The American University men's basketball team made it eight-straight victories to start the Patriot League season, becoming the sixth ever league team to do so, with an 84-74 win at Army on Saturday afternoon in West Point, N.Y. The Eagles are now on a nine-game win streak.
After setting program records and top-five Division I men's basketball marks this season in field goal and 3-point percentage, the AU offense continued to roll, hitting 53.8 percent of its shots while knocking down 10 treys for the second-straight game.
It is the first time since the 2004-05 season that American scored 80-plus points in back-to-back contests. In 2005, AU won the final game of the regular season against Navy, 84-77, and then downed the Midshipmen again in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament, 85-83.
"We really have done a good job executing our offense the past two games and we needed to today because Army is a very good team. I was happy with our ball movement which set us up for some good looks," said head coach Mike Brennan. "We are playing well right now, but need to continue to work and get better. We have a lot more games left this season and need to take them one at a time."
The first half between the Eagles and Black Knights was a back-and-forth affair with seven lead changes and neither team building more than a seven-point advantage. AU relied on its 3-point shooting early as they knocked down six in the first half, while Army benefited from an early advantage in the paint 16-4, making up for a 1-of-9 mark from distance in the initial 20 minutes.
The roles were reversed in the second as American outscored Army 26-14 in the paint.
American did well to counter Army's league-best scoring offense while using clutch free throw shooting, hitting 14-of-16 from the charity strike in the second half and 18-of-21 overall.
The Black Knights did take a one-point lead at 35-34, three minutes into the second period, but junior Kyle Kager hit a 3-pointer on the next possession to give AU a lead it would not relinquish.
The Military Academy closed to within four points at 64-60, but again, a quick answer, this time by senior center Tony Wroblicky, made the difference, giving the Eagles a six-point cushion it would not surrender.
American pushed out to its biggest lead of the game in the closing seconds, going up by 12 to secure and continue the programs perfect start to the conference slate.
The Eagles were led offensively by two 20-point scorers as John Schoof and Jesse Reed each hit four 3-pointers in the game. Reed registered career highs with his four triples and nine rebounds, scoring 20-plus points for the second consecutive game.
Wroblicky was just behind with 19 points, scoring 13 of those in the second half. The fourth-year big man also added eight rebounds and five blocks.
Junior point guard Darius "Pee Wee" Gardner rounded out the double-digit scorers for AU, scoring 14 points while dishing out six assists.
The Eagles complete the first half of the Patriot League season on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., hosting the Navy.
The return to Bender Arena this week includes two home games: vs. Navy Wednesday Jan. 29th at 7:30pm, and Saturday, Feb.1st at 1pm for their "Phil Bender Day" game vs. rival Holy Cross. Tickets start at just $7 per seat, and a limited amount of premium location, sideline reserved chair back seats still remain for these games. Secure the best seat locations and purchase tickets 24/7 at AUeagles.com by clicking here while supplies last.
American University Athletics has a special offer for fans and alumni to cheer on the Eagles during this historic season. For only $55, the February 4-Pack provides a sideline reserved ticket to four marquee match-ups, including Phil Bender Day. Click here to learn more. Click here to purchase your February 4 Pack!