The AU Women’s Basketball team bounced back from its first defeat of the season to beat Mount St. Mary’s 72-62 Wednesday night in Emmittsburg, Md., to improve its record to 3-1 on the young season.
The Eagles were led by Chanel Spriggs, who bounced back from a rough shooting game to score 16 points and lead a balanced Eagles attack, which featured five double-digit scorers.
Joining Spriggs were fellow starters Kaitlyn Schuyler (15 points), Kim Salem (13), Chanel Hunt (12) and Joanna Barnes (10).
Hunt played her best game of the season, grabbing 10 rebounds and three steals to pace the Eagles on both ends of the floor. Hunt is beginning to show the dominance that made her a preseason favorite for Patriot League Player of the Year.
Spriggs continued her stellar play this season as she has blossomed into a leader in her senior season. She complemented Hunt on the boards, grabbing nine, and proved why she’s one of the best defensive players in the country, registering five steals. She also dished out five assists.
Kaitlyn Schuyler also played well for the Eagles, handing out seven assists and knocking down two crucial three-pointers. Barnes had five assists as well.
All five Eagles starters played more than 30 minutes as head coach Shann Hart looked to refocus the team.
The Eagles finally solved their shooting problems, shooting 47 percent from the field after struggling through the first three games.
Adrienne Harris scored 21 points to lead Mt. St. Mary’s. Myriam Baccouche scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Both Harris and Baccouche committed a game-high seven turnovers, a product of the ferocious defense played by Hunt and Spriggs.
Wednesday’s win was important for the Eagles because on Sunday they lost to Loyola College 64-59, when their furious second half comeback fell short in the closing minutes.
Down 52-28 with 12 minutes left, reserve forward Angel McNatt keyed a 31-9 run. The Eagles crept within two points with a minute left, but couldn’t finish the rally.
McNatt led the Eagles with a career-high 18 points in a season-high 21 minutes. She picked up the slack for usual leaders Spriggs, Schuyler and Barnes, who combined for only 11 points.
Hunt scored 10 points, grabbed eight rebounds and hit all six of her free throws.
Spriggs, who had been averaging over 20 points this season, was held to just seven on 3-of-5 shooting from the field, and only 1-of-6 from the line.
Jackie Valderas and Lauren Troupe each scored 10 points for Loyola, but it was Katie Scherle’s aggressive inside presence (nine points, 11 rebounds) that sparked Loyola throughout.
Wednesday’s win was also key for Hart’s squad because it now embarks upon the trip that may define its season. The Eagles travel out to Tucson, Ariz. to participate in the Arizona Basketball Classic.
They will play national power Arizona on Saturday and either Massachusetts or Utah State on Sunday. A strong showing out west will go a long way toward laying the groundwork for an awesome season.