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Women’s basketball falls to Army in final regular season home game

Black Knights stifle a late Eagles comeback, win 66-52

The American University women’s basketball team (9-18) lost to the Army Black Knights (12-14) by a score of 66-52 on Feb. 27. This matchup marked the final regular season game played at Bender Arena for the Eagles.

American entered the contest hungry for a win, having dropped their last four games. Their most recent loss in this string came at the hands of the Colgate Raiders at home on Feb. 24, the game ending with a score of 72-60. Army also looked to bounce back after a home loss, which came on the same day to the Bucknell Bison by a score of 65-63

The game overall was a turnover-heavy affair, starting off strong in the first quarter with five turnovers from both sides in the first four minutes of play. A jumper from junior guard Bailey Garbee broke the streak and tied the game 4-4, the last tie of the game. Army scored 8 points unanswered within the next two minutes of game time, going on a 12-7 run to close out the first quarter. 

10 more points from the Black Knights in the first five minutes of the second quarter put the Eagles down 13. American struggled to score in the second quarter, shooting 5-14 from the field and 1-4 from the free throw line. Any shot they took that missed fell right into the waiting hands of an Army player, who took it down to the other side of the court for more points. An 11-6 flurry of offense for the Eagles closed out the half, putting them down a surmountable 11 points (35-24) with two quarters left to play. 

After only allowing the Black Knights to put up two free throws in for the entire first half, American allowed them to attempt eight in the third quarter alone. Eagles head coach Tiffany Coll lamented them after the game, saying they were “repeated mistakes that we didn’t make adjustments from.” 

Any scoring run American made was quickly spurned, but the Eagles chipped away at Army’s lead nonetheless. A burst of baskets in the final minutes of the third quarter, capped off with a jumper from senior forward Emily Johns, put the Eagles at a 5-point deficit heading into the last 10 minutes of play. 

With momentum and a quick trading of points, the clock ticked down on American’s chances to come back and seal their home slate off with a win. Both teams went on a scoring drought, and neither could shoot anything for a portion of the fourth quarter. Fouls then caught up with the Eagles again.

After allowing the Black Knights to put up eight free throws in the third quarter — six made — and then another nine in the fourth quarter — all nine made — totaling 15 points, the Eagles gave up from fouls. The free throws told the story of the margin in the fourth quarter and the team couldn’t recover as the game went final, a score of 66-52.

Johns led the team in points with 11, followed by Garbee with 8. Senior guard Ivy Bales led the Eagles in rebounds and assists, posting five rebounds and four assists. 

After the game, Coll outlined the team’s next step following a valiant comeback effort late in the second and throughout the third quarter. She said, “We have to work on our mental game. Taking ownership and understanding that defense matters, and that getting defensive stops can give us momentum is important.” 

Coll closed out her postgame comments saying “We have the skill to go far, but how bad do we want it?”

The Eagles close out their schedule on the road with a March 6 game against Loyola Maryland. Following this contest, the Eagles will play in the Patriot League tournament matches, their travel status for any games depends on their seeding. 

This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks and Liah Argiropoulos.

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