American University men's basketball rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half against Brown University, twice closing to within a point of the Bears, but the Eagles could not complete the comeback, falling to Brown, 72-67.
Both teams shot well in the game with American (3-5) at 49.0 percent and Brown (6-2) at 51.9 percent, in a tightly-contested game, especially in the second half. The Eagles outscored the Bears by seven in the second stanza to overcome a double-digit half-time deficit, but some solid defense by Brown in the closing minutes kept AU from fighting all the way back.
"We had two good comebacks in that one, but could not close them out," said head coach Mike Brennan. "A few of those last shots didn't fall for us and some early foul trouble on two starters led to us being behind early. We were more composed in the second half and need to continue to work to be able to close out those types of games.
Brown grabbed an 8-7 lead at 16:06 in the first half and took a double-digit lead into the half. American regrouped at the break however, as the Eagles outscored the Bears 16-7 to open the stanza, closing to within a point of Brown, 46-45.
The Bears responded with a 10-2 run of their own, but again the Eagles came back as a 3-pointer by junior John Schoof made a one-point game at 58-7 with 8:07 to play.
It was a two-point game, 69-67 with two minutes left, but neither team could convert their offensive chances down the stretch, with AU forced to foul in closing seconds.
American was led by Schoof who tallied a game-high 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting with three 3-pointers, and a season-high six rebounds.
Schoof was limited to 11 minutes and three points in the first half, while senior center Tony Wroblicky only saw 10 minutes with two points as both players picked up two fouls early in the first half.
Brown was led by junior forward Rafael Maia, who scored a team high 14 points, pacing four players in double-figure scoring.
Junior point guard Darius Gardner scored 11 points, playing the game in its entirety, while rookie big man Yilret Yiljep had the best offensive game of his young career with 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting, converting 4-of-5 from the free throw line.
AU hits the road again after exam week, tipping off a five game road trip with a two contest West Coast swing, beginning at Saint Mary's (Calif.) on Thursday, December 19 before playing San Francisco on Sunday, December 22.
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