Jan. 17, 2009
Hamilton, N.Y. -
The American University men's basketball team cruised to a 79-49 win at Colgate on Saturday, improving their current winning streak to six games. Brian Gilmore scored a career-high 28 points to lead AU, including 18 in the first half. Derrick Mercer tallied a season-high 16 points in the victory.
American (11-6, 3-0) got out of the gate quickly and built a 15-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game. Gilmore scored 11 of AU's 15 points during the stretch, connecting on three three-pointers and one layin. Colgate scored five straight points to cut AU's lead to 18-7 but the run was ended by Gilmore who hit another three to move the score to 21-7 with 10:29 to play. Nick Hendra put the Eagles ahead 28-11 on his first three-ball of the night and on AU's next possession Gilmore made a wide open backdoor layup to go ahead by 19, 30-11, with 6:00 on the clock.
Colgate enjoyed a 7-2 run to pull within 14, 34-20, but would get no closer as Derrick Mercer drove to the basket for a lay-up and ended the spurt. American finished off the half scoring the final six points and went into the locker room with its largest lead of the period, 40-20.
Gilmore scored 18 first half points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and was 4-of-6 from behind the arc. Garrison Carr scored nine in the frame on 4-of-6 shooting and recorded three assists. As a team the Eagles shot 65.4 percent (17-26) while limiting Colgate to 39.1 percent (9-23) shooting. AU also held a large advantage on the boards, grabbing 15 caroms to Colgate's eight.
Gilmore continued his strong play in the second half and hit a spot-up three at the 15:29 mark to give AU a 49-28 lead. Mercer stole the ensuing inbounds pass and pushed American's lead to 23 points, 51-28, with a reverse lay-in. An 8-2 AU run which featured two layups each from Mercer and Stephen Lumpkins
gave the Eagles a 64-36 lead with 8:58 to play.
Gilmore sank a three from the left corner with 4:59 remaining to give him a career-high 28 points for the game, surpassing his previous career-high of 26. After two Lumpkins free-throws Hendra moved the Eagles their largest lead of the game, 73-41, on a three from the right wing. Matthew Wilson and Simon McCormack each added two points late for American to wrap up the victory, 79-49.
With the win, AU extended its current season-high winning streak to six games with all six victories coming by 10-plus points. American has won six straight games by double-digits for the first time since the 1958-59 season and now trails only the 1949-50 AU team which won a program record seven-consecutive games by double figures. The win also improved AU's current winning streak against PL opponents to seven games.
American will be back in action next Saturday, Jan. 24, at Holy Cross live nationwide on ESPNU. Tipoff from Worcester, Mass., is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.