WASHINGTON - A strong fourth quarter pulled the American University women's basketball team to its eighth-straight victory on Wednesday as the Eagles overcame a first-half deficit against Holy Cross to come away with a 70-58 win.
The Eagles hit the road for a three-game stretch with a 12-8 overall record, 8-1 in the Patriot League, while the Crusaders fall to 11-9 overall and 3-6 in the league.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Senior Cecily Carl paced the Eagles with 20 points, including 11 during the second half run to secure the win. She also brought down a season-high 10 boards to complete her first double-double of the season.
- Senior Elina Koskimies and junior Kaitlyn Marenyi rounded out the double-figure scoring with 16 points and 15 points, respectively. Marenyi also came through with some big plays down the stretch, adding a dozen points in the final 20 minutes while Koskimies put up nine.
- Senior Kaitlyn Lewis pitched in a team-high four assists while sophomore Indeya Sanders, freshman Jade Edwards and Marenyi all came away with three steals.
- The Eagles shot 42.6 percent from the floor (23-54), 30 percent from three-point range (6-20), and 78.3 percent from the free throw line (18-23).
- Holy Cross was led by a double-double effort from Lauren Manis who earned 19 points and 10 rebounds. Jenay Faulkner was the only other player to land in double-figures with 10 points. Manis, Avery LaBarbera, and Madalyn Smith led the team with four assists each.
- The Crusaders shot 47.1 percent from the field (24-51), 30 percent from the perimeter (6-20), and 50 percent from the line (4-8).
- AU held Holy Cross, who came into the game ranked second in the league on the boards with 40.5 rpg, to only 28 rebounds while bringing down 33, including 10 on the offensive boards.
- Both teams earned 24 points in the paint but the Eagles held the edge in both points off turnovers (16-14) and second-chance points (8-2).
- The Eagles struggled to keep pace with the Crusaders in the first half after Holy Cross shot 75 percent from the floor (9-12) and a perfect 2-for-2 from the perimeter to take a 21-12 lead after the first quarter.
- A 5-0 run by Koskimies and Carl brought the Eagles back to within three midway through the second quarter before a trey from Manis widened the gap at 30-24 with 2:53 left in the half. Marenyi put away her first of two three-pointers to bring the Eagles back within striking distance, but a late five points put the Crusaders up 35-27 heading into the break.
- AU chipped away at the Holy Cross lead during the third quarter, improving to 41.7 percent from the field (5-12) during the 19-15 run in the stanza.
- The Crusaders widened the lead to double-figures after another 5-0 run in the first three minutes, but another three from Marenyi sparked an 8-3 run to close the quarter and bring AU back within four at 46-50.
- For the sixth consecutive game, AU controlled the final 10 minutes, hitting a decisive 24-8 run off 61.5 percent (8-13) from the field.
- Carl tied the game at 54-54 in the midst of a 22-2 run as the Crusaders struggled to keep pace. A pair of free throws from Sanders gave the Eagles their largest lead of the game at 70-56 before a last-minute jumper from Manis cut the lead back down to 12 at 70-58.
- Marenyi shot a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor to close the game.
- After struggling from three-point range in the first 30 minutes of play, Koskimies knocked in an impressive three-pointer off the glass in the final two minutes of play to extend her run to 26 consecutive games with at least one trey.
- The Eagles are now 21-0 at home against Patriot League teams in a run that dates back to February 11, 2017.
The Eagles will hit the road for a three-game stretch against Colgate (Feb. 1), Army (Feb. 9) and Loyola Maryland (Feb. 13). AU's next home game is Saturday, Feb. 16 against Lehigh.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.