American men's basketball got back in the win column and moved to .500 in conference play on Wednesday night at Bender Arena, winning a Patriot League matchup against the Navy Midshipmen, 72-49. The Eagles were led by a career-high 27 points from sophomore sharpshooter John Schoof, who knocked down 8-of-10 shots from downtown, one 3-pointer shy of the AU all-time record.
The Eagles (7-12, 2-2 PL) were strong on the boards against the Naval Academy (7-13, 1-3 PL), outrebounding the Midshipmen, 44-29, while scoring 18 second-chance points and 22 in the paint.
American never trailed in the contest and shot 45.1 percent (23-of-51) from the field as a team, paced by Schoof who hit 9-of-12 shots. Navy shot 36.4 percent but hit just 4-of-16 shots from 3-point range.
Schoof's performance was aided by a near double-double from senior Stephen Lumpkins with 17 points and nine rebounds.
"After our last game, we really needed to play with heart tonight. Navy is a squad that works extremely hard and I'm pleased with our effort," said head coach Jeff Jones. "John (Schoof) scored within the flow of the game and did not seek out his shot. His teammates did a good job of finding him, specifically Lumpkins out of the post."
It was a close game through the first 12 minutes with Navy closing within two points on a layup by Kendall Knorr to make it an 18-16 game at 7:57.
After a few traded baskets, a tip-in by Midshipmen forward Worth Smith at 4:49 made it just a four-point Eagles lead, but a layup by junior center Tony Wroblicky followed by two-straight threes by Schoof gave American a 10-point lead it would take into the break.
Navy was able to stay within 11 points of AU through the first five minutes of the second half, but a 10-0 run sparked by yet another Schoof 3-pointer put American firmly in control.
The Eagles maintained at least a 17-point advantage throughout the game and capped its biggest lead of 23 on a jumper by sophomore Kyle Kager with just 33 seconds left.
Schoof rounded out his career performance with four rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes of court time.
Wroblicky also just missed a double-double with nine points and 11 boards while sophomore Austin Carroll added two big first-half 3-pointers as American's high scorer off the bench.
AU returns to action this weekend when they travel to West Point to take on Army at 3 p.m., on Saturday, January 26. The Eagles return to Bender Arena next Wednesday, January 30, against Bucknell at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available to this game and to all AU home games by clicking here or by calling (202) 885-TIXX.
Postgame Press Conference: John Schoof, Stephen Lumpkins, Jeff Jones