Gardner Leads Eagles to Second Half Comeback Over Morehead State, 51-46

Gardner Leads Eagles to Second Half Comeback Over Morehead State, 51-46

Ruston, La. – The Eagles closed out their three-game slate at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic subregional with a come-from-behind victory over Morehead State, 51-46, on Sunday afternoon at the Thomas Assembly Center.

American (3-2) shot only 36.4 percent from the field in the first half and trailed by five at the break in the "Battle of the Eagles." AU regrouped in the second half however to overcome a 10-point deficit as senior guard Pee Wee Gardner scored all of his 12 points after intermission to top Morehead State (2-4).

AU was down 32-22 early in the second half, but used a 16-6 run to take the lead with 7:47 left to play. MSU was able to tie on the next possession, but Gardner quickly answered with a layup to take a lead that American never relinquished.

"I think we will have a lot of games like that where we will have to grind it out. The guys had to pull together in the second half. They had to get stops and they did," said head coach Mike Brennan.

The AU defense forced 11 Morehead State turnovers in the second half alone, which led to 14 points for American.

AU has now held three of four opponents to a season low in points, while registering four games with less that 47 points allowed and four halves giving up 20 points or less.

Three American players swiped two steals on the game and each of those Eagles scored in double figures. Gardner was joined by Jesse Reed and John Schoof who each netted 10 points.

AU also did well to win the rebounding battle, 26-24, against a Morehead State team that came in to the contest average almost 40 boards per game.

MSU was led by Karam Mashour, who totaled 11 points and eight rebounds. Leading scorer Angelo Warner averaged 17 points entering the game, but was held to only nine in 35 minutes.

AU has now played four games in seven days and five in 10 to open the season. The Eagles are in the midst of an eigh-game road trip.

American returns to the hardwood on Wednesday, Nov. 26 at Hampton. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.