The American University men's basketball team ended its four-game road swing on a high note, Saturday afternoon in Loretto, Pa., downing the Saint Francis Red Flash, 75-43.
The scoring duo of sophomore Jesse Reed and junior John Schoof provided a strong offensive punch for American (2-4) as the Eagles brought 13-point lead into the break and outscored Saint Francis (1-6) 42-23 in the second for a 32-point victory. It is AU's first 30-point win since a 79-49 decision at Colgate on January 17, 2009.
"We were able to do some things we were unable to execute in our last two games," said head coach Mike Brennan. "Rebounding was important for us which set up a lot of offensive opportunities. We also shot well and used our defense to keep them from converting a lot of their chances."
American shot over 50-percent from the field in the game, including a 68.2 percent (15-of-22) clip in the second half. AU also knocked down 8-of-17 shots from beyond the arc and 11-of-13 attempts from the charity stripe.
The Eagle defense was locked in, holding Saint Francis to 31.3-percent from the field and only 3-of-19 triples (15.8-percent), including holding them scoreless from beyond the arc on their first 10 attempts.
AU's large advantage came in the paint, where the Eagles outscored the Red Flash 40-24. Senior center Tony Wroblicky netted 10 of his 12 points in the post, giving AU three double-digit scorers. American also out-rebounded Saint Francis by 22, 42-20. Five Eagles had four or more rebounds.
Reed, a Saltsburg, Pa., native, played in front of a large contingent of family and friends at DeGol arena and put up one the best performances of his young career. Reed finished 9-of-14 from the field with a three-pointer for a game-high 20 points with six rebounds and three steals, both career best marks.
Schoof found his shooting stroke versus the Red Flash, netting four three-pointers, tying a campagin high, finishing with a season-high 18 points.
The two teams traded baskets to start the game, but the Eagles grabbed a 9-8 lead at 15:21 in the first half and did not look back, using a 10-4 run to pull away from Saint Francis for good.
American continued to press in the second, building a 37-point lead with less than three minutes left in regulation.
Redshirt junior Darius Gardner, the team's leading scorer entering the contest, was not needed for his offense against the Red Flash, but set a career-high with eight dimes, orchestrating the team's highest offensive output this season.
Junior Kyle Kager bounced back with a solid game of seven points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Marko Vasic added a season-high nine points off the bench while rookies Yilret Yiljep and Jalen Rhea scored their first career points, helping AU to its highest reserve point total this season.
AU returns to Bender Arena on Wednesday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m., against Howard. Click here to get your tickets today.