Feb. 4, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - In a tightly contested game throughout, the American University men's basketball team could not overcome the Patriot League's second-place team on its home court, losing 65-58 in Stabler Arena. The loss, which drops AU to 3-5 in the PL, came despite a career-high 21 points from center Paulius Joneliunas (Vilnius, Lithuania/Roanoke Catholic).
With 14:48 left in the second half, AU and Lehigh were tied, 44 a piece. It was the game's eighth tie. However, the Mountain Hawks went on a 7-0 run, keyed by a pair of buckets from James Anderson and a three-pointer by Joe Knight, to pull ahead, 51-44. American could get no closer than four the rest of the way. Lehigh hit six-of-six free throw attempts in the last 21 seconds to seal the win.
American trailed at halftime, 33-32, despite outshooting the hosts in the period, 48 percent to 32 percent. However, the Mountain Hawks hit six-of-11 three pointers (55 percent) and went nine-for-11 from the free throw line to make up the difference. AU had a 27-19 lead with just over four minutes left in the period, but Lehigh closed out the half with a 14-6 run, keyed by seven points by Jose Olivero.
Olivero led the Mountain Hawks, who improve to 14-9 overall and 7-1 in the PL, with 21 points, including 10 from the line.
Joneliunas' 21 points led the Eagles, while Garrison Carr (Bellevue, Wash./Issaquah) had 13 points.
American returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 8 when they take on Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa. Game time is set for 7 p.m.