In basketball, there are some days when teams come out and simply can’t put the ball in the basket. Friday night was one of those games for the AU women’s basketball team, as it lost 64-45 to Penn in the first round of the WNIT.
After making an NCAA Tournament appearance last season, AU earned an automatic bid to this year’s WNIT due to winning a share of the Patriot League regular season title.
Penn (24-6) jumped out to an early 16-4 lead over AU (22-11), and the Eagles continued to struggle with Penn’s zone defense and overall team size throughout the game.
By halftime, AU was down 38-17, and struggled in every statistical category. At the break, the Eagles were shooting 25 percent from the field, and were losing the rebounding battle to the Quakers 23-10.
After being dominated in the first half by Penn, AU collected itself and outscored Penn 28-26 in the second half. Freshman Jade Edwards finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, while senior Cecily Carl, the Patriot League Player of the Year, finished her collegiate career by notching 16 points to go along with six rebounds.
Despite a valiant second half effort from her team, head coach Megan Gebbia knew it was too little too late.
“It’s a lesson learned for this team,” Gebbia said. “It takes time for young kids to understand that you can’t just have a game out of reach before you start playing.”
With key players Carl and Elina Koskimies graduating this spring, Gebbia is ready for a different look to next year’s AU squad.
“We’re going to maybe not be as big, but we’re going to be able to run more than we did in the past,” Gebbia said. “It’s exciting.”