PHILADELPHIA - The American University women's basketball team (22-11, 16-2 PL) put up a good second half fight but couldn't overcome an early deficit against Penn (24-6, 12-2 Ivy) and fell to the Quakers in the first round of the WNIT, 64-45.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Senior Cecily Carl closed her historic career much the same way she played it - at the top of the scoresheet. The 2019 Patriot League Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year paced the Eagles with 16 points, shooting 6 for 18 from the field and 4 for 10 from three-point range.
- Patriot League All-Rookie Team honoree Jade Edwards was close behind, scoring 14 points to go along with her nine rebounds to just miss the double-double.
- Senior Elina Koskimies pitched in four assists alongside her three points while classmate Kaitlyn Lewis added a pair of assists.
- The Eagles struggled to connect offensively in the first half, shooting only 25 percent from the field ( and 23.1 percent from the perimeter. They picked up the pace in the final two quarters, though, and closed with 31.5 percent shooting from the floor and 23.8 percent from long range.
- Penn, one of the top-ranked defensive team in Division I this year, closed shooting 41.5 percent (22-53) from the field and had one of its top performances from the perimeter with 42.9 percent (9-21).
- Eleah Parker led the Quakers with the game's only double-double, scoring 16 points while pulling down 17 rebounds. Ashley Russell added a game-high 18 points while Phoebe Sterba rounded out the double-figure scoring with 15 points.
- A slow start put the Eagles on their heels early as the Quakers raced to an early 16-5 lead in the first quarter after a pair of +3:00 scoring droughts stymied AU.
- Penn maintained the tempo in the opening minutes of the second quarter before Carl showed her prowess from the perimeter, hitting three consecutive treys to slow down the Quakers. But the Eagles still entered the locker room with their largest halftime deficit of the season at 38-17.
- American opened the second half with new life, though, hitting its usual rhythm after a quick 7-0 run from Carl and Lewis forced an early Penn timeout.
- The two teams went back-and-forth for the remainder of the quarter as the Eagles cut into the Penn lead to enter the final 10 minutes down 54-35.
- American continued laying on the pressure in the fourth quarter, cutting the gap down to 14 after an early five points from Koskimies and Edwards. But a 6-0 Penn run bumped the margin back to 20 and the Quakers maintained the margin through the final buzzer.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.