The American University men's basketball team concluded a five-game road swing in Worcester, Mass., against Holy Cross on Sunday afternoon, downing the Crusaders, 69-54. The Eagles are now 2-0 in conference play, marking the first time in program history that AU has secured two-straight road wins to open Patriot League play. American is undefeated through two conference games for the first time in four years.
For the second-straight game, the Eagles led from wire-to-wire, opening a double-digit advantage and keeping their opponent off balance for much of the contest. AU dominated in the paint, especially in the second half, outscoring Holy Cross down low, 26-10, in the final 20 minutes.
All five starters scored in double digits, while the Eagles held Holy Cross to just one player reaching the 10-plus point plateau.
"I thought the guys defended well. Dudzinski is a great player and we did a good job on him. They got a lot of 3-pointers off, but we limited them to five in the game," said head coach Mike Brennan. "We wanted to be aggressive against their press, but still pick and choose the right moments to bring it out and run our halfcourt offense. Our decision making helped us be successful today."
For the third-straight game, AU shot over 50 percent from the field as junior point guard Darius Gardner keyed the offense. "Pee Wee" again playing all 40 minutes, finishing with 10 points, three rebounds, three steals and five assists with only one turnover.
American came out hot in its second-straight Patriot League road contest, opening up a 17-6 lead over the Crusaders. Holy Cross closed to within three at 22-19, but AU responded with an 8-0 run, eventually taking a six-point lead into the break, 34-28.
Early foul trouble limited senior center Tony Wroblicky, who had the best game of his career at Bucknell, on only five minutes in the first half. Rookie big man filled in admirably however, getting four point on 2-of-3 shooting with three rebounds, two assists and a block in the initial stanza.
Holy Cross scored the first basket of the second half, making in a four-point game, but the Eagles used a quick 6-0 run to go back up by 10. The Crusaders were able to push back into it again, closing to within seven at 44-37, but would let them get no closer, again building a double-digit point lead they would not surrender at 55-44 after a 3-pointer by junior guard John Schoof.
After only two points in the first, Wroblicky scored 10 in the second, adding five rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals. Schoof led the way from distance with three triples, finishing with 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and a block.
Junior forward Kyle Kager had one of the best games of his career, scoring 13 points, six coming by way of emphatic, two-handed slams. The power forward also grabbed a game-high eight boards and dished out three assists.
Leading the way offensively was sophomore guard Jesse Reed who played a career-high 40 minutes in the game. He went a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line, finishing with a team-high 14 points with six boards and four assists.
After five-straight road games and over a month away from Bender Arena, the Eagles return home this coming Wednesday, January 8, hosting new conference member Loyola at 7:30 p.m.
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!