ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The American University women's basketball team had three players in double-figures but were unable to contain Navy's strong perimeter shooting as the Eagles closed the regular season with a 76-49 loss to the Midshipmen.
This is only the second time this season that AU fell in back-to-back games after the Eagles lost to Bucknell on Saturday. American will enter the tournament at 16-2 in the conference and 23-6 overall while the Midshipmen close the regular season at 13-5 in the league and 23-6 overall.
Senior Maria Liddane led the team with 11 points, followed by 10 points from juniors Kaitlyn Lewis and Elina Koskimies. Liddane brought down a team-high seven rebounds alongside senior Michael Harris and contributed three assists along with Harris and Koskimies.
The Eagles shot 19-for-59 (.322) from the floor, 7-for-22 (.318) from three-point range, and made it to the line a season-low eight times, where they tied their season-low with 50 percent shooting.
Navy's Taylor Dunham put up a game-high 23 points behind a 7-for-13 effort from the perimeter. Bianca Roach added another 13 points while Hannah Fenske and Morgan Taylor followed with 11 each. Fenske closed with 10 rebounds for the double-double while Kaila Clark led the team on the boards with 11.
The Mids shot 31-for-66 from the field (.470) and 13-for-30 from beyond the arc (.433). They led the Eagles on the glass, 46-30, and in assists, 22-15.
Navy rose to an early lead, hitting back-to-back treys to jump to 8-2 midway through the first quarter before a three from Liddane broke a four-minute dry spell for AU. The Mids picked up an eight-point lead with less than 30 seconds left in the quarter, but a final jumper from senior Kate Bond cut that lead to six as the teams entered the break at 17-11.
The Eagles struggled from the floor during the second quarter, hitting 2-of-11 from the field and 1-for-3 from three-point range while the Mids went on a 23-8 run to close the half with a 40-19 lead.
American found its rhythm in the third quarter, keeping pace with Navy behind the five-point effort of Koskimies. The Eagles were unable to cut into the Mids' lead, however, and closed the stanza with a four-point deficit to enter the final 10 minutes at 58-33.
It was a similar story in the fourth quarter, as AU improved to 43.8 percent shooting from the floor (7-for-16), but Navy built its lead by another couple of points to close with the final 76-49 advantage.
The Eagles will return to Bender Arena for the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal round on Monday, March 5, where they will face the winner of Saturday's First Round game between No. 9 Boston University and No. 8 Lafayette.
Ticket prices for the quarterfinal game, set by the Patriot League, are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and youth. Rates for groups with 10+ are $3 per person. Tickets are now on sale via AUEagles.com/Tickets. Fans can also visit the Athletics Ticket Office in person, or call (202) 885-TIXX (8499) Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.