Jan. 6, 2008
NEW YORK -
Junior guard Garrison Carr hit five three-pointers and scored 19 points in the first half to carry the American University men's basketball team to a big halftime lead that they would never relinquish in the second half in a 69-56 win over Columbia Sunday at the Levien Gym.
The Eagles built up a 12-point halftime lead based on hot shooting from Carr and stifling team defense. Carr hit five-of-six three-point attempts and scored 19 points in the first period. As a team, the Eagles hit seven-of-12 three-point attempts in the opening frame and shot 57 percent as a team. Meanwhile, AU's defense allowed the Lions to shoot just six-of-23 (26 percent). Only a nine-of-12 effort from the line for CU kept the hosts within striking distance in the first 20 minutes.
The Lions never truly threatened the lead in the second half, as American again stifled Columbia's offense, allowing just 39 percent shooting in the second stanza. Meanwhile, though AU's offense slowed a bit, shooting just 35 percent in the second period, the Eagles picked themselves up with a 15-for-17 performance from the line in the later period.
Carr finished with 24 points, while Derrick Mercer added 12 points and six assists. Travis Lay added 10 points, and Bryce Simon tied a career-high with nine rebounds while adding nine points and four assists.
American is now 8-7 overall, the third time in the last four seasons which the Eagles have completed their non-conference docket with a winning record.
The Lions drop to 6-8 overall. John Baumann led the hosts with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
With the non-conference season over, American moves on to the Patriot League docket. The Eagles open PL play with a trip to Lehigh on Saturday, Jan. 12, for a 7 p.m. start. American has started its league schedule with the Mountain Hawks each of the last three seasons. The game will be available on Eagles All*Access.