Worcester, Mass. – The American University men's basketball team overcame an 11-point first half deficit at the Hart Center on Monday, night, rallying to defeat Holy Cross, 57-50. American hit 10 3-pointers while holding the Crusaders to just 3-of-11 from behind the arc, outscoring HC by 12 in the second half.
Holy Cross shot over 50 percent from the field for the game, but American's staunch effort along the perimeter kept the Crusaders from mounting a comeback after the Eagles took the lead for good with six minutes to play.
"We battled back and stuck with it. We couldn't score very well in the first half, but our defense was solid," said head coach Mike Brennan. "We're small, but we battled. Pee Wee is an unbelievable player."
Senior point guard Pee Wee Gardner led the way with a team-high 12 points, coming up clutch with several 3-pointers while swiping a game-high three steals.
The Eagles trailed by 11 points with seven minutes to play in the first half, but American made a run, capped by Gardner's 3-pointer at the buzzer which brought AU to within five at the break, 23-18.
Holy Cross built the advantage back to 10 with 16:51 to go, but American used a 12-4 run to get back into it, capped by another Pee Wee 3-pointer.
The American offense came alive in the second half, outscoring Holy Cross 39-27 as AU hit six of its 10 3-pointers.
Junior guard Jesse Reed matched Gardner's 12 points while also grabbing a team-high six rebounds. Both players played all 40 minutes.
Six Eagles scored six or more points in the contest, but Holy Cross countered with nine different players scoring.
Holy Cross senior Malcolm Miller scored a game-high 19 points, but was the only Crusader to score more than six.
American will once again have a quick turnaround as the Eagles host Loyola (Md.) Wednesday at 8 p.m., live on the American Sports Network, televised in the D.C.-Metro area on MASN2.
Tickets start at just $7.50 per seat and a limited amount of premium location sideline reserved chairback seats remain.
February 4-Pack Ticket Mini-Plan
Now through Feb. 4, fans can also take advantage of the money-saving "February 4-Pack" ticket mini-plan which includes a sideline reserved ticket to the next four Patriot League home games in Bender for the February stretch run of conference play. Secure your tickets and mini-plans today at AUeagles.com by clicking here or by calling (202) 885-TIXX. AU basketball home games are free for American University students with a valid AU ID.