Feb. 12, 2006
WASHINGTON - Andre Ingram (Richmond, Va./Highland Springs) and Derrick Mercer's (Jersey City, N.J./St. Anthony's) combined for 33 points as the American University men's basketball team led virtually throughout in a 72-64 victory over Colgate Sunday afternoon in Bender Arena. The Eagles are now 8-15 overall and tied for fourth in the Patriot League with a 4-6 league record.
Colgate led just once at 27-26 in the first half before American reclaimed the lead a minute later and went on an 11-5 run to end the first half up by five. Though Colgate got as close as 46-44 with 12 minutes left, baskets by Brayden Billbe (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) and Paulius Joneliunas (Vilnius, Lithuania/Roanoke Catholic (Va.)) put American up 54-47 with 9:21 to go. The lead grew to as much as 59-51 on a three by Ingram, but Colgate's Alvin Reed answered each Eagle basket with his own to get the Raiders as close as 61-56 with four minutes to go. Mercer forced contested off-balance jumpers from Reed on the next two possessions and American was solid from the line down the stretch, hitting 9-12 in the last 1:40.
Aside from a two minute stretch where Colgate went on an 8-0 run, American controlled the first half, leading by as much as nine and ending the period with an 11-5 run to take a 37-32 lead into half. Ingram had 11 in the half and Mercer added five points and four assists. In the frontcourt AU held an 18-12 advantage on the boards led by Joneliunas' five.
Ingram added four rebounds and assists to his 19 points and Mercer had six assists to go with his 14 points. Linas Lekavicius (Silale, Lithuania/The Miller School (Va.)) aided his assist to turnover ratio by leading all players with seven assists and just one turnover. Joneliunas led a team effort on the glass, adding a game-high eight rebounds to go with his eight points. As a team, American held the edge in rebounding with 38, including 15 on the offensive end.
Jordan Nichols (Glen Dale, Md./DeMatha Catholic) had one block in the game, putting him into the top-10 in AU single-season blocks with 30 on the year.
In their next game, AU hits the road looking for a regular season sweep of the Army Black Knights on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.