Jan. 25, 2006
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The American University men's basketball team held a six-point halftime lead over Navy Wednesday night, but the Midshipmen put together a 46-point second half to surpass the Eagles 77-68 at Alumni Hall.
A solid effort in the paint and excellent ballhandling provided American with a 37-31 lead at halftime. American, led by 12 first-period points from Paulius Joneliunas (Vilnius, Lithuania/Roanoke Catholic), outscored the Midshipmen in the paint, 20-10. Also, the Eagles had just seven turnovers in the opening stanza, compared to Navy's 13. The 37 points in the first period tied for the second most in the first half this season, and was the second-largest first half lead of the year.
However, Navy came out of the lockerroom and assembled a 13-7 run to tie the game at 44 a piece at the 14:38 mark. Navy then used an efficient offense, shooting 48 percent in the second stanza and turning the ball over just once in the latter period, to outscore the Eagles the rest of the way. Greg Spring led the way for the Mids, catching fire in the second period and scoring 19 points to finish with 27 for the game. He hit seven-of-10 three-point attempts.
American was led by Derrick Mercer (Jersey City, N.J./St. Anthony's), who finished with a career-high 17 points, adding five assists with just one turnover. Joneliunas finished with 15 points, while Arvydas Eitutavicius (Klaipeda, Lithuania/Laurinburg Institute) had 11 points. Linas Lekavicius (Silale, Lithuania/The Miller School) had seven points, eight rebounds and five assists.
American returns home on Saturday, Jan. 28 against Lafayette. Game time is set for 2 p.m. The men's basketball team will be holding Alumni Day, while the 1985 American University men's soccer team, which made it to the NCAA Finals, will be saluted.