Men’s Basketball Tips Off West Coast Road Trip at Saint Mary’s Thursday Night
Teams: American (3-5) at Saint Mary's (Calif.) (8-0)
Date and Location: Thus., Dec. 19, 2013, 10 p.m., EST – McKeon Pavilion, Maroga, Calif.
Series: 3rd meeting; American trails 2-0
Last Meeting: L, 66-58 – Fort Collins, Colo. (Dec. 3, 1994)
Radio: Federal News Radio 1500AM – Dain Laing (play-by-play), Jeremy Huber (analyst)
After back-to-back games at Bender Arena and a break for final exams, the American University men's basketball returns to the court on a West Coast, two-game road swing, taking on Saint Mary's (Calif.) on Thursday, December 19, at 10 p.m., EST.
Fans in the D.C.-metro area can tune in to Federal News Radio 1500AM to listen to the radio broadcast with Dan Laing and Jeremy Huber calling the action. For those outside the area, log on to FederalNewsRadio.com to listen to the internet stream.
Saint Mary's (8-0) and AU (3-5) have met twice before, with the Gaels taking both matchups. The two squads last met on December 3, 1994, as part of the Bank One/Foothills Dodge Ram Classic in Fort Collins, Colo. Saint Mary's won 66-58.
After two 23-plus point victories, the Eagles took on one of the top teams in the Ivy League their last time out, playing Brown University to within five points after a second-half surge; eventually falling 72-67.
AU had four players in double figure points for the first time this season and shot 49.0 percent from the field but were equaled by the Bears offensively.
American was led by junior John Schoof who has heated up from the field as of late, hitting three 3-pointers for the third-straight game, also totaling 13-plus points for the third consecutive outing.
AU's defense has been some of the best in the county so far this season. The Eagles are 16th in the nation in scoring defense (60.5 ppg), rank 20th in 3-point field goal defense (27.0%) and 51st in field goal percentage defense (39.8%).
SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S
At 8-0 on the season after a victory over Boise State in its last game, head coach Randy Bennett and the Gaels group sits one game back of the best start in program history, achieved in the 1988-89 season when Lynn Nance guided Saint Mary's to a 9-0 start.
Against Boise State last Saturday the Gaels raced out to a 16-point lead in the first half and held off a late Broncos charge to earn a 82-74 victory in Boise. It was Saint Mary's first road game of the season.
Instrumental in that fast start at Boise was senior point guard Stephen Holt. who scored 16 of the Gaels' first 19 points, including four 3-pointers. He eventually finished the game with a career-high 24 points. Holt is second is second on SMC with 14.0 ppg and first with 5.75 apg.
Holt was one of five Saint Mary's players to finish in double figures at Boise. Junior Brad Waldow finished in double digits for the eighth-straight game and added 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Waldow is the Gael's leading scorer at 17.6 ppg while grabbing a team-high 7.6 rpg.
MORE ON THE EAGLES
Senior Tony Wroblicky had the best offensive game of his career on last Wednesday versus Howard, hitting 11-of-12 shots for a personal best, 23 points. The senior center also registered a double-double at halftime, finishing with 12 rebounds while adding a career-high three steals. Last Saturday marked Wroblicky's 100th career game in the red, white & blue and he is now 21 rebounds away from 500.
Schoof has got it going from distance, hitting 10-of-19 attempts from beyond the arc in his last three games. Schoof, who recently eclipsed the 100 3-pointers made mark in his career, ranks seventh all-time in Patriot League history with 41.2 percent from deep, one spot ahead of AU great Garrison Carr (40.9).
Redshirt junior point guard Darius Gardner continues to excel in his first season with the Eagles, leading the team with 4.6 apg, 2.0 spg, while joining three other AU players in double-figure scoring with 11.0 ppg. "Pee Wee" leads the Patriot League in minutes played (36.6).
Freshman Charlie Jones made the first two starts of his young career in AU's past two games in place of sophomore Jesse Reed, who leads American in scoring at 13.5 ppg and is expected to rejoing the starting lineup versus Saint Mary's.
AU's bench was productive against Brown, scoring 25 points, thanks large in part to career days from sophomore Marko Vasic and freshman Yilret Yiljep. Vasic scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting with five boards, while "YY" posted the best game of collegiate career with 10 points and three assists.
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AU continues its five-game road and two-game California away swing on Sunday, December 22 at 5 p.m. EST, at San Francisco.
American University Athletics is proud to announce a special offer for fans and alumni to cheer on the Eagles in 2014. For just $55, the "Holiday 4-Pack" provides a sideline reserved ticket to four marquee match-ups to start the new year. Click here for more info and to buy now!