For the first time in 13 games this season, American University men's basketball fell in a game in which it held the lead at the half. In Easton, Pa. on Saturday afternoon, Lafayette's hot-shooting in the second stanza (72.7 percent, 16-of-22), helped the Leopards upset the Eagles, 74-62, at the Kirby Sports Center on their Senior Day.
After a back-and-forth first half, American (15-10, 11-3) went to the break with a six-point lead over Lafayette (8-17, 4-10). It was all Leopards in the second however as they were locked in from the field offensively; later denying a late comeback attempt by AU.
"I have said all season that this is an extremely balanced league. Every team has all-league caliber players. We did not execute the way we needed to in the second half and Lafayette did," said head coach Mike Brennan. "We need to move on and get ready for BU on Wednesday."
American utilized the 3-pointer throughout, netting 10-of-21 from distance, but Lafayette counted by hitting 60 percent (27-of-45) of their shots from the field, while also knocking down 14-of-17 attempts at the free throw line.
Lafayette outscored the American 28-10 in the first eight minutes of the second half, erasing their first half deficit while building a 12-point advantage of their own at 55-33.
AU would get no closer however, as Lafayette scored 12-straight points to build its largest lead of the game at 74-56, with only 50 seconds remaining in regulation.
Senior Tony Wroblicky led the way for American, scoring 13 points and grabbing six rebounds, but after netting 12 points in the first half, Lafayette held the AU big man without a field goal attempt in the second.
Leopard forward Dan Trist scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half, hitting 8-of-10 from the field. Trist also grabbed 10 boards for the double-double.
The return of Lafayette captain Seth Hinrichs has helped the Leopards to wins in four of their last five games as he helped keyed the win with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting with two 3-pointers, three rebounds, and three assists.
It was the first time in eight-straight games that American did not shot over 48 percent from the field as the Eagles entered the game ranked number one in the nation in field goal percentage (.506).
The Eagles continue a two-game swing in a pivotal matchup at BU on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.
American returns to Bender Arena on Saturday, Feb. 22 on CSN+ vs. Army at 2 p.m.Tickets start at just $7, and a limited amount of premium location, sideline reserved chair back seats still remain. Secure the best seat locations and purchase tickets 24/7 at AUeagles.com by clicking here.