American University men's basketball played a near perfect second half in its return to Bender Arena after a month-long hiatus, coming back from first stanza deficit for the initial time this season, downing Loyola, 65-51. The Eagles now improve to undefeated 3-0 in Patriot League play this season.
After a slow shooting first half, the Eagles truly soared in the second, shooting 81.0 percent from the field (17-of-21), quickly making up a four-point deficit while outscoring Loyola 43-25 in the second 20 minutes.
"That was good second half of basketball," said head coach Mike Brennan. "Loyola is a very good team that has one of the best scorers in the country. Our defense did well to slow him down and really challenge their opportunities throughout, while the guys responded at the half and executed our offense well down the stretch."
The Eagle defense, which entered the game ranked 16th in the nation, allowing only 60.7 points per game, limited the seventh-leading scorer in the country, Dylon Cormier (23.0 ppg), to 3-of-13 shooting, while holding the Greyhounds to just 1-of-11 attempts from 3-point range.
American hit only 8-of-24 shots in the first half, but AU opened the second on an 11-0 run to take control of the game.
Loyola was able to fight back into the game, closing to within four at 44-40, but AU used a second 11-0 run of the stanza to build its biggest lead of the game at 55-40.
It was another well-rounded offensive effort for the Eagles as four player scored in double-digit points. AU also assisted on 21 of its 25 baskets, hitting 4-of-8 shots from distance. American established a driving mentality, scoring 42 of its 65 points in the paint.
Sophomore Jesse Reed and junior Kyle Kager each posted a game-high 15 points, with Kager setting a new career high. Reed filled out the stat sheet with a personal best six assists and two blocks, to go along with two steals and two 3-pointers.
Senior center Tony Wroblicky double-doubled for the second time this season, scoring 10 points with 10 rebounds while adding four assists, a block and two steals in just under 40 minutes of action.
The Eagles will look to continue it win streak as they return to the road, playing their 11th away game in 15 contests this season, taking on the Colgate Raiders on Saturday, January 11 at 2 p.m.