Jan. 21, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - The American University men's basketball team got within four points with just over three minutes remaining, but could get no closer in a 74-63 loss to Holy Cross Saturday at the Hart Center.
American's Andre Ingram (Richmond, Va./Highland Springs) hit his second three-pointer of the game with 3:12 remaining in the game, off an offensive rebound by sophomore Travis Lay (Rockville, Md./Bullis School), to make the score 63-59. The trey gave Ingram 18 points, his highest output since he scored 21 against Howard on December 12. However, American could only get one field goal for the remainder of the game while the Crusaders hit their free throws down the stretch to hold off the Eagles.
Turnovers and free throws undid the Eagles, as they were outscored 24-8 from the free throw line and gave up 18 turnovers to the Crusaders' 12. Holy Cross scored 15 points off Eagle turnovers.
The Eagles started slow to open the game, trailing by as many as eight points (14-6) just four minutes into the contest. However, American slowly began to chip away at the lead, thanks to spot-on shooting in the opening period. The Eagles hit 13-of-25 attempts (52 percent), but turnovers limited AU's offensive chances. American had 11 first-half turnovers, compared to just five for the Crusaders.
Holy Cross, which improves to 10-9 overall and 3-1 in the Patriot League, was led by center Tim Clifford, who scored a career-high 27 points. Kevin Hamilton added 17 for the Crusaders, while Keith Simmons had 15, including a seven-for-seven performance from the free throw line.
Ingram's 18 points led three Eagles in double-figures. Arvydas Eitutavicius (Klaipeda, Lithuania/Laurinburg Institute) had 13 points, but hit just four-of-13 field goal attempts. Brayden Billbe (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) had 10 points, while freshman Jordan Nichols (Glen Dale, Md./DeMatha Catholic) tied for the sixth-most blocks in a single-game in school history with six rejections.
American falls to 6-12 overall, 2-3 in the Patriot League. The Eagles return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Navy.