WASHINGTON – Sa'eed Nelson scored 15 points and Larry Motuzis added 11, but Lafayette rallied in the second half to earn a 62-53 victory over American University in a Patriot League men's basketball Friday at Bender Arena.
The Eagles dropped to 5-14 overall and 2-6 in league play, while the Leopards are now also 5-14 and 3-5 in the PL.
American honored the 10th anniversary of its first Patriot League men's basketball championship in a halftime ceremony.
Nelson was limited to just 23 minutes by foul trouble, and the Eagles shot just 38 percent from the floor in the game and was 3-for-21 from 3-point range. Sam Iorio finished with 12 rebounds and six points for AU.
Matt Klinewski led the Leopards with 17 points and nine rebounds, with Alex Petrie adding 14 points and Justin Jaworski scoring 11 points off the bench. Lafayette hit 82 percent from the free throw line, making 18 of 22 attempts.
The Eagles held a 29-22 edge at halftime, but Lafayette chipped away at the deficit. The Leopards pulled even at 40-40 on a jumper by Klinewski with 8:42 left.
The game was tied at 48-48 with 4:00 to play, but the Eagles trailed the rest of the way as Lafayette hit 10 free throws in the final 1:55 to preserve the win.
American remains at home on Monday at 7 p.m. when Holy Cross comes to Bender Arena.
Tickets to all American basketball games are now on sale at the Bender Arena box office or online by clicking here
For the latest on AU Men's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_MBasketball.