Jan. 28, 2006
WASHINGTON - Owning a 43-14 rebounding advantage and shooting a season-high 56 percent, the American University men's basketball team cruised to a 74-56 win over Lafayette College Saturday afternoon in Bender Arena. Andre Ingram (Richmond, Va./Highland Springs) led four Eagles in double-figures with 14 points in the win as AU improves to 7-13 overall and 3-4 in the Patriot League.
While dominating the first-half on the glass with a 26-4 advantage, American ran out to a 37-20 cushion by half and never looked back. The lead grew to as much as 29 in the second-half before a late run by Lafayette taking the game 74-56. AU shot 69 percent for the game inside the arc with 38 points in the paint. Off second-chance opportunities, the Eagles had 19 points and Lafayette had five. American is now 5-1 when scoring more than 70 points in a game with the only loss coming to No. 9 Washington on the road.
After falling behind 6-4 in the early minutes of the game, the Eagles went on a rebounding and shooting tear, going on a 24-6 run to take command of the game. Lafayette did not grab their first rebound until 9:53 left in the half and had just three from that point on, including a rebound of a last-second shot Eagle shot at the end of the half.
Outside of turnovers and three-point shooting, American held the advantage in every statistical category. In rebounding, which proved to be the biggest difference in the game, American held Lafayette to a season-low 14.
As part of an Eagles guard combination that outrebounded Lafayette 25-14 and shot 19-35 from the floor, Ingram had a game-high nine rebounds in addition to his 14 points. Linas Lekavicius (Silale, Lithuania/The Miller School (Va.)) dropped 12 points on 5-7 shooting and freshman point guard sensation Derrick Mercer (Jersey City, N.J./St. Anthony's) led all players in minutes, contributing 11 points on 5-7 shooting with five assists and four rebounds.
In the frontcourt, Brayden Billbe (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) had 12 points in just 19 minutes on 6-8 shooting
Lafayette (9-11, PL 3-4) was led by Paul Cummins' game-high 20 points in the loss.
The Eagles have a week off from games before hitting the road for the second half of the Patriot League season, taking on Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.