The American University men's basketball team withstood a Lafayette rally in the second half to remain in second place of the Patriot League standings with a 69-61 victory.
Charles Hinkle led all scorers with 23 points and added five boards while Tony Wroblicky recorded a career-high 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. Wroblicky also added three offensive rebounds for the Eagles. Daniel Munoz posted a team-high six boards and five assists.
"I thought we played well," said Head Coach Jeff Jones following the game. "Lafayette came out of the second half as the aggressors and we held on and played hard."
Lafayette (9-13, 4-3) opened the game on a 9-3 run, with the only points for the Eagles coming off a John Schoof three-pointer. Back-to-back buckets from Blake Jolivette and Hinkle cut it to a two-point game at 11:19. The Eagles started to gain momentum as Wroblicky added a lay-up and Hinkle recorded a defensive board, then drove down the floor to hit a three and cut Lafayette's lead to 18-16 with 8:29 remaining in the first half.
American (14-8, 5-2) went on a 10-1 run for their first lead of the game started by a deep three from Troy Brewer, 24-23. Ryan Willen tried to stop the Eagles run but Wroblicky drove to the hoop for the 32-28 lead with 1:08 left to play. An offensive foul on Lafayette on the next possession gave American back the ball and Hinkle hit his third three of the game for the 35-28 lead at the end of the first half.
American shot 52.0 percent from the field and went 58.3 percent from beyond the arc. Hinkle led the Eagles with 11 points in the first half. Lafayette went 47.8 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. Dan Trist led the Leopards with nine points in the first half.
Lafayette jumped out of the intermission with an 11-2 run to start the half to take a 39-37 lead with 17:22 to play. Hinkle tied it with a jumper before American called a timeout. The two teams traded baskets before a 12-0 run by American gave the Eagles their first double-digit lead, 55-44, at 9:46 forcing Lafayette to call the timeout.
The Leopards scored six straight points after the break to cut American's lead to 55-49. Wroblicky gave American back the momentum after a huge put back on a miss from Hinkle for the 63-56 lead with 3:14 to play and forced Lafayette to call another timeout. The Leopards attempted a comeback but could only bring it within four in the closing minutes. Free throws from Munoz and Brewer padded American's lead for the 69-61 victory.
American shot 52.2 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. Lafayette was held to 44.2 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three-point range in the game as leading scorer Willen was held to 11 points.
The Eagles will return next Saturday, February 4 when they travel to Colgate to open the second half of the Patriot League season. The Eagles will return to Bender Arena on Thursday, February 9 to take on Lehigh at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available for the game and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling (202) 885-TIXX. Both games will be broadcast live on Patriot League All-Access.