WASHINGTON – American University women's basketball head coach Megan Gebbia released the Eagles' 2019-20 schedule on Tuesday, which features nine postseason qualifiers from last season.
"I am excited about this season's schedule because of the success and locale of our opponents," said Gebbia, who is entering into her seventh season with the Eagles. "We have a nice combination of WNIT and NCAA Tournament teams from last year, and teams within driving distance so our fans can travel to watch us. I couldn't pass up on the talented competition regionally who will test us along the way as we try to prepare for Patriot League play."
Included in the 11-game nonconference schedule is an exciting home slate, featuring WNIT Tournament qualifiers Villanova (November 14), High Point (Nov. 18), and Minnesota (Dec. 8), and local foe George Washington (December 22).
The Eagles will also travel to Philadelphia over the Thanksgiving weekend to take part in the St. Joseph's Tournament where they will face the Hawks, Drexel, and Buffalo, who made its storied run into the NCAA Sweet 16 two years ago.
AU's road schedule also features trips to Ohio (Nov. 10), George Mason (Nov. 21), Gebbia's alma mater Towson (Nov. 24), and Radford (Dec. 15).
Open at the Close…
The Eagles will open the year with a trip to Ohio University on Sunday, Nov. 10. AU first faced the Bobcats last season to close the nonconference schedule, losing to the eventual WNIT quarterfinalists, 77-67, in Bender Arena.
Long Time, No See
Of the 11 nonconference opponents, five haven't faced American in at least a decade with St. Joseph's (last played in 1997-98), Towson (2006-07), Minnesota (2008-09), Radford (2008-09), and Buffalo (2009-10).
Gebbia Returns Home
November 24 will have a special meaning for head coach Megan Gebbia, as she prepares to return to play at her alma mater, Towson, for the first time since 2000.
Gebbia's first time meeting Towson as a coach was during her time as an assistant at American in 1995 when the Eagles defeated the Tigers in D.C., 76-72. Since then, Gebbia has coached against her alma mater four times as an assistant at UMBC and holds a record of 5-0 against Towson. This will be the first time she faces them as a head coach.
#AUWBB vs. Postseason Qualifiers
Eight of AU's nonconference foes closed 2018-19 with berths into either the NCAA or WNIT Tournaments. Included in that number is Ohio, who made the longest run of the bunch as wins over High Point, Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky found the Bobcats in the quarterfinal where they lost to eventual runner-up, Northwestern.
American will face three other WNIT qualifiers with Drexel, Minnesota, and Villanova. The Eagles will also match up against a trio of NCAA Tournament teams with Radford, Towson, and Buffalo, who advanced into the second round of the tournament last year.
In the Polls…
Minnesota, now in its second season under head coach Lindsay Whalen, peaked at No. 12 in the AP Top 25 and No. 13 in the Coaches Poll last season. Whalen returned to her alma mater in 2018 after a historic WNBA and international career where she was a four-time WNBA Champion, five-time WNBA All-Star, and two-time Olympic and World Championship gold medalist with Team USA.
Five of AU's other nonconference opponents closed last season on the CollegeInsider.com Top 25 with Ohio (No. 14), Drexel (No. 16), Buffalo (No. 22), Radford (No. 25), and Towson (RV).
The Eagles, who maintained a spot in the mid-major top 25 for much of the 2018-19 conference season, closed at No. 23.
Patriot League Dominance…
The Eagles have been one of the powerhouses in the Patriot League over the past two seasons, accumulating a record of 32-4 during the regular season with losses to only Bucknell (3) and Navy.
Despite losing three starters to graduation last season with Patriot League Player of the Year Cecily Carl, PL All-Defensive Team selection Elina Koskimies, and Kaitlyn Lewis, the Eagles return an exciting group from the team that advanced to the program's sixth WNIT. Among the highlights for this group are returning starters senior Kaitlyn Marenyi, junior Indeya Sanders, and sophomore Jade Edwards, who closed the season as a PL All-Rookie Team selection.
Joining the Eagles this season is an exciting four-player class of 2023, which features a mix of national and international talent with forward Lauren Stack (Naperville, Ill. / Benet Academy), guard Sadie Stetson (Waterford, Vt. / St. Johnsbury Academy), forward Karla Vres (Zagreb, Croatia / Ensen Gymnasium Sodra, Stockholm), and forward Thuraya Abdul Hamid (Amman, Jordan / Blair Academy, New Jersey).
Four of AU's home games, including two during the nonconference schedule, will feature special event promotions, starting with the team's annual District Day and Military Appreciation Day during the home opener against Villanova on Thursday, Nov. 14. Other special events include:
Monday, Nov. 18 – Pride Night
Saturday, Jan. 11 – National Girls and Women in Sports Day
Wednesday, Jan. 22 – Field Trip Day, VIP Day, AhealthyU Day
Saturday, Feb. 1 – Black History Month celebration
Saturday, Feb. 15 – Play4Kay
Secure your 2019-20 women's basketball season tickets today. General admission season tickets are $80 for adults and $50 for youth (17 and below) and seniors (65+), for a savings of over 23 percent off face value. Benefits include a full exchange for games you cannot make as well as discounts and special benefits throughout the year. All season ticket holders receive priority ticketing for all postseason tournament games.
- Free admittance to home basketball games for all AU students (undergraduate, graduate, and WCL) with a valid AU ID.
- Renew your women's basketball season ticket package here.
- For inquiries and assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 885-2617 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter (@AU_WBasketball) and Instagram (@auwbasketball).