Women's B-ball downs Midshipmen

The Women's Basketball team bounced back from a loss at Bucknell to beat the Navy Midshipmen 59-48 at Bender Arena Wednesday night.

AU was led by senior guard Kaitlyn Schuyler and junior forward Kim Salem, who each scored 17 points in the contest. Salem also pulled down nine rebounds.

"Kim and Kaitlyn did just what we needed tonight," said Eagles head coach Shann Hart. "Tonight was one of our better games as we executed in the half-court offense."

The Eagles fell behind 5-0 early and didn't score in the first four minutes. They finally broke through and Schuyler led the Eagles in the first half with 13 points. After their early trouble, the Eagles led throughout most of the first half.

AU lost its lead after a Courtney Davidson three-pointer with three minutes left in the first half put the Middies up 21-20. But the Eagles rebounded and ran off an 8-0 run to end the half.

"That was the run we needed to get us back in the game," Hart said. "We weren't playing well up until then and that sparked us going into the locker room."

After halftime, the Eagles kept up their consistent play and never trailed in the second half. Two Davidson three-pointers cut the lead to 33-31 with just under 14 minutes remaining, but a Schuyler layup put the Eagles back up by four, and they never looked back.

"Davidson's a tough player," Hart said. "We held her to eight points our last time out and we knew that would be tough tonight. But I told the team that if she's going to get hers, then we had to stop everyone else."

Salem tied her career high with 17 points and had one of her best outputs of the season on the glass.

"I was just trying to come in and do what the team needed," Salem said. "Tonight, they needed me to score."

Salem's play has become more consistent as Patriot League play has picked up. Her statistics are comparable with most centers in the league, leaving her behind only Katie Macfarlane of Army, who averages 20 points and 12 rebounds per game.

Junior forward Chanel Hunt scored five points in the contest, but was benched for part of the second half for failing to attack the rim.

"Hunt is so versatile and so good that there's no reason she should've only scored five and gotten to the line twice," Hart said.

The win improved AU's record to 6-3 in the league and put the Eagles in a three-way tie for second place with Colgate and Holy Cross. AU is 4-1 at home in league play, losing only to Lehigh.

The Eagles, Raiders and Crusaders trail only Lehigh in the standings. AU travels to Easton, Pa., to take on Lehigh this Saturday.

The Eagles return to Bender next Friday in one of the biggest games in the history of the program, as they face off against rival Holy Cross in a game that could determine first place in the PL Tournament.

While AU may not be in first place yet, the Eagles took a big step with a decisive, double-digit victory over one of the early-season favorites for the PL crown.

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