WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sam Iorio had a career-high 30 points and nine rebounds, but Lehigh outlasted the Eagles in overtime to earn an 80-78 victory in a Patriot League men's basketball game Saturday at Bender Arena.
The Eagles fell for the seventh straight time and their record dropped to 5-20 overall and 2-12 in the league.
The Mountain Hawks, who were led by 30 points from senior guard Kahron Ross, improved to 12-13 overall and 7-7 in the PL.
Larry Motuzis added 16 points and seven rebounds for American, while Sa'eed Nelson had 14 points and a team-high seven assists. Iorio hit 11 of 16 from the floor and 5 of 7 from 3-point range on his best offensive day as an Eagle.
Lehigh also got 19 points from Lance Tejada, 13 points from Pat Andree and 11 points with a team-best eight rebounds by Kyle Leufroy. The Mountain Hawks went 11-for-22 from 3-point range in the game.
Lehigh led by five points early in the overtime, but a layup and 3-pointer by Iorio tied the game with 2:39 left. Ross hit a jumper, but Motuzis tied the game at 78-78 with 1:12 to play.
After Ross hit one of two free throws, Motuzis missed a shot at the other end with 45 seconds left. Andree also hit one of two at the line with 41 seconds left, but the Eagles suffered a turnover at the offensive end, giving the ball back to Lehigh with 10 seconds to play.
Lehigh, which led 35-30 at halftime, extended the advantage to 10 points midway through the second half. But Iorio had a pair of 3-pointers as part of a 12-point run, putting AU ahead 58-53 with 6:29 to play.
The Mountain Hawks regained the lead in the final two minutes, and Nelson forced overtime with a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left, tying the score at 68-68.
American will play next at home in a Valentine's Day matchup with Boston University at 7 p.m.
Tickets to all American basketball games are now on sale at the Bender Arena box office or online by clicking here
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