WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team fought in an aggressive victory on Wednesday, outpacing Loyola Maryland, 69-56.
The Eagles stretched their undefeated run to 13 straight games and 12 in Patriot League play as they continued their undefeated run through the conference schedule (19-4 overall, 12-0 PL). The Greyhounds now land at 7-16 overall and 5-7 in the league.
Senior Emily Kinneston continues to lead the team with her ninth consecutive game in double-figures, scoring a team-high 17 points for the Eagles. Senior Michael Harris followed with 14 points while junior Cecily Carl tied her career-best with 15 rebounds. Carl also added a career-high six assists to lead the team for the second time this season.
The Eagles shot 49.1 percent from the field, 27.3 percent from three-point range, and brought down 40 rebounds. They had a season-high 44 points in the paint.
Loyola was led by an 18-point effort from Alexis Gray. Izzy Therien added another 14 points while Stephanie Karcz put up her eighth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Greyhounds shot 27.4 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from the perimeter, and led the Eagles on the boards with 46 rebounds.
Loyola's only two leads of the game came early in the first quarter after a pair of baskets from Gray gave the Greyhounds a brief one-point edge. An 11-0 run from AU built the Eagles' first 10-point lead of the night before a late pair of jumpers from Therien and Gray brought Loyola back within six heading into the break, 15-9.
The Eagles controlled the early minutes of the second quarter, gaining as much as a 15-point advantage behind a combined 11 points from sophomores TaeKenya Cleveland and Katie Marenyi. By halftime, the Eagles led 32-21, holding Loyola to only 8 of 40 from the field.
American was able to maintain its double-figure cushion through the third quarter, closing with a 10-point lead at 51-41. The fourth quarter turned into a battle, though, as Loyola opened with a 9-1 run to close the gap to two points with 7:27 left in the game, 52-50. A 6-1 run by Kinneston, including four off of steals from Liddane, put the Eagles back up by seven, but Loyola fought back yet with a quick five points to land back within two points with just over three minutes left to play.
But, as has been the tale throughout the season, AU was able to control the final minutes of regulation as back-to-back baskets from Koskimies propelled the Eagles to an 11-0 run to close the game with their final 13-point advantage, 69-56.
The Eagles will be back on the road for the first time since Jan. 24 with a trip to Lehigh on Saturday. AU will return home on Feb. 17 for a 1 p.m. tipoff against Lafayette. That game will also be the Senior Day celebration for the six members of this year's graduating class - Kate Bond, Io Chaney, Michael Harris, Asha Henley, Emily Kinneston, and Maria Liddane.
For the latest on American Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.