with 315 so far this season, 50 more than the next highest.

Head Coach Megan Gebbia is making her own mark in the history books on Saturday night, as she joins the seven inductees into the YMCA of Frederick County Alvin G. Quinn Sports Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. at the Downtown YMCA in Frederick, Md.

Gebbia is quickly becoming one of the most successful coaches in program history - she was the finalist for the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award in 2014 after becoming the winningest first-year coach in program history. She led the team to a 22-10 record and an at-large berth into the WNIT. Her success continued in the 2014-15 season, as she guided the team to its first Patriot League Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance.

She spent 10 years as the associate head coach at Marist, where she helped guide the Red Foxes to nine NCAA Tournaments, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2007.

Gebbia has mentored three Patriot League Scholar-Athletes of the Year, two Division I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athletes of the Year, a First Team Academic All-American, 39 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll selections, 11 All-Patriot League selections, one PL Player of the Year, on PL Defensive Player of the Year, and four PL All-Tournament honorees.

The Eagles remained at No. 13 on the Mid-Major Top 25 this week after they extended to 11 straight wins, including 10 in Patriot League play.

American broke into the Mid-Major Top 25 for the first time on Jan. 2, landing at No. 25 in the national poll after the win over Colgate. The Eagles moved up to No. 18 on Jan. 9 and No. 15 on Jan. 16.

Navy is the only other PL school to hold a spot on the list at No. 23.

American is among the top-15 teams in the NCAA with its current 11-game win streak. The Eagles haven't lost a game since George Washington on Dec. 17.

AU currently ranks ninth in NCAA Division I for the 11-0 run that started on Dec. 20 with the overtime upset over Penn State, 75-66. The team also ranks ninth with its 9-0 conference run and eighth for its 13-0 streak in Bender Arena.

This run also ties as the second-longest in program history. Only three other AU teams have hit 11 straight victories, including the historic 2014-15 team that closed its regular season with an 8-0 run before sweeping the three games in the Patriot League Tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

This also marks the first time in program history that a team has gone the entire month of February without a loss.

This season surpassed the historic 2014-15 season as the strongest conference start since the 2011-12 season when the Eagles went undefeated during the regular season conference slate.

Tickets for 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 American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.