Game 26 · American (21-4, 14-0 PL) vs. Lafayette (9-15, 5-9 PL)
Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 · 1 p.m. ET · Washington, D.C. (Bender Arena)
All-Time Record: American leads, 37-7
Stream: Patriot League Network on Watch Stadium
WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team returns home on Saturday with a 1 p.m. tipoff against Lafayette. This game will also serve as a celebration of this season's six seniors - Kate Bond, Io Chaney, Michael Harris, Asha Henley, Emily Kinneston and Maria Liddane - as they look to continue their historic run through the Patriot League.
The Eagles remain undefeated in the conference with a 14-0 record, 21-4 overall, while the Leopards sit at 5-9 in the league and 9-15 overall.
LOOKING FOR THAT BOOKEND
For five members of the AU women's basketball senior class, this season has been all about coming full-circle. When Kate Bond, Michael Harris, Asha Henley, Emily Kinneston, and Maria Liddane first stepped on AU's campus as freshmen, it was to join a program still in search of its first Patriot League Tournament title. By the end of the season, not only had they achieved that feat, but they also helped the team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance.
Since then, they have added one more to their number with transfer Io Chaney but fell short of repeating that historic postseason run after going 8-23 overall (5-13 PL) as sophomores and 15-16 overall (11-7 PL) as juniors. This season has brought them back to the precipice of history, though, as they enter the final four games of regular season play still undefeated in the conference and only one victory away from setting a new program record of 16 consecutive wins.
As these six Eagles enter the final stretch of their collegiate careers, they bring with them 68 victories, two 20-win seasons, one NCAA Tournament berth, 10 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll selections, and still much left to be written.
Kate Bond (Norman, Okla.) - International Communication, M.A.
Io Chaney (Bowie, Md.) - Business Administration: Marketing
Michael Harris (Abington, Pa.) - Public Health
Asha Henley (Silver Spring, Md.) - Graphic Design
Emily Kinneston (Shelburne, Vt.) - Biology
Maria Liddane (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) - Public Policy, M.A.
The Eagles lead the 44-game series against Lafayette, 37-7. AU opened the series with an 11-0 run against the Leopards, starting with a 62-53 victory in Washington on Jan. 19, 1982. AU got some redemption against the Leopards last season, sweeping them in both regular season games after falling to them twice in 2016. Prior to the 2015-16 season, the Eagles were on a 7-0 run against Lafayette, having not lost a game since 2013.
American will look to earn its sixth PL sweep this season after they outlasted the Leopards on their home court, 74-67, on Jan. 20.
Head Coach Megan Gebbia is currently 9-2 against Lafayette since she arrived at AU in 2013-14.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
American clinched its fifth sweep in the Patriot League on Wednesday after the Eagles outlasted Boston University, 61-54. Although junior Cecily Carl led the charge with 22 points, including 16 in the first quarter, it was senior Emily Kinneston who came away with the evening's highlight after she became the 18th player in program history to break through the 1,000-point barrier.
Kinneston entered the game only eight points below the coveted 1K mark and closed the evening with 17 points to bring her career tally up to 1,009. She also added a team-high six assists and six rebounds along with senior Michael Harris.
Sophomore Katie Marenyi earned a new career-record and season-high for the team with five steals. Carl shot an impressive 8-for-9 from the field to earn the eighth-best single-game field goal percentage in program history (.889).
Kinneston continues to lead the team with 15.0 ppg and 4.2 assists per game. Carl leads on the boards with 8.1 rpg and sits just behind Kinneston with a career-high 12.8 ppg.
The Eagles rank second in the PL with 65.6 ppg, but lead with 41.7 percent shooting from the field and 75.4 percent from the free throw line. They continue to pose one of the biggest defensive threats in the league, holding opponents to only 57.9 ppg and 35.4 percent shooting.
SCOUTING THE LEOPARDS
Lafayette is coming off its fourth loss in the last five games after the team fell to Navy on Wednesday, 59-43. Alexis Santarelli led the team with 11 points, followed by Sarah Agnello with 10. Natalie Kucowski, who leads the team this season with 11.7 ppg, was held to only six points against the Midshipmen and brought down a game-high 13 rebounds.
Kucowski leads the Patriot League on the boards with 10.9 rpg while Sammy Stipa sits as the team's top distributor with 3.0 assists per game.
Lafayette ranks first in the league with a .341 shooting percentage from the perimeter behind the 2.2 trey's per game from Anna Ptasinski (.390). The Leopards average 55.3 ppg (.378) and 37.0 rpg while their opponents average 60.8 ppg (.371).
1K FOR KINNESTON
Senior Emily Kinneston became the 18th player in AU women's basketball history to reach 1,000 points on Wednesday against Boston University.
Kinneston entered the game only eight points below the 1K mark after averaging 15.6 ppg in the conference season. She closed the first half against the Terriers with six points to sit a mere two below the mark. Her golden basket came in the second minute of the second half after sophomore Katie Marenyi snagged the steal on the other end of the court. Kinneston promptly raced toward the basket where Marenyi found her with a nice pass between two BU defenders. She promptly laid the ball up to land at 1,000 career points exactly with just over 18 minutes left in the game.
By the end of regulation, she added another nine to close the game with 1,009 points throughout her four years at AU.
Junior Cecily Carl is well on her way to becoming the fifth player in program history to break 500 rebounds and 100 blocks - she currently sits with 497 rebounds and 96 blocks and is averaging 8.1 rpg and 1.0 blocks per game with four games left in the regular season.
She is also on pace to break 1,000 points in the first half of next season, which would put her in the company of only Liz Leer (2007-11) and Kirsten Keller (1991-95) to have broken milestones in all three categories (scoring, rebounding, blocks).
EAGLES ON THE RUN
American is among the top-10 teams in the NCAA with its current 15-game win streak. The Eagles haven't lost a game since George Washington on Dec. 17.
AU currently ranks eighth in NCAA Division I for the 15-0 run that started on Dec. 20 with the overtime upset over Penn State, 75-66. The team is seventh in the country for its 14-0 conference run, eighth for its 15-0 streak in Bender Arena, and 10th for its 7-0 run on the road.
The Eagles tied the program record after landing its 15th consecutive victory on Wednesday against Boston University. The only other team to reach this milestone was the 2011-12 squad who went 15-0 to close the season as runner-up in the PL Tournament, advancing to the WNIT where they fell to Villanova.
#AUWBB AT HOME
The Eagles are 15-0 at home after their 69-56 win over Loyola (Md.). American was 13-2 in Bender Arena in 2017 with losses only to Army West Point and Holy Cross in January.
The last AU loss in Bender Arena was February 11, 2017, against Army (68-57).
The Eagles bumped up to No. 11 on the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 this week after they extended their win streak to 15 straight games, tying the program record from the 2011-12 season.
Navy is the only other PL school to hold a spot on the list at No. 17 while Bucknell received two votes in the latest poll.
American will return home one final time in the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 21, with an 11:30 a.m. tipoff against Holy Cross. 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 American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.