The American University men's basketball team traveled up to New York City to face the Columbia Lions on Tuesday night and despite dual 15-point performances by senior Tony Wroblicky and junior Darius Gardner, the Eagles fell, 61-47.
After a slow start by both sides, Columbia found is groove, hitting 50-percent of its shots in the first half after beginning the game 1-of-6 from the floor. Thanks to its hot-shooting and the Lions took a 13-point lead into the break.
AU, much as it had done in its previous game at Mount St. Mary's this past Saturday, regrouped at the break, quickly cutting the Columbia advantage to six, thanks to seven-straight points by Gardner to open the frame. It would be as close the Eagles could get however as Columbia once again found its touch to close out American.
"Darius played well today and Tony really showed some improvement, but we need more than two guys to step up in order to be successful," said Mike Brennan. "Columbia is a good, solid team and to beat them we needed to execute offensively and defensively and we were out of sync tonight, which limited our chances to that."
The Eagles shot 45.5-percent from the field in the second half, improving its mark to 40.9 from 36.4 in the first, but Columbia held the rebounding advantage, 34-23 and hit eight 3-pointers to AU's three.
Bench scoring played a large factor as Columbia's Alex Rosenberg entered in off the pine in the first and dropped 11 points in eight minutes to give the Lions an early boast. He was joined by Meiko Lyles in double-digit points off the bench, as Columbia boasted a 21-7 advantage in reserve scoring.
Wroblicky set a career high in minutes played for the Eagles, playing the game in its entirety, avoiding foul trouble throughout. Gardner and Wroblicky both knocked down six field goals, with Wroblicky adding five boards, two assists, two blocks and two steals. "Pee Wee" registered a 3-pointer, two rebounds, two assists and three thefts.
AU will look to end its tough four-game road trip in winning style with a post-Thanksgiving matchup at St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, November 30.