STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Sam Iorio scored a career-best 24 points with nine rebounds but Wagner finished the contest on a 7-1 run to defeat the American men's basketball team, 71-70, on Saturday afternoon at the Spiro Sports Center.
Iorio shot 8 of 12 from the field, 3 of 4 from the outside and 5 of 6 from the line along with three blocks, one assist and one steal in 37 minutes. Sa'eed Nelson had a season-best 23 points in 40 minutes.
American (0-3) shot 44 percent from the field and 61 percent from the line. The Eagles penetrated the line with 32 points in the paint.
Wagner's Blake Francis had 24 points and was a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line.
Wagner held an 11-point lead (27-16) at 9:57 of the first half on a layup by Devin Liggeons. American cut the difference to a single possession before heading into the break, trailing 35-32.
In the second half, the Eagles took a six-point lead, 56-50, on a 3-point play by Sam Iorio with 8:03 left. Wagner outscored the Eagles, 14-6, in the final 2:30 of the contest after AU led 64-57 on a layup by Jesse Little. Nelson gave the Eagles a 69-64 with two free throws with 1:09 left. Wagner then put on a full-court press and took the lead with 13 seconds left on free throws by Blake Francis.
American visits New Hampshire on Tuesday evening.