Women’s basketball beats Loyola Maryland and completes the weekend sweep
Back in Bender for the first home game of the 2021 season
In its first home game in nearly a year, American University women’s basketball (3-3) defeated Loyola (0-4) 67-58 Sunday afternoon to capture the second win of a weekend sweep. Though there weren’t any fans in Bender Area because of the pandemic, the Eagles felt comfort in finally returning to their home court.
Coming off a quick turnaround from Saturday’s game, the Eagles were led by junior guard Jade Edwards, who finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, followed by senior guard Indeya Sanders and sophomore forward Karla Vres, who finished with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
In Vres’ second career start, she earned nine of the Eagles’ first 16 points in the first quarter, and her play included two 3-point shots in crucial moments, including one in the fourth quarter with just under five minutes to play that gave the Eagles a 10-point lead. Vres also contributed a steal and a pair of blocks on her day.
Sanders also posted her season-high of 15 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers in 40 minutes of play. She also made seven of 10 free throws, leading the Eagles from the line.
“She shot threes with confidence,” head coach Megan Gebbia said. “She got people shots as well. But just her rebounding and getting her hands on defensive rebounds in particular where we need them was huge, so I was really happy. We know we want to get the ball to Indeya, we know we want to put her on the free-throw line — she's really confident there.”
Freshmen Kayla Henning and Emily Johns also stepped up in a big way, showcasing the Eagles’ bench depth down the stretch. Each had seven points and combined for 24 minutes, helping their team out on the back end of this home-and-home.
“I'm really thankful that this year and this situation with the pandemic, back-to-back games, this is the right freshman class to have,” Gebbia said. “I think they're super confident in themselves. … The future of our program is bright because of them.”
After taking their final lead of the game in the second quarter, the Greyhounds cut their deficit to five points on multiple occasions, including early in the fourth quarter when they were just a possession away from the lead. However, trailing by just three points, Loyola missed two foul shots and failed to string together any sort of significant run as time winded down. AU then put together a 9-0 run of its own, gaining its largest lead of the game and capturing the second straight victory for the Eagles.
The Eagles hit the road next weekend for a game against Lafayette on Saturday before returning home for another matchup against the Leopards on Sunday. Saturday tip-off is set for 2 p.m., while Sunday’s game will begin at 4 p.m.