@AU_WBasketball Rolls Past Lafayette in PL Quarterfinal

Kaitlyn Marenyi drives against Holy Cross

WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team (21-9, 16-2) put up a great team effort against Lafayette (8-23, 2-16 PL) on Monday and advanced to the Patriot League semifinal with a commanding 67-47 victory.

The No. 2-seed Eagles will face No. 3 seed Lehigh at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, in Bender Arena.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Junior Kaitlyn Marenyi had one of her best performances of the season, pacing the team with 20 points on her 21st birthday off 7 of 13 from the field and a perfect 4 of 4 from the line. She nearly filled the scoresheet with a team-high six assists and three rebounds while failing to give up a single turnover.
  • That is her highest point total since returning from injury against Lafayette on Jan. 26, and is only four points from tying her career-high from earlier this season.
  • After struggling with her shooting during the regular season finale against Navy, senior Elina Koskimies was back near the top of the scoresheet, scoring 14 points including nine from three-point range. Navy is the only game in the last 35 that didn't see a three from Koskimies.
  • Senior Cecily Carl also landed in double-figures with 12 points while leading the team on the boards with seven rebounds alongside freshman Jade Edwards.
  • Carl now moves into the all-time top ten list for season scoring, hitting her 469th point to land at No. 9 in program history.
  • The Eagles pitched in an impressive 17 assists on their 23 made field goals.
  • AU closed with 47.9 percent shooting from the field (23-48), 33.3 percent from three-point range (8-24) and 65.0 percent from the charity stripe (13-20).
  • Natalie Kucowski picked up her game in the second half, scoring 17 of her team-high 19 points in the final 20 minutes to halt American's scoring onslaught. Drew Freeland was the only other player to join her in double-figures with 11 points, eight of which came in the third quarter.
  • Alex Cantwell paced the Leopards on the boards with nine rebounds while Kucowski, who entered the game averaging 11.2 rpg, was held to only seven.
  • Lafayette closed with one of its lowest shooting percentages against a PL team this season, shooting 29.6 percent from the field (16-54) and 22.2 percent from the perimeter (4-18). 
  • It was a game of runs for the Eagles, starting with the opening 14-2 scoring stretch behind an early nine-point effort from Marenyi. Neither team had a fruitful possession in the latter half of the stanza before the Leopards cut AU's lead down to seven with a three-point make from Freeland.
  • The Eagles kept their foot on the pedal in the second quarter, hitting a 17-2 run through the majority of the quarter behind five points from Edwards and four from Carl. By the end of the half, AU had picked up a 22-point cushion with a score of 36-14 heading into the locker room.
  • Koskimies picked up the largest lead of the game for AU midway through the third quarter, taking a nice pass from Carl before picking up the foul on the made jumper at the top of the key. One of the top free throw shooters in the country, she sank the shot from the line to give the Eagles a 26-point advantage at 49-25 with 4:28 left in the stanza.
  • A late run from the Leopards closed the gap to 18 points in the final minute of the quarter before a late trey from Koskimies rebuilt a 21-point lead at 54-33 heading into the final 10 minutes.
  • Lafayette cut that lead down to 16 on three occasions throughout the fourth quarter, but the tight AU defense shut down every potential run and it was once again Koskimies who got the final say with a layup to give American its final 20-point margin.

UP NEXT...
The No. 2 Eagles will be back in Bender Arena at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, to host No. 3 Lehigh in the Patriot League semifinal. The winner of that game will advance to the Patriot League Championship at noon on Sunday to face either No. 1 Bucknell or No. 5 Holy Cross. The final will be hosted by the highest remaining seed.

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 Semifinals on Thursday, March 14th at 7 pm
The American University Eagles women's basketball team has advanced to host a Patriot League Tournament semifinal game in Bender Arena this Thursday, March 14th at 7 pm vs. No. 3 seed Lehigh.  Ticket prices for the semifinal, set by the Patriot League, are $12 for adults and $6 for seniors (65+) and youth (under 13). Rates for groups with 10+ are $4 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) between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to secure their seats.