Men's Basketball Travels Crosstown to Meet Howard on Saturday

Men's Basketball Travels Crosstown to Meet Howard on Saturday

Sat, Dec. 3, 2016 • 4 P.M. • Washington, D.C. • Burr Gym  (2,700)
Game #7 • American (1-5) at Howard (0-5)
All-Time Record: American 15-4
Last Meeting: American 76, Howard 54 — Dec. 4, 2013
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American Game Notes
Howard Game Notes 

WASHINGTON — After a come-from-behind win on Tuesday, the American University men's basketball team will look for its second win of the season at Howard on Saturday afternoon. 

News, Notes, and Storylines

SEE I TOLD YOU TO JUST BREATHE: The Eagles picked up their first win of the season, 57-50, over Western Illinois on Tuesday at Bender Arena. American has five non-conference games remaining with a chance of finishing over .500 in non-league play. The final test will be against National Champion Villanova on Dec. 21. 

 WELCOME TO D.C.: The Eagles will stay within the confines of the District from Nov. 22 until Dec. 19. American will play seven games during this span with six at Bender Arena and the one at Howard.  

BREAKING DOWN THE WESTERN ILLINOIS WIN: Delante Jones led a second-half comeback and finished with 19 points in the 57-50 over Western Illinois. Sa'eed Nelson added 12 points and Mark Gasperini had 10. American trailed by nine (26-17) at the break, but a 15-4 run to start the second brought AU ahead. The Eagles outrebounded the Leathernecks 38-29 and scored 26 points in the paint. American took a 27-26 lead on a jumper by Gasperini with 17:38 left.  WIU tied the game 39-all with 10:16 remaining before Jones gave American the lead for the rest of the night. The guests cut it to 49-48 on a free throw by Jabari Sandifer before a tip-in by Matt Cimino sealed the contest. 

HOWARD SCOUT: The Bison are looking for their first win of the season after a tough first five non-conference games. Howard opened the season with four losses (Michigan, Marquette, IUPUI and Gardner-Webb) at the 2K Classic for Wounded Soldiers. In its last contest, Howard fell to Georgetown, 85-72. James Miller leads the Bison averaging 16.6 points per game. Solomon Mangham and Damon Collins are second and third in scoring, as the Bison are without the NCAA scoring champion from last season James Daniel, III who suffered a high ankle sprain during the preseason. 

MILESTONE CHECK: Head coach Mike Brennan picked up his 50th-career win  against Western Illinois in game 103 at the helm of the Eagles. The win was also Brennan's 25th win at Bender Arena. 

COMMON FOE: American and Howard share Maryland and Maryland Eastern Shore  as common opponents this season. The Eagles had a closed-door scrimmage in October against MEAC member Morgan State.  

12x2=24: Sa'eed Nelson has scored in double figures in five-of-six games this season. He has reached 24 points twice in back-to-back games against Wagner and Saint Francis, earning him the Corvias PL Rookie of the Week and GEICO AU Student-Athlete of the Week. In his other double figures matches, Nelson scored 12 points three times (Maryland, Texas A&M and Western Illinois). Nelson leads the Eagles in points (15.2), steals (17), assists (15), and made field goals (31). 

BABY HOOK: Mark Gasperini is third in scoring at 12.0 points per game. The 6-10 freshman has reached double figures in four-of-six games and three straight. Gasperini leads the Eagles in rebounds (5.7) and is tied with Nelson for the most field goals made with 31.

NEW HIGH FOR TOLKSDORF: Leon Tolksdorf played a career-high 36 minutes on Tuesday against Western Illinois. The transfer from UConn has settled into a solid role this season for the Eagles making all five starts as the power forward. He scored eight points in the season opener at Maryland and then added six points in the home opener against Wagner. In the last two games, Tolksdorf has pulled down six rebounds in each contest. 

SPECIALTY STATS WINS GAMES: In the win over Western Illinois, the Eagles won four-of-five specialty stats. American had 36 points in the paint, 15 points off turnovers, seven second chance and eight on the fast break. AU also out-rebounded the Leathernecks 38-29 and forced 13 turnovers with nine steals. 

THROUGH SIX...: Through six games this season, American has played three at home and three on the road. When comparing and contrasting statistics, AU scores better at home (61.3 to 57.0) and grabs more rebounds (35.3 to 28.3). On the road, AU does better from the outside hitting 32.4 percent compared to 24.6. 

ALL-NEW AU HOOP TALK WITH MIKE BRENNAN: This season, fans can watch AU Hoop Talk with Mike Brennan as a video on demand show on and various team/department specific social media outlets. The show will feature coach Brennan and host Dan Laing discussing previous games while taking a look at the upcoming schedule. Segmented features will also be a vital part of the AU Hoop Talk experience.

TICKETS ON SALE: Great seats still remain for all AU men's basketball home games and are available online at