Women’s basketball crushes Lafayette in Patriot League quarterfinal
The team will advance to the semifinal Thursday in Bender
The top-seeded AU women's basketball team beat Lafayette 55-35 in the Patriot League quarterfinal Monday evening. The Eagles (24-6, 17-2 PL) will now face Army West Point in the semifinal game on Thursday night in Bender Arena.
Copping a W in the semifinal will ensure a space for the Eagles in the Patriot League championship game Sunday morning and a game in Bender Arena.
Junior guard Elina Koskimies’ never-tiring energy, senior guard Maria Liddane’s quick passes, junior forward Cecily Carl’s blocks and senior guard Emily Kinneston’s consistent scoring baskets were on display in the Eagle’s comprehensive victory.
The Eagles found themselves out-rebounded (45-41) by the game’s final buzzer, an issue that Gebbia has said multiple times has been the team’s weakness.
Once the Eagles took a significant lead, Gebbia gave some players who typically sit far into the bench – sometimes for entire games – a chance to play in the season’s quarterfinal.
Those players included senior guards Kate Bond and Asha Henley, freshman guard Indeya Sanders and senior forward Io Chaney. Those four, including sophomore forward TaeKenya Cleveland, made up the Eagles’ lineup on the court as the final buzzer sounded.
Bond made her first appearance in the game at the start of the final quarter, and within two minutes, she attempted a 3-point jump shot. Bond, Henley, Sanders and Chaney did not put any points on the board in their combined time on the court. Kinneston led the team with 20 points and 7 assists, and Carl had a team-high 11 rebounds.
Carl reached another career milestone on Monday, achieving 100 career blocks. Carl is the fifth player in program history to have both 100 career blocks and 500 career rebounds. Carl recorded her 500th rebound on Feb. 17 in the Eagles’ regular season home game against Lafayette.
“I think getting blocked shots is just something that's a feeling that you have,” Carl said. “I think that probably a scoring milestone would be something that would get into my head [for the remainder of the game] more than a defensive milestone.”
The semifinal game
With the Eagles’ game against Army West Point approaching, the team knows that they will have to give it their all to ensure a spot in the championship.
“We know it's going to be a physical battle. We need to make sure we get our rest,” Gebbia said. “The rebounding is going to be really important that game, and our defensive intensity that we had today is going to be really important. We just need to make sure we execute and follow the scout like we did today.”
When AU played Army at home on Feb. 3, the Eagles had to overcome a 12-point deficit to win 71-63 in overtime. When the Eagles played Army in New York on Jan. 8, AU won by 18 points.
Army defeated Lehigh on the road in their Patriot League quarterfinal game 62-60 on Monday. The Black Knights lost their last game of the regular season against Bucknell on Feb. 28 by 20.