BOSTON — Junior Jalen Rhea knocked down 15 points to lead the American University men's basketball team into the Patriot League Semifinals on Thursday with a 69-64 win over Boston University at Case Gym.
American (12-18) will face Lehigh on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network following the Army-Holy Cross Contest at noon. The winners advance to the Patriot League Championship on Wed., March 9 at 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
American improved to 6-1 in the Patriot League Tournament under third-year Head Coach Mike Brennan, including 4-1 on the road. American advances to the Patriot League Tournament semifinals for the 14th time in its 15 seasons in the League.
Freshman Delante Jones had 14 points and made clutch free throws late in the contest to complete the upset. Senior Jesse Reed finished with his first career double-double, pulling down 12 rebounds and 11 points.
The Eagles shot 48 percent from the floor and hit 15-of-19 from the line. American was outrebounded by one, 33-32, but held a 16-11 edge at the half.
Eric Fanning led the Terriers with 18 points but struggled from the field (6-13) and the line (6-12) throughout the contest. Cheddi Mosely had 12 points and John Papale added 11.
Junior Paris Maragkos scored the first seven points for the Eagles early in the contest, as the visitors took a 9-3 lead after freshman James Washington added a layup at 17:06. Classmate Andrija Matic added to the lead with a jumper at 15:31 to put AU up 11-6.
Mosely tied the game at 23-all for the Terriers with a three at 7:02. The Eagles retook the lead and led by four (31-27) on a three by Rhea with 3:09 left. Reed gave American a six-point lead, 33-27, with a layup with 40 ticks left.
Washington gave AU a 35-29 lead 47 seconds into the second half. Boston kept pressuring the Eagles, but after a three by Mosley that made it 35-34, American went on a 9-0 run to pad its advantage to 49-39.
The Terriers fought back and cut their deficit to three, 51-48, on an old-fashioned three-point play by Fanning.
American found the determination to push through a raucous crowd and held the Terriers scoreless for four and a half minutes and took a 12-point lead off a layup by senior Marko Vasic.
Late in the contest, Fanning put Boston to within one-possession but Delante Jones hit two free throws to seal the contest.
AU fans and alumni planning to attend the road game at Lehigh are encouraged to purchase tickets in the American fan seating block by calling the AU Athletics Tickets office at (202) 885-TIXX to or email firstname.lastname@example.org with contact information and a representative will return your call. All tickets in the AU fan section must be purchased by Saturday, March 5th at 11 a.m. Tickets prices, set by the Patriot League, are $14 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens. Seating space is limited so reserve your tickets today!