Game 30 (Patriot League Quarterfinal) · American (20-9, 16-2 PL) vs. Lafayette (8-22, 2-16 PL)
Monday, March 11, 2019 · 7 p.m. · Washington, D.C. (Bender Arena)
All-Time Record: American leads, 32-23
WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team (20-9, 16-2 PL) will open postseason play on Monday, March 11, with a 7 p.m. tip against Lafayette (8-22, 2-16 PL) in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal.
The Eagles earned a share of the Patriot League regular season title after tying with Bucknell with a 16-2 conference record. The Bison came away with the tie-breaker, though, after sweeping American in the regular season, bumping AU down to the No. 2 seed heading into the tournament.
- The Eagles lead the 48-game series against Lafayette, 41-7, after sweeping the Leopards this season.
- 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 has only lost to Lafayette in Bender Arena once throughout the two teams' 35-year history - on Jan. 20, 2016 with a final score of 60-51.
- American swept the Leopards during the regular season last year before earning a dominant 20-point win in Bender Arena during the Patriot League quarterfinal to open the Eagles' postseason run.
- Head Coach Megan Gebbia is currently 12-2 against Lafayette since she arrived at AU in 2013-14.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
- American picked up some momentum to close the regular season, bouncing back after the 65-64 loss to Bucknell to earn a dominant 69-44 win over Navy on Wednesday.
- 2019 Patriot League Player of the Year Cecily Carl led the Eagles with yet another 20-point performance, making that the seventh game in the last 10 that she's scored 20+.
- The Eagles placed three players on the postseason All-League Teams last week with Carl (POY, 1st Team), senior Elina Koskimies (2nd Team, All-Defensive) and freshman Jade Edwards (All-Rookie).
- Edwards is the first All-Rookie honoree for AU since Carl in 2016.
- With the win over Navy, the Eagles have earned their fourth 20-win season since head coach Megan Gebbia took over in 2013-14.
SCOUTING THE LEOPARDS
- Lafayette surprised No. 7 Army West Point on Saturday as a driving layup from Nia Holland in the final seconds broke the 61-61 tie in West Point to advance the Leopards, 63-61.
- That win breaks an 11-game skid for the Leopards that started with the 60-45 loss to American on Jan. 26.
- Lafayette was led by 2019 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, Natalie Kucowski, who earned her 15th double-double of the season with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
- Olivia Martino was the only other Leopard in double-figures with 10 points.
- Kucowski continues to lead the team across the board and leads the PL in blocked shots (2.3), is 2nd in rebounding (11.2 rpg) and 4th in scoring (14.8 ppg).
- As a team, Lafayette is 3rd in the league for rebounding (40.0), blocked shots (3.9), and FG defense (.374).
LAST TIME OUT
- AU earned a share of the PL regular season title on Wednesday with a decisive 69-44 victory over Navy, bumping up to a 20-win season for the second consecutive year.
- Cecily Carl paced the Eagles with her seventh 20-point performance over the last 10 games, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from the perimeter, 8-for-13 from the field, and 1-for-2 from the line.
- Kaitlyn Marenyi was next with 13 points and a team-high four assists followed by freshman Emily Fisher who scored 10 points off the bench while bringing down a team-high eight rebounds.
- Ten of the 11 players who took the court scored for the Eagles, including seven who also pitched in assists as AU closed with 16 to Navy's five.
- American closed with one of its highest shooting percentages of the season, hitting 49.1 percent from the field (26-53) and 66.7 percent from 3-point range (8-12).
- The Eagles led from start to finish, with Navy keeping tight in the first quarter behind the 13-point effort from the Mids' Jennifer Coleman.
- Navy managed to draw even with AU briefly after a trey from Laurel Jaunich knotted the score at 16-16 to start the second quarter, but a 9-0 run from the Eagles rebuilt the advantage and the Mids would fail to cut that lead down closer than three points for the remainder of the game.
REGULAR SEASON TITLES
- American has now won six regular-season titles in its 18-year history in the league, including two under sixth-year head coach, Megan Gebbia.
- American shared the regular season crown in 2009-10 (Lehigh) and 2010-11 (Lehigh and Navy).
THE HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
- American was 23-0 at home against PL opponents before the loss to Bucknell broke the run that began during the 2016-17 season.
- Before Bucknell, Army was the last PL team to topple AU in Bender Arena, 68-57 (Feb. 11, 2017).
- The Eagles are on a 37-6 run at home since the start of the 2016-17 season.
- Coming into the season, the Eagles were ranked within the top ten in Division I for overall home win streaks. They reached 23 consecutive games (6th in the NCAA) before losing to Ohio on Dec. 29 (77-67).
- The run dated back to the Feb. 15, 2017, victory over Lafayette, 75-45.
- In the Megan Gebbia era, the Eagles are 66-22 (.750) in Bender Arena, including 51-12 (.810) in Patriot League play. Among the highlights in her six seasons was the program's first undefeated season at home since the 1970s last year.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO...
- Cecily Carl has added yet another honor to her historic career as she became the fifth player in program history to be selected as the Patriot League Player of the Year, the league office announced on Friday.
- Carl, who was also selected to the Patriot League First Team, is joined by classmate Elina Koskimies and freshman Jade Edwards on the all-league release.
- Koskimies was selected for her first postseason award as a member of both the Patriot League Second Team and All-Defensive Team.
- Edwards became the first Eagle since Carl in 2015-16 to be voted onto the All-Rookie Team.
- This is the second consecutive Player of the Year award for the Eagles after then-senior Emily Kinneston was selected last season during the team's run to the Patriot League title. For Carl, it is a bookend to an incredible career as she also became only the third player in program history to earn Player of the Year as a senior after being selected to the All-Rookie team.
The winner of Monday's game will advance to the semifinal round on Thursday. Each semifinal game will take place at the two highest remaining seeds.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.
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.