Led by Vlad Moldoveanu's 26 point, eight rebound performance, the American University men's basketball team upset DePaul Wednesday evening, 62-57, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. Nick Hendra added a career-high 17 points while Stephen Lumpkins grabbed a career and game-high 14 boards as the Eagles battled the Blue Demons back-and-forth down the stretch to secure the victory.
American (2-8) hit three of its first four shots to open the game, taking a 7-4 lead as Riley Grafft found Simon McCormack cutting down the lane for an easy lay-in. DePaul (6-4) answered with a 5-0 run to take a 9-7 advantage but on the Eagles ensuing possession Moldoveanu banked in a three-pointer to regain a 10-9 advantage. DePaul would respond with a three of their own but six straight points scored by the Eagles, including five from Moldoveanu, opened a 16-12 American lead with 11:10 remaining.
American later used a 9-0 run to take a 27-17 advantage with just over five minutes remaining in the half. Moldoveanu found Hendra under the basket for a reverse layup to begin the stretch and he was followed by a Lumpkins layup. Hendra later nailed his second three-ball of the frame before Moldoveanu capped the run off with a lay-in. Hendra put in a long jumper with 24 seconds left on the clock to make the score 32-22 before a Michael Bizoukas buzzer beater sent the teams into the intermission with American in the lead, 32-24.
Hendra and Moldoveanu each had 10 points in the first half with a pair of three-pointers apiece. American shot an outstanding 50.0 percent in the frame, connecting on 13-of-26 shots from the floor, while limiting DePaul to 35.7 percent shooting. The Eagles also owned the advantage on the glass, outrebounding the Blue Demons by a margin of 32-24.
Lumpkins opened the second half with a bucket in the paint but DePaul went on to score the game's next 11 points to erase its deficit and take a 35-34 lead. Devin Hill scored seven points during the stretch and his free throw with 15:36 remaining gave the Blue Demons their first lead since the 12-minute mark in the first half.
The two teams traded the lead four times over the next seven minutes. With 8:49 to play, Hendra made an acrobatic basket in the paint to even the score at 43 and Moldoveanu sank his fourth three-pointer of the game on the team's next possession to take a 46-43 advantage. The Blue Demons responded with five straight points to go back on top, 48-46.
American took a 53-48 lead with 5:16 on the clock following a 7-0 stretch with five straight points scored by Moldoveanu. DePaul answered once again with a 9-3 run and earned a 57-56 advantage with just under three minutes remaining. The Eagles, however, regained the lead on the ensuing possession with a Hendra trey and never looked back, outscoring the Blue Demons 6-0 over the final two-plus minutes to earn the 62-57 victory.
Moldoveanu finished his night with a game-high 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting. The junior, who was playing in his first game with the Eagles after transfering midway through last year, was 5-of-10 from behind the arc and added eight rebounds, four assists and one steal in 28 minutes. He was joined in double-digits by Hendra who notched a career-high 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Lumpkins recorded a career-high 14 rebounds, eight points and two blocks.
The Eagles and DePaul both shot 42.9 percent from the floor but American hit 9-of-21 three-point attempts and 11-of-15 free throws to help push itself to the victory. American maintained its advantage on the glass in the second half and finished the game outrebounding the Blue Demons, 39-27.
American will return to action on Saturday, December 19, at home against UMBC live on RCN TV. Tipoff from Bender Arena is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. The game will also be simulcast online on the new Eagles Vision TV channel.
RCN TV Listings
Washington D.C. - Channel 8
New York City - Channel 8
Boston - Channel 8
Chicago - Channel 34
Lehigh Valley - Channel 4