The American University men's basketball team opened Patriot League play with a 82-54 victory over Colgate for its seventh-straight win in Bender Arena and the Eagles' 14th straight win over the Raiders at home. Charles Hinkle led American with 21 points, his 10th 20-point effort of the season, while John Schoof notched a career-high 18.
Hinkle was 8-of-15 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. The senior also posted a career-high five assists. Schoof was 6-of- 9 from the field including a career-high four three-pointers. The freshman also went a perfect 2-for-2 from the line and has made all 10 of his free throws so far this season. Riley Grafft led the team with nine rebounds.
"It's a nice way to start the conference season. There's still a lot of basketball to go but it's nice to get this kind of a start," said Head Coach Jeff Jones following the game. "I thought we were playing really good defense, we were getting stops and we were rebounding the ball. Those are things at times this year that have been an issue and it's easy when you come down and the defense is unsettled."
American (10-6, 1-0) and Colgate (5-10, 0-1) traded buckets to open the game, but a 12-3 run by the Eagles gave the team the 22-11 advantage with 9:40 left in the half. Colgate cut it to seven off a Mitch Rolls three but American ended the half on a 17-0 run to take the 44-19 lead.
Schoof led the first half scoring with 10 points and went 2-for-3 from beyond the arc while Hinkle added nine. Hinkle and Daniel Munoz each notched three assists and five Eagles posted a team-high three rebounds in the first. The team shot 60.0 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three-point range in the first half.
John Brandenburg and Nick Pascale led the Raiders with five points apiece in the first half. Pascale also recorded a team-high five rebounds. Colgate shot 29.2 percent from the field and hit just one three-pointer in the first half.
The Eagles continued to roll in the second half taking a 30-point lead with a pair of free throws from Hinkle with 17:19 left to play. Colgate went on an 11-2 run to cut American's lead to 52-32. American continued to dominate the offensive and defensive boards, retaining possession for nearly three minutes before a three-pointer from Mitch Rolls made it 62-39 with 8:42 to play.
The Eagles answered the Raiders bucket-for-bucket before a lay-up from Schoof put the lead at 77-49 with 2:28 remaining in the game. A three-pointer from Mike Bersch and jumper from Daniel Fisher closed out the scoring for American. The Eagles win its second straight, 82-54.
American shot 53.4 percent from the field and 45.0 percent from beyond the arc. The team also shot 78.6 percent from the foul line and held a 36-29 advantage over the Raiders in rebounds. The Eagles held the Raiders to 35.3 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from three-point range. Pascale led Colgate with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Mike Venezia added 10 points.
"We've got to be really efficient, we've got to understand how hard we have to play," said Coach Jones. "We can be a good defensive team from a team standpoint…so if we're learning those lessons I think that's a good sign for us. Today was a good step for us."
The Eagles will travel to Lehigh on Wednesday, January 11 to take on the Mountain Hawks at 7 p.m. They will return to Bender Arena next Saturday, January 14 at 2 p.m. when they face Holy Cross. Tickets are still available for next Saturday's game and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling (202) 885-TIXX. Both games will also be broadcast live on Patriot League All-Access.