WASHINGTON - It was the type of game you'd expect between the top two teams in the Patriot League but not the ending that the American University women's basketball was hoping for, as the Eagles' 15-game win streak was brought to an end in a thrilling battle against Bucknell, 65-64.
The two teams now tie for first in the Patriot League regular season standings while the Bison move into the No. 1 seed for the Patriot League Tournament with one more game remaining.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Bucknell has been the only Patriot League team to topple AU so far this season. The Bison outpaced the Eagles in the conference opener, 71-56, before American took off on a 15-game win streak through the rest of the Patriot League slate.
- This is the first Patriot League loss in Bender Arena for American since Feb. 11, 2017, when Army West Point bested the Eagles, 68-57. Since then, AU has been on a 23-0 run, including all three games of the Patriot League Tournament last season.
- Sophomore Indeya Sanders stepped up in a big way for the Eagles, leading the team with 15 points and filling the scoresheet with six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block.
- Senior Cecily Carl was the only other Eagle in double-figures, scoring 14 during the senior day celebration to go along with her four rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block. She shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the perimeter and 5-for-8 overall from the field.
- Freshman Jade Edwards led the team on the boards with six rebounds while classmate Emily Fisher dished out a team-high four assists alongside Sanders.
- The Eagles closed with their highest shooting percentage since the win over Loyola Maryland on Feb. 13, hitting 47.1 percent off 24-for-51 from the field while going 38.9 percent from 3-point range (7-18).
- Missed free throws plagued the Eagles as they went only 9 of 15 to land below their average at 60 percent. AU entered the game 75 percent from the line.
- Bucknell had four players with double-figures, starting with a 15-point effort from Abby Kapp. Ellie Mack was next with 13 followed by Kate Walker with 11 and Kaitlyn Slagus with 11 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double.
- The Bison closed shooting 41.5 percent from the field (22-53), 33.3 percent from 3-point range (7-21) and 70 percent at the line (14-20).
- Bucknell took advantage of the 15 American turnovers, scoring 22 points while the Eagles earned 15 off the Bison's 15 mishaps.
- AU dominated in the paint, 32-20, and just edged Bucknell on the glass with 32 rebounds.
- It was a tight game from start to finish as neither team led by more than seven points throughout the 40 minutes of play. By the final buzzer, the two teams had drawn even nine times and switched leads 11 times.
- Edwards opened the game with a quick three points after getting fouled on the layup in the first minute of play. American was able to hold off the aggressive Bucknell offense through the first half of the stanza, matching the Bison basket-for-basket until a 7-0 run midway through gave AU its first deficit of the evening.
- By the end of the first, the Eagles regained a three-point advantage after Fisher hit a nice jumper from the elbow.
- Senior Elina Koskimies' only three of the game put AU up by six at 26-20 in the first minute of the second quarter, but a series of turnovers swung momentum back in favor of the Bison as Bucknell closed the half with a 36-34 lead.
- American played catch-up through most of the third quarter before a pair of fruitful visits to the free throw line from Sanders put the Eagles up 50-48 with less than 2:30 in the stanza.
- Bucknell responded in kind, capitalizing on a pair of trips to the line to retake a 53-51 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
- As has been the theme for much of the second half of conference play, the game boiled down to the final minute of play as the Eagles trailed by one with 51 seconds remaining on the clock.
- A pair of free throws from Bucknell's Kyi English with 15 seconds left put the Bison up by three at 65-62.
- Head Coach Megan Gebbia used a timeout to advance the ball and Sanders took advantage of the possession, hitting a layup off the baseline to cut Bucknell's lead back down to one at 65-64. The play used up valuable seconds, though, as only two seconds remained with Bucknell also choosing to advance the ball.
- In what was nearly a game-winning play, Koskimies came away with the steal on the inbound but officials stopped play to review the clock and put 1.2 seconds on the clock while awarding possession back to American.
- Edwards, who hit the buzzer-beater to beat Boston University last week, was just off the mark with her last-second heave against the Bison as the clock ran down with the final 65-64 deficit.
The Eagles will return home for the regular season finale on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. tip against Navy. AU will have the weekend off before hosting the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal on Monday, March 4, at 7 p.m.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.
AU Women's Basketball to Host Patriot League Tournament on March 11th
The American University Eagles women's basketball team has earned the right to host a Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal round game in Bender Arena on Monday, March 11th at 7pm. Ticket prices for the quarterfinal game, set by the Patriot League, are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors (65+) and youth (under 13). Rates for groups with 10+ are $3 per person and must be purchased in advance through the box office. AU students with valid AU ID will be admitted free of charge. 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. to secure their seats.