The defending Patriot League champion American University Eagles have earned their first conference win of the 2015-2016 season with a 49-37 victory over the Colgate Raiders on Saturday.
The Eagles used a strong third quarter performance to put distance between themselves and the Raiders, after holding a slim halftime lead to coast to the 12 point win.
After winning the program’s first conference title last season, it has been a bumpy ride for Megan Gebbia’s crew to this point. The win brings the Eagles’ record to just 3-10 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Coach Gebbia has been mixing and matching her players all season and still hasn’t quite found the answer to fill the gaping hole left by the graduation of Jen Dumiak. 9 different players have started this season in a handful of different combinations and the only player to start every game so far is Lauren Crisler. The most notable lineup shuffling takes place in the front court as Maria Liddane, Jordan Light, Emily Kinneston, Elina Koskimies, Ari Booth, Kaitlyn Lewis and Kate Bond all jockey for playing time.
On this day, the Eagles were paced by Crisler, a junior, who scored 20 points on 8-16 shooting from the field. Outside of Crisler it was a slow offensive performance for American as a team, as they shot just 31% from the field, and 6% from 3-point range. However, they were helped by their defense (10 turnovers forced), their size (53 rebounds) and a dismal offensive performance from the Raiders, who shot just 18% from the field.
3 different Eagles finished with 9 rebounds as Crisler, along with freshmen Cecily Carl and Koskimies, tied for the lead in that category while Lewis dished out 6 assists.
The Eagles were also playing without leading scorer Michelle Holmes (9.7 PPG) for the second consecutive game. To win without Holmes is a positive result but there are still consistency problems to solve for this young Eagles team.
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