Gebbia, Kinneston Earn Patriot League Major Awards

2018 Patriot League major awards - Megan Gebbia, Coach of the Year, Emily Kinneston, Player of the Year

WASHINGTON – Head Coach Megan Gebbia and senior Emily Kinneston were both selected for Patriot League major awards, the league office announced on Friday.  The honors cap off what has been a historic regular season for the AU women's basketball team, as the Eagles closed with the strongest overall record in program history at 23-6, including a 16-2 run through the conference that secured them the regular-season Patriot League title.

Senior Emily Kinneston was voted as the PL Player of the Year while head coach Megan Gebbia was selected for her second PL Coach of the Year honor. Senior Maria Liddane and sophomore Cecily Carl also closed with All-League honors. Carl was selected to the All-Patriot League second team while Liddane earned spots on both the third team and all-defensive team.

The Patriot League major awards and all-League teams were voted on by Patriot League women's basketball head coaches, who could not vote for their own student-athletes or themselves.

Kinneston, who also earned a first-team all-league selection, is the fourth player in program history to receive PL Player of the Year honors. This is her first appearance on the league's first team after she was selected to the second team and all-defensive team last season. 

Gebbia joins Matt Corkery (2008-13) as the only coach in AU history to earn two PL Coach of the Year honors. She last earned the award after the 2014-15 regular season when the Eagles made program history with their first PL Tournament title and berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Kinneston, a native of Shelburne, Vt., picked up right where she left off after a breakout junior campaign. The senior became the 18th player in program history to reach the prestigious 1,000-point milestone against Boston University on Feb. 14. She has scored 64 points in the games since, and now sits at No. 15 in the AU record books with 1,064 points throughout her career.

One of the most dynamic and well-rounded players in the league, Kinneston ranks third in the PL with her 15.3 ppg average and has led the conference in assists throughout the season (4.3 per game). She is also 15th in the conference, second on the team, with 5.2 rpg. She is shooting a career-high 44.8 percent from the floor, 39.0 percent from 3-point range, and 78.1 percent from the free throw line.

Now in her fifth season with the Eagles, Gebbia guided AU to the program's strongest regular season record ever at 23-6 overall and 16-2 in the Patriot League. In the midst of that run was a 17-game win streak, which reset the previous program record of 15 consecutive wins from the 2011-12 season. The team also went undefeated at home for the first time since the 1970s, and currently holds one of the top win streaks in the country (No. 8 in NCAA Division I) on their home court at 17-0.

An inductee into the Frederick County Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year, Gebbia has guided the team to a string of appearances in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll where the Eagles peaked at No. 11 in the country.

Two other Eagles earned all-league nods as junior Cecily Carl was selected to the All-Patriot League second team and senior Maria Liddane was voted onto both the third team and all-defensive team.

This is Carl's third postseason nod of her career after she earned a third team honor last year and was voted onto the all-rookie team in 2016. She became the 19th player in program history to reach 500 rebounds against Lafayette on Feb. 17 and is now one block away from sitting in elite company as one of five players to reach 500 rebounds and 100 blocks.

The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native is averaging a team-high 7.9 rpg and a career-high 12.8 ppg. Her impressive 88.9 percent shooting from the line currently puts her at No. 2 in AU's single-season record book.

For Liddane, this pair of all-league honors marks her first career appearance in the postseason awards release. One of the top players in program history for assists, Liddane has led the league in assist/turnover ratio (2.2) throughout the season and consistently ranked within the top 10 for assists per game (3.1). She is averaging 5.5 ppg and 3.1 rpg. 

2017-18 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PATRIOT LEAGUE MAJOR AWARDS
Player of the Year:  Emily Kinneston, American, Sr.
Defensive Player of the Year: Stephanie Karcz, Loyola (Md.), So.
Rookie of the Year: Izzy Therien, Loyola (Md.), Fr.
Coach of the Year: Megan Gebbia, American

FIRST-TEAM ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE
Emily Kinneston, American, Sr.
Kate Walker, Bucknell, Jr.
Lauren Manis, Holy Cross, So.
Stephanie Karcz, Loyola (Md.), So.
Taylor Dunham, Navy, Sr. 

SECOND-TEAM ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE
Cecily Carl, American, Jr.
Madison Hovren, Army West Point, Jr.
Kaitlyn Slagus, Bucknell, Jr.
Infiniti Thomas-Waheed, Holy Cross, Sr.
Quinci Mann, Lehigh, Sr.
 
THIRD-TEAM ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE
Maria Liddane, American, Sr.
Nia Irving, Boston U., So.
Kyi English, Bucknell, Jr.
Camryn Buhr, Lehigh, So.
Hannah Fenske, Navy, Sr.

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Maria Liddane, American, Sr.
Janae McNeal, Army West Point, Sr.
Catherine Romaine, Bucknell, Sr.
Stephanie Karcz, Loyola Maryland, So.
Kaila Clark, Navy, So.

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Katie Nelson, Boston U.
Abby Kapp, Bucknell
Drew Freeland, Lafayette
Natalie Kucowski, Lafayette
Izzy Therien, Loyola Maryland


The Eagles will return to Bender Arena for the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal round on Monday, March 5, where they will face the winner of Saturday's First Round game between No. 9 Boston University and No. 8 Lafayette. 

Ticket prices for the quarterfinal game, set by the Patriot League, are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and youth. Rates for groups with 10+ are $3 per person. Tickets are now on sale via AUEagles.com/Tickets. Fans can also visit the Athletics Ticket Office in person, or call (202) 885-TIXX (8499) Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.