Loyola Trumps Men’s Basketball’s Hot Shooting, 62-58; Eagles' Win Streak Halted at 11
After winning its first 10-sraight Patriot League games and its past 11 consecutive contests, American University men's basketball's streak came to end against an attacking Loyola team, 62-58.
The Greyhounds went after the basket all night in Baltimore, getting to the line 15 more times than the Eagles, while capitalizing on AU mistakes, registering 19 points off turnovers; 10 more than American.
"That was a typical Patriot League game. Hard fought. I have said all year that this league has strong teams from top to bottom. On any night where you don't execute to the best of your ability, you can lose," said head coach Mike Brennan. "I am proud of the success that we experienced during our win streak, but as I've told our guys all season, we need to continue to work and get better. We need to get back to daily improvement and prepare for Colgate on Saturday."
American shot well in the contest, knocking down 21-of-41 attempts from the field (51.2 percent), while knocking down 11-of-19 shots from distance (57.9), but could not overcome 19 turnovers against Loyola.
Loyola was able to match AU's strong shooting, hitting 48.7 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from downtown while hitting 17-of-22 free throws. Conversely, American only hit five shots from the charity stripe.
AU's 11-game win streak is its longest since 2008-09, and third longest in program history. American's 10-0 start in Patriot League play is the best in program history in second best conference start the Eagles have ever had.
Junior guard Darius "Pee Wee" Gardner put the team on his back for stretches of the game, coming up with clutch plays when American needed them most. Gardner finished with a team-high 19 points, missing just one shot from the field (7-of-8), while knocking down all five of his 3-pointers. He also added four rebounds, three assists a block and five steals.
It was an evenly matched first half, with neither team building more than a five-point advantage, despite senior center Tony Wroblicky picking up his second foul of the game only seven minutes in.
Despite a first half deficit, The Eagles battled back and led late, 46-45 with just over five minutes to play. Loyola quickly answered however with a free throw and then a 3-pointer as AU never led again.
American continued to push for points in the closing minutes, getting to within two after a 3-pointer by junior John Schoof, but Loyola hit its free throws down the stretch to keep AU away from the comeback.
Wroblicky overcame a foul limited first half to finis with 11 points, just missing the double-double with nine boards. Sophomore guard Jesse Reed finished second on the Eagles with 16 points, knocking down 6-of-13 attempts from the field and 4-of-7 from deep.
For Loyola, Tyler Hubbard led way, making up for the loss of top scorer Dylon Cormier who missed the game due to injury. Hubbard attempted all seven of his shots from distance, hitting six 3-pointers for the Greyhounds.
American will look to get back on the winning track this Saturday, Feb. 8, when the Eagles return to Bender Arena at 2 p.m., to take on the Colgate Raiders. Tickets are still available for this game click here to purchase now or call (202) 885-TIXX