AU women’s basketball dominates UMBC at home
The team won coming off of a three-loss road trip in Colorado and Hawaii
It seemed too easy. The Eagles were up by 30 points against the UMBC Retrievers in the middle of the second quarter, and they maintained that steady lead until the end of the game, which the Eagles won 64-42.
AU (4-3) returned to Bender on Wednesday following trips to Denver, Colorado and Hawaii over the Thanksgiving holiday. AU won 69-57 against the University of Hawaii at Maona, but lost by an average of 23 points against the University of Denver, Stanford University and Florida Gulf Coast University.
Head coach Megan Gebbia said she was unsure of how her team would perform coming off of the short losing stretch, but she was pleased that senior guard Kaitlyn Lewis stepped up to be tied as the team’s lead scorer, along with senior guard Elina Koskimies, with 16 points each.
“The last three games haven’t been very easy for us, so it was nice to get back into our level of play and being able to just run our stuff,” Gebbia said.
Gebbia credited the team’s cruise to victory to the team’s defense, saying that they got “stops and steals” and “ran transitions” to her liking.
Lewis contributed five steals to the team’s defensive performance, and both senior forward Cecily Carl and sophomore Indeya Sanders helped with one block each. Junior guard Katie Marenyi also helped with two steals, and Sanders helped with one more.
Lewis has been stepping up in practice “in a two-guard role and scoring role,” Gebbia said. Lewis and Koskimies’ performances allowed Marenyi to step back from being the team’s top scorer.
“I’ve been trying to keep my foot on the gas,” Lewis said. “Being a senior now and knowing the offense and defense so well, I feel like I can play as hard as I can without really thinking. So it’s going in there and doing what I know to do.”
Still, Lewis said she was unsure how the team’s “legs would feel” after all the travel.The entire bench was able to make it into the game, something that spectators didn’t get to see in Hawaii. Lewis noted that the five freshmen were rusty playing against UMBC.
Gebbia said that she isn’t surprised that the bench is not performing well, and she hopes that they will be able to click more come January, when conference play commences.
“Once they get more experience and they play with some of the starters, I hope that things get better for us,” Gebbia said.
The Eagles will play at the University of Virginia on Dec. 5, and will return home to Bender on Dec. 29 to play Ohio at 2 p.m.