Game #5• VMI (2-2) at American (1-3)
Sat., Nov. 25, 2017 • 4 p.m.ET • Washington, D.C. • Bender Arena (4,500)
All-Time Record: Tied, 1-1
Stream: Patriot League Network on Watch Stadium
Live Stats: http://www.aueagles.com/sports/m-baskbl/2017-18/boxscores/20171125_otau.xml
Game Notes: American | VMI
News, Notes, and Storylines
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
- Sa'eed Nelson scored a career-best 26 points in AU's win at New Hampshire on Tuesday. Nelson also set a new best in 3-pointers made with four and 3-point attempts with nine.
- American had four players in double figures. The last time American had four players score double digits was a home win against Youngstown State on Dec. 10, 2016.
- The Eagles battled back after allowing their 19-point lead slip. Larry Motuzis scored nine straight points to bring the Eagles back after a 24-5 run by New Hampshire.
- In the past three games, American has struggled to stay out of foul trouble. Against UNH, the Eagles committed 29 fouls to put the Wildcats at the line 40 times.
SCOUTING THE KEYDETS
- VMI has won its last two games against Presbyterian and Ohio Valley (NCAA DII) after falling to NC State and Duquesne.
- Four players are scoring in double figures — Bubba Parham (13.8), Tyler Creammer (12.5), Jordan Ratliffe (12.0) and Keith Smith (11.0).
- VMI is not afraid to use its size on the glass and has outrebounded its opponents by a +2.5 rebounding margin. The Keydets have pulled down 30 or more rebounds in all four games this season.
- In games won by VMI, the Keydets average 79.5 points per game while allowing 62.0. In the two losses, VMI scored 64.0 and surrendered 89.5.
LAST TIME OUT: Four players finished in double figures as the American University men's basketball team withstood a second-half surge by New Hampshire to claim its first win of the season, 74-70, on Tuesday evening at Lundholm Gym. American led by as many as 19 (56-37) with 15:30 left in the contest before the Wildcats used a 24-5 run over 8:33 to take a 61-58 lead before. The Eagles finished the contest on a 15-9 run and scored the final seven points in the last three minutes to regain the lead and steal the road victory.
BRENNAN'S 20 BUNCHES OF OATS: Sa'eed Nelson scored a new career-best 26 points along with a new best in 3-pointers made (4) and 3-point attempts. His 26 points are also the second highest point performance by a Mike Brennan coached player at American. Jesse Reed had 28 points on Jan. 29, 2014 against Navy and scored 20 or more points nine times under Brennan. Nelson has eclipsed this feat eight times.
MOTUZIS OR IS IT MO'THREE'ZIS: Larry Motuzis connected on 4 of 12 from the outside in the win over New Hampshire. His triple with 2:35 left tied the game at 70-70. This season, Motuzis is 11-for-34 from 3-point range. He has nailed three or more from the outside three times and knocked down three against Kansas State and West Virginia.
NEARING THE HALFWAY POINT: Sa'eed Nelson is over the hump and halfway to 1,000 career points after his 26-point game at New Hampshire. Nelson now has 518 points in 34 games for a 15.3 points per game average. The next closest teammate is Mark Gasperini with 351 points (11.7) in 30 games.
PAINTBALL SHOOTING: In four games, American has scored 92 points in the paint or 36.3 percent of all points scored. American scored its most points inside against Wagner when they dropped 32 of its 70 or 45.7 percent. The Eagles have a better depth at forward this season which includes Sam Iorio, Jesse Little, Matt Cimino, Marvin Bragg and Nick Macarchuk. American will add one more piece when Mark Gasperini returns.
MISSING THE BIG GUY: Saturday's contest will be the fifth game without sophomore center Mark Gasperini, who is recovering from a concussion sustained before preseason. Gasperini had 19 double-figure games last season with one double-double at Colgate (1/2/17) where he had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Gasperini began his collegiate career with 14 points at Maryland (11/11/16). The center had a seven-game double figures streak from 11/22 in the home opener against Wagner (11/22) until 12/21 at Villanova. During the span, Gasperini averaged 13.2 points per game.
#AUMBB vs. SOUTHERN CONFERENCE: American holds a 5-4 all-time record against the SoCon. Of the nine current members, American has faced four teams — UNC Greensboro, Furman, East Tennessee State and VMI. The Eagles have a pair of wins over UNCG and ETSU.