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Sophomore Stephen Lumpkins recorded a career-high 17 points and 12 rebounds but it was not enough as the American University men's basketball team lost to Mount St. Mary's on Wednesday in Bender Arena, 73-62. The Mount shot 49.1 percent for the game and used 10 three-pointers to pull away from the Eagles in the second half.
For the third consecutive game, American (0-3) opened the night by trading baskets with Mount St. Mary's (0-2) and at the 16 minute mark trailed The Mount by one, 8-7. Unlike the first two games of the year, however, it was Mount St. Mary's who went on the first run and opened up an 18-9 lead following a Lamar Trice layup in transition. The Eagles methodically chipped away at the lead, using a Mike Bersch three, Riley Grafft dunk and jumper and a Matthew Wilson free throw to cut their deficit to just two, 19-17, with 9:02 remaining.
Mount St. Mary's was able to regain a six point lead, 26-20, after a Kristijan Krajina three but American fought back and evened the score at 30 following back-to-back Bersch trey's. Trailing by two with less than a minute remaining, Lumpkins re-tied the score at 32 using a power move in the lane, until a Pierre Brown three at the buzzer put Mount St. Mary's on top heading into the intermission, 35-32.
Grafft and Lumpkins led all scorers in the first half with 11 points each. Lumpkins also tallied five rebounds, two blocks and one steal in the frame while Grafft had picked up four rebounds, including two offensive. American shot a combined 52.2 percent (12-23) in the half while The Mount shot 45.2 percent (14-31).
Mount St. Mary's opened the second half with a hot hand, using an 11-0 run to open a 46-32 advantage. Daniel Munoz attempted to quiet the outburst by hitting his first three of the evening with 16:14 remaining to bring the score to 46-35 but three-pointers by The Mount's Kelly Beidler and Lamar Trice pushed the score to 52-37.
After falling behind by 19, 65-46, Grafft sparked a comeback as he scored back-to-back baskets followed by a Munoz runner to move the score to 65-52 with 7:22 to play. Lumpkins later brought the Eagles to within 10, 66-56, as he corralled an offensive rebound and hit the putback before Blake Jolivette drove the baseline for a lay-in to make the score 66-58 with 3:46 on the clock. Mount St. Mary's, however, put down American's comeback attempt with back-to-back baskets to take a 70-58 advantage. The Eagles closest margin in the final minute was eight points, 70-62, off a Simon McCormack layup as The Mount took the game by a final margin of 73-62.
Lumpkins recorded his first career double-double on Wednesday, tallying 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting and 12 rebounds, both career-highs. Grafft also recorded a career-high 17 points and added five boards. Bersch chipped in 14 points off the bench with four three-pointers and notched four rebounds. Mount St. Mary's connected on 14 of 26 shots (53.8 percent) in the second half as it pulled away. Jeremy Goode scored 13 of his team-high 17 points in the second stanza while Beidler added 11 of his 14 after the break.
American will return to Bender Arena on Saturday, November 21, against Florida Atlantic in the third game of the team's current five-game homestand. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Tickets to Saturday's game are on-sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.
Fans unable to make it to Bender Arena in person can catch all of the action live on Eagles Vision TV featuring in-depth analysis from the Eagles' broadcast team of Dan Laing and Jeremy Huber, multiple camera angles and a live scoreboard. To sign up for Eagles Vision TV today, click here.