Teams: American (1-1) at No. 8/8 Ohio State (3-0)
Date and Location: Wed., November 20, 2013, 7:30 p.m. – True Value Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Series: Fifth meeting; American trails, 4-0
Last Meeting: L, 79-43 – Columbus, Ohio (December 29, 1999)
TV: Big Ten Network (BTN)– Eric Collins (play-by-play), Jim Jackson (analyst)
Radio: Federal News Radio 1050AM – Dain Laing (play-by-play), Jeremy Huber (analyst)
The American University men's basketball team tips off a four-game road trip on Wednesday, November 20, at 7:30 p.m., when the Eagles head to Columbus, Ohio to take on the No. 8/8 Ohio State Buckeyes.
Fans in the D.C.-Metro area can tune into Federal News Radio 1050AM for radio broadcast with Dan Laing and Jeremy Huber calling the action. The game will also air nationally on the Big Ten Network.
It will be the fifth-ever meeting between the two schools and first time since 1999, a 79-43 win in Columbus. Ohio State has been victorious in all four matchups dating back to 1989 including a lone appearance in Washington the1990.
American head coach Mike Brennan earned his first win as a head coach last Thursday and did so in thrilling fashion. The Eagles used a last second shot to force overtime in its home opener at Bender Arena, before topping UMBC, 63-61 in overtime on a second last moment score.
Junior point guard Darius Gardner took over in his second career game with the Eagles, scoring 22 points including seven of AU's last 10 to secure the first win of the year for American. "Pee Wee" hit the game-tying jumper with one second left on the clock to force OT and the scored five of eight Eagle points in the extra frame for the win.
Gardner nearly double-doubled with nine rebounds, while hitting 7-of-11 shots from the field, 8-of-12 from the line with four assists and six steals, the most by an AU player since 2007.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are coming off an impressive defensive outing, holding No. 17/17 Marquette to only 35 points in its 52-35 win at the Golden Eagles this past Saturday. Senior point guard Aaron Craft led the way, nearly tallying a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Junior forward Sam Thompson leads Ohio State in scoring with 13.0 ppg and is fourth on the team with 5.0 rpg. Veteran guards Shannon Scott, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Craft are not far behind with 12.3, 11.3 and 11.0 ppg, respectively. Junior center Amir Williams paces OSU with 6.7 rpg and 2.7 bpg.
Head coach Thad Matta is in his eighth year at the helm of the Buckeyes. In the last four seasons, no NCAA Division I coach has guided his team to consecutive Sweet 16 appearances other than Matta. Ohio State has won four-straight Big Ten regular season titles and won the 2013 tournament championship before its run to the Elite Eight last year.
MORE ON THE EAGLES
Junior forward Kyle Kager recorded his first ever double-double in the win versus UMBC, scoring 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds. Kager nearly double-dipped in the season opener at George Mason with eight points and nine boards. He also set a career high against the Retrievers with 32 minutes played.
Third-year sharpshooter John Schoof tied a career-high with 11 attempts from long range and finished second among all scorers in the matchup against UMBC with 15 points. Schoof overcame a hard foul in the match that briefly forced him from the game, but still played 43 of 45 minutes.
Senior big man Tony Wroblicky was efficient on the boards in 25 minutes, grabbing six offensive and six defensive rebounds while also swatting a shot, dishing two assists and scoring five points.
Freshman guard Charlie Jones was pivotal for the Eagles in its comeback against UMBC as the rookie set career highs with 28 minutes played, five rebounds, two assists and a block. His energy off the bench, especially late in the game, sparked American as AU rallied late to force OT.
Rookie swingman Jesse Reed got off to a hot start this season with a team-high 15 points against George Mason, and despite an off night against UMBC, Reed stepped up when it mattered most, hitting the game-winning lay-in with just one second left in overtime.
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The Eagles continue their four-game trip away from Bender Arena this Saturday, November 23, at Mount St. Mary's. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.