The AU women’s basketball team advanced to the Patriot League tournament finals, with victories over Navy and Lafayette over the weekend.
Four players scored double figures in the team’s 72-47 win over Navy in the semifinals on Sunday.
Liz Leer led AU with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Raven Harris added 15 points. Lisa Strack and Michelle Kirk were also in double figures, as they added 14 and 11 points, respectively. Cassie Consedine scored in a game-high 20 points for Navy.
The game was competitive in the first half, as AU held a five-point lead after the opening 20 minutes. However, the Eagles buckled down on the defensive end and shot well from the field and ran away with the game in the second half.
“We put a string of positive possessions together offensively … and at the same time we were getting stops,” AU Head Coach Matt Corkery told AU Athletics about the second half.
AU opened up a 13-point lead, as they went on a 12-4 run in the first five minutes of the second half. A jumper by Leer halfway through the second half pushed the AU lead to 50-35 as Navy struggled on offense.
A Strack layup pushed the AU lead to 20 points, and Leer’s fourth triple of the afternoon put the Eagles in front 66-41. Each team scored six points over the final four minutes for the 72-47 win.
AU jumped out to an early double-digit lead over the Lafayette Leopards on Saturday and never looked back, as they cruised to a 77-49 win.
Kirk netted a game-high 18 points, while Leer chipped in 15 points and seven rebounds for the Eagles. Strack and Harris were also in double figures in the victory, as they added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Guard Lauren Jackson scored a team-high 10 points for the Leopards.
“We had a great energy level to begin the game,” Corkery told AU Athletics.
That energy level led to a 6-0 run to start the game and forced Lafayette Head Coach Tammy Smith to call an early 30-second timeout. With AU leading 8-4, Kirk nailed three straight three-pointers and Harris added one of her own to give the Eagles a 20-8 lead.
AU would keep the pressure up and go in to halftime with a 42-22 advantage.
Holding a 53-34 advantage with 11:16 remaining in the second half, AU went on an 11-2 run to extend the margin to 28 points. A conventional three-point play by Harris gave the Eagles a 70-41 advantage as they coasted to their 77-49 victory.
For the game, AU shot 49 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc while going 16-23 from the foul line. Lafayette shot 39 percent from the field and 42 percent from three, but turned the ball over 22 times in the loss.
AU’s victories set up a matchup between the Eagles and the top-seeded Lehigh Mountain Hawks in the PL Championship game. The two teams have breezed through the first two rounds of the tournament.
The championship game is Saturday, March 13, at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa. The winner of the game will receive an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.