The American University men's basketball team could not outlast Colgate on Saturday as the Raiders earned a 75-74 double-overtime victory at Cottrell Court. Trailing by one at the end of the second overtime, the Eagles held the ball with a chance to win it but Vlad Moldoveanu's attempt rattled off the rim at the buzzer, ending the game in Colgate's favor.
American and Colgate traded the lead seven times through the first eight-plus minutes with neither side taking a lead of more than three points. Nick Hendra sank a three-pointer for the first bucket of the day to give American a 3-0 lead but Colgate followed with a pair of baskets for a 5-3 advantage. The Eagles regained an 11-9 lead on a Moldoveanu three and led 13-11 with 12:27 to play following a pair of Moldoveanu free throws.
Riley Grafft made it a four-point game, 18-14, with a spot-up three from the left wing and got a tip-in on the team's next possession to put American on top 20-14. Colgate scored on each of its next three possessions though and tied the game at 20 on a pair of Yaw Gyawu free throws.
The Eagles used a 7-1 run over the next 1:32 to open a 27-21 margin with 3:02 remaining. Moldoveanu began the spurt with a pair of free throws and later capped it off with his second three-pointer of the half. American closed out the frame with a 7-1 stretch to take a 34-25 lead into the intermission.
Moldoveanu scored 14 points in the first half with five rebounds. The junior shot 3-of-5 from the field, 2-of-3 from three and was 6-of-8 from the line. Simon McCormack added seven points on 3-of-3 shooting with three rebounds and three assists. The Eagles shot 43.5 percent in the half while limiting Colgate to 28.0 percent shooting and held a 19-13 advantage on the glass.
Colgate opened the second half with a 12-3 run and tied the game at 37 on a Mitch Rolls jumper. Moldoveanu put American back on top 39-37 on the team's next possession before a Hendra three-pointer with 12:42 remaining gave the Eagles a 42-37 edge. After trading baskets back-and-forth, the Raiders scored on consecutive possession to pull to within one, 46-45, with 9:56 to play.
Colgate took its first lead since midway through the first half on a Ben Johnson basket, 47-46, with 7:29 on the clock. Kyle Roemer followed Johnson with a 15-foot jumper to put the Raiders up three, 49-46, but a Hendra layup with 5:14 to go brought American back to within one, 49-48. Trailing 51-48, Moldoveanu scored four straight points to regain the lead for American, 52-51.
McCormack made it a three-point game two possessions later with a driving layup, 54-51. Colgate, however, retied the game at 54 on a pair of Roemer free throws before Moldoveanu sank a pair of his own to put American back out in front, 56-54. With 0:36 remaining, Johnson drove the right baseline and made his layup to even the game at 56. American held the ball for one final attempt at the basket but Moldoveanu's jumper fell short, sending the game into overtime.
American took a lead twice early in the overtime session but each time Colgate responded with a pair of Roemer free throws to even the score. A pair of Moldoveanu freebies with 2:19 to play put the Eagles ahead 62-60 and with 1:02 remaining Moldoveanu gave American a four-point edge, 64-60, with an up-and-under move from the left baseline. Daniel Munoz added a pair of free throws push the score to 66-60 but a Roemer three-pointer on Colgate's next possession cut the Raiders' deficit to three, 66-63, with 0:26 remaining. Moldoveanu went to the line with 11 seconds on the clock and hit both free throws to make it a 68-63 game before Mitch Rolls sank a contested three from the top of the key with just over one second to play to bring Colgate back to within two, 68-66. The Raiders forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds and with four-tenths of a second to play set up an inbounds play for Johnson who hit a 12-foot jumper to push the game into a second overtime.
Lumpkins gave American a 72-70 lead with a layup midway through the second OT but a pair of Johnson free throws on the ensuing possession tied the score at 72. With 1:08 remaining, Nick Pascale stepped to the line and hit both freebies to give the Raiders a 74-72 edge and Rolls added one free throw with 28 seconds to play to move the score to 75-72. Hendra hit 2-of-3 from the line with 15 second on the clock to move the score to 75-74. After Roemer missed both of his free throws at the other end, the Eagles once again had the ball with a chance to win it but Moldoveanu's attempt rattled off the rim, giving the game to Colgate, 75-74.
Moldoveanu led all scorers with 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the year. The junior shot 7-of-15 from the floor and was 14-of-16 from the line. This marks Moldoveanu's second 30-point performance of the year after scoring a career-high 37 points on January 27 against Navy.
Lumpkins notched his fourth double-double with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 12 rebounds. Hendra finished the game with 14 points and three boards.
The Eagles shot 40.4 percent from the floor for the game against Colgate's 39.0 percent shooting. The Eagles also held a 41-37 advantage on the glass and hit a season-high 27 attempts from the line. Colgate was led by Johnson and Roemer who each scored 19 points while Rolls added 13.
American will return to action on Wednesday, February 17, against Army in Bender Arena at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the game are on-sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.