The American University men's basketball team hosted preseason Patriot League favorite Lehigh in a battle of unbeaten conference teams on Wednesday night at Bender Arena. The Eagles gave the Mountain Hawks all they could handle, with a three-point game with just 58 seconds left, but Lehigh pulled out the win, 63-57.
For the second-straight game AU had four players reach double-digit points, led by senior forward Stephen Lumpkins who posted a double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds.
American (6-11, 1-1 PL) owned the paint for much of the league showdown, outrebounding Lehigh (12-4, 2-0 PL), 40-26, and added 15 second-chance points, but the Mountain Hawks capitalized defensively with 13 steals and 14 points off turnovers.
"We came out strong in the game, but we were not active enough defensively late in the first half," said head coach Jeff Jones. " We did a good job of defending after the break, correcting some miscues, and continued to rebound, but we did not get enough shots down the stretch."
The Eagles came out extremely strong to open the game, hitting 4-of-6 3-pointers in the first 4:51 of the contest for a 14-6 lead that AU pushed to a game-high 14-point advantage at 23-9. American went cold from there however, going 0-of-11 from deep in the rest of the first half as Lehigh took a 31-28 lead into the break.
The Mountain Hawks pushed their lead to its biggest mark, midway through the second half, thanks large in part to forward Holden Greiner who knocked down his first nine shots and finished with a game-high 22 points.
Facing a 12-point deficit with just 7:37 remaining in regulation, Lumpkins laid one in to start a 12-3 run that made it just a three-point game with 58 seconds left.
American would get no closer though as Lehigh knocked down late free throws and despite a jumper in the lane that made it a four-point game by sophomore John Schoof with just 12 seconds on the game clock, the Mountain Hawks were able to hold off the Eagles for the victory.
Lumpkins pulled down 15 of his game-high 17 boards on the defensive end and added two blocks, two assists and a steal in a game-high 38 minutes. Senior Daniel Munoz registered 13 points with two 3-pointers and tied a season-high with seven assists. Junior center Tony Wroblicky had a team-high 14 points, while Schoof was the fourth Eagle in double-figure scoring with 11 points on a game-high three treys.
American continues Patriot League action this weekend when the squad travels north to face Holy Cross on Saturday, January 19, at 2 p.m. The Eagles return to Bender Arena next Wednesday, January 23, against Navy at 7 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets to this game and to all AU home games by clicking here or by calling (202) 885-TIXX.