Men’s Basketball Plays 12th Away Tilt of the Season at Lehigh Wednesday; Goes for 5-0 in Patriot League
Teams: American (8-7, 4-0 PL) at Lehigh (8-9, 1-3 PL)
Date and Location: Wed., Jan. 15, 2014, 7 p.m.– Stabler Arena – Bethlehem, Pa.
Series: 41st meeting; AU leads, 22-18
Last Meeting: L, 60-47 – Bethlehem, Pa. (Feb., 13, 2013)
Radio: Federal News Radio 1050AM - Dain Laing (play-by-play), Jeremy Huber (analyst)
American University men's basketball continues its "road warrior" status on Wednesday night, Jan. 15, 2014, when the Eagles travel to Bethlehem, Pa., to take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks at 7 p.m. AU puts its perfect 4-0 Patriot League record on the line and is riding a five-game win streak.
Fans around the world can watch the Patriot League Network stream online via their desktop, tablet or mobile device or listen in to the American radio broadcast with Dan Laing and Jeremy Huber calling the action on Federal News Radio 1050AM, also accessible at FederalNewsRadio.com.
It will be the 41st meeting between Lehigh and AU, with the Eagles holding a 22-20 series advantage, dating back to 1960. American has struggled as of late versus the Mountain Hawks, falling in seven of the last 10 matchups, including three straight. AU last won in Stabler Arena on Jan. 11, 2012.
AU opened its Patriot League slate 4-0 under first-year head coach Mike Brennan. It is only the second time in program history the Eagles have accomplished the feat and first "true" time for American. The 2004-05 Eagles lost its league opener to Lehigh, but the Mountain Hawks were later forced to forfeit the victory, leading to a program best 4-0 start for AU in conference play.
The Eagles are out to a perfect Patriot League start thanks to two-straight come-from-behind victories. After starting the season 0-7 in games in which they trailed at the half, AU downed Loyola and Colgate in back-to-back games when facing a deficit after the first 20 minutes. After hitting 17-of-21 shots in the second stanza for a 14-point win against the Greyhounds, AU knocked down 14-of-18 in the second half at Colgate for the 69-62 win.
American's defensive unit ranks 14th in the nation, holding opponents to 60.0 points per game this season. While the Eagles have been staunch without the basketball, the AU offense has now caught up to its prowess on D, and ranks seventh in country in team field goal percentage (.499).
The Mountain Hawks have had an up-and-down season, starting the year 1-4. Lehigh rebounded, winning six of its next seven games, but has struggled as of late, losing four of its last five. Their lone win coming in double overtime at Colgate, 88-81. It has been a tough, recent stretch for the Mountain Hawks however with Patriot League losses against undefeated foes BU (67-66) and Army (79-76) and at Loyola (72-68).
Senior guard Mackey McKnight leads the way for Lehigh, averaging 15.1 points per game and a league-best 5.8 assists per game. Rookie big man Tim Kepmton is the only other Mountain Hawk in double-figure in double-digit scoring with 13.6 ppg, but Corey Schaefer, Austin Price and Jesse Chuku each average just over nine points per game. Sophomore forward Justin Goldsborugh made his first start of the season at Loyola and scored a career-high 14 points.
The 2013-14 season is Dr. Brett Reed's seventh as the Murray H. Goodman '48 Head Men's Basketball Coach at Lehigh University. In six years on the sideline, Reed has by far the most victories by a Lehigh head coach in his first six seasons and has won 75 percent of his games at Stabler Arena, which is second on the Lehigh leaderboard. During the 2012-13 season, Reed won his 100th career game and became the all-time winningest coach in school history.
More on the Eagles
Senior center Tony Wroblicky was honored as the Patriot League Player of the Week last week, averaging 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 4.5 blocks and 2.5 steals while making 14-of-22 shots (63.6%) from the field. The fourth-year big man battled foul trouble at Colgate last Saturday, but played a strong second half to finish with nine points, seven boards and six assists.
This year, American boasts four players in double digit scoring as junior sharpshooter John Schoof leads the way with 12.3 ppg. Second year swingman Jesse Reed is just behind Schoof's lead with 12.1.Following the dynamic duo is Wroblicky and junior point guard Darius Gardner, who are averaging 11.3 and 11.2 ppg, respectively.
With five players with two fouls each in the first half at Colgate, "Pee Wee" Gardner stepped up, shouldering the burden offensively, scoring 20-plus points for the second time is his career, finishing with 21 on 7-of-8 shooting, 7-of-9 from the line. Gardner also added a game-high seven rebounds as the Eagles dominated the Raiders on the boards, 26-14. AU also earned a 32-18 point advantage in the paint.
Wroblicky etched his name into the American record book again, recording his 500th career rebound at Holy Cross, becoming the 28th player in program history to do so. The fourth-year center became the fifth player ever in AU history to reach 100 blocks earlier this season and now ranks third all-time with 118 career rejections.
This season, the Eagle boast three true iron men, as Gardner, Schoof and Reed each average over 32 minutes per game. Gardner is top amongst Patriot League players and 20th in the nation with 36.8 mpg, while Schoof is just behind at 36.3. Reed, 32.1 mpg, has played all 40 minutes in two of the last three games.
AU finally returns home for an extended stretch, beginning the weekend against Lafayette. American will play six of its next eight game inside the friendly confines of Bender Arena.
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American returns to Bender Arena Saturday, Jan. 18, when the Eagles take on Lafayette at 2 p.m. AU will hold its annual "White-Out" game with 1,000 free t-shirt being given away, courtesy of the American Athletics Department and AU Student Government. Sideline reserved tickets are still available for this, and all home games. Click here for more info and to buy now!