Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, September 20, 2018

Women’s basketball to play UCLA in first round of NCAA Tournament

14th-seeded Eagles travel west for opening round

Women’s basketball to play UCLA in first round of NCAA Tournament

Senior guard Maria Liddane plays in the Patriot League championship game Sunday.

The Eagles are packing up their dancing shoes for the west coast.

The women's basketball team, seeded 14th in the Kansas City Region, will play 3rd-seeded UCLA in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Los Angeles. The game will be aired on ESPN2, according to the NCAA's website.

The Eagles, who finished their season 26-6 and undefeated on their home court, won the Patriot League title on Sunday in Bender, defeating Navy 58-49.

This season proved to be fruitful for the Eagles: senior guard Emily Kinneston was named both PL Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year and head coach Megan Gebbia was named PL Coach of the Year. Kinneston also earned recognition as a First Team All-Patriot League selection, while junior forward Cecily Carl earned a spot on the All-Patriot League Second Team and senior guard Maria Liddane was named to the Third Team All-Patriot League and All-Defensive Team.

Following the Eagles’ championship victory Sunday in Bender Arena, Carl was named the Patriot League Tournament MVP. Carl averaged 13.7 points per game and 11.7 rebounds per game in AU’s three PL Tournament victories.

UCLA, on the other hand, finished its season 24-7 and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins finished the season ranked 9th nationally, but fell in the Pac-12 Tournament championship to Oregon. Senior guard Jordin Canada was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for the Bruins. Additionally, senior center Monique Billings is a finalist for the 2018 Lisa Leslie Award, an award that honors the best centers in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.

When the Eagles last qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2014, they were also seeded 14th and lost in the opening round 75-67 to the University of Iowa.

kcataudella@theeagleonline.com


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