Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Women’s basketball makes history with 16th consecutive win

Carl becomes 17th player in program history to record 500 rebounds

Women’s basketball makes history with 16th consecutive win

Senior Kate Bond claps for teammates during Senior Day in Bender Arena. 

The 2017-2018 women’s basketball team shattered the program’s record Saturday, securing their 16th straight win against Lafayette University 74-66. The 2011-2012 team held the previous win streak record with 15 consecutive wins.

The Eagles (22-4, 15-0 PL) remain undefeated at home and in the Patriot League with the victory. As the top seed in the Patriot League, they've secured a spot in the Patriot League quarterfinal game and have home court advantage. The game will be in Bender Arena on March 5 at 7 p.m.

Junior forward Cecily Carl led the team with 22 points, and by the end of the game, she became the 17th player in program history to achieve 500 rebounds.

“I had no idea,” Carl said after the game. “It feels good. Rebounding is something I've been trying to focus on especially this year.”

Head coach Megan Gebbia was frustrated that the team allowed Lafayette to have several easy baskets. The game was tied 21-21 until two minutes into the second quarter, and two minutes before the third quarter finished, AU was ahead by only two points (44-42).

“I thought we did a good job digging on ball handlers and things like that, but we didn’t do a great job on transition defense all the time,” Gebbia said. “We left some people open when we shouldn't have. We didn't communicate well.”

Senior guard Emily Kinneston led the team in rebounds (4) and assists (8), and her plays were the most eye-catching. In the first quarter, Kinneston scurried beneath the basket and faked a layup. While airborne, she passed to junior guard Elina Koskimies, who shot from outside the paint.

Carl made four out of her six attempted 3-point shots, and sophomore forward TaeKenya Cleveland made one out of her two attempted 3-pointers, totaling 15 points from behind the three-point line between the two players.

Twice, Kinneston flung the ball across the length of the entire court to senior guard Maria Liddane, who completed a layup before Lafayette even made it to defend her.

“I think all the seniors played well and were able to focus on the game rather than the big moment that it was,” Kinneston said, referring to the nerves around breaking the win-streak record. “Even people off the bench stepped up, so I think it was a good win.”

The starting lineup included five out of the six seniors: Kinneston, Liddane, forward Michael Harris and guards Asha Henley and Kate Bond.

“We practiced like that for the past few days,” Kinneston said. “It was exciting to be out there because we've been through so much together. Four years is a lot to spend with them and it's been a roller coaster.”

Harris made the first shot of the game (a layup), just like she did when the team last played at home on Feb. 7 against Loyola Maryland. On Saturday, Harris scored 8 points in her 21 minutes on the court.

Bond played for nine minutes and missed an attempted 3-point jump shot just 25 seconds into the game after she made the team’s first steal. She gave the team two points from a layup later in the first half for her only basket of the game.

Senior forward Io Chaney entered the game four minutes after tip-off, and she played five minutes total.  

Before tip-off, the team’s six seniors were honored on the court for their dedication to the program over their four years playing with AU. The women all received flowers, and Kinneston was honored for becoming the 18th player to score 1,000 points during Wednesday’s away game against Boston University.

The Eagles play Holy Cross Wednesday in Bender at 11:30 a.m. in their last regular season home game.

kcataudella@theeagleonline.com


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