AU Men's Basketball Looks for Seventh Straight Saturday at Holy Cross on ESPNU Gilmore will lead the Eagles into action coming off a career-high 28 points at Colgate
Senior Brian Gilmore scored a career-high 28 points in the Eagles last outing at Colgate
Jan. 23, 2009
Media Information Teams: American (11-6, 3-0) vs. Holy Cross (8-11, 3-1) Date & Location: Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 - 2 p.m. - Hart Center, Worcester, Mass.
TV: ESPNU - Bob Socci (play-by-play), John Feinstein (analyst)
WASHINGTON - The American University men's basketball team will put its six-game winning streak on the line at Holy Cross this Saturday, Jan. 24, in front of a national television audience on ESPNU. Tipoff from the Hart Center is scheduled for 2 p.m. Holy Cross holds a 14-5 advantage in the all-time series between the teams. AU however has won two straight against the Crusaders, including a 62-60 victory in last season's Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinals. The Eagles also defeated Holy Cross on its home court last year, 62-46, for only the second time in program history.
News and Notes
The Eagles enter Saturday's contest riding a season-high six game winning streak with each victory coming by double-digits. AU has averaged 69.0 ppg in the six victories while shooting 49.8 percent (145-291) from the floor, 44.9 percent (48-107) from three and averaging 34.0 rpg. American's last streak of six-consecutive double-digit victories came during the 1958-59 season. The Eagles won a program record seven straight by double figures during the 1949-50 season.
American is 3-0 in PL play for the first time since the 2004-05 season when the team began 4-0 against the conference. Including last season's PL Tournament, AU has won seven straight against PL opponents and beaten every PL team except Navy during the stretch. AU has also won nine-consecutive PL home contests.
With a 6-5 record on the road, AU is one of just 15 teams in the country to have won at least six games away from home this season (through games played Wednesday). The Eagles six road victories ties them for sixth in the country, trailing Butler who has won eight games on the road and four teams tied with seven road wins. American was one of eight teams to begin the year by playing 10 of its first 12 games on the road.
AAmerican was ranked 91st in the latest Ratings Percentage Index released by the NCAA on Monday. The Eagles own the highest ranking of any Patriot League team in the RPI. Navy is the second-highest rated Patriot League team in the RPI at 127.
Senior Garrison Carr currently ranks in the NCAA's top-100 in four different offensive categories. He ranks as high as 17th in three-point attempts this season with 154 and is 20th in made three-pointers with 57. Carr ranks 62nd in the nation in field goal attempts with 253 and is 83rd in scoring average at 17.8 ppg.
American's 30-point victory at Colgate (W 79-49, 1/17/09) marked the team's second largest margin of victory ever against a PL opponent. The Eagles shot a season-high 64.6 percent (31-48) from the floor in the victory, 56.3 percent (9-16) from three and out-rebounded the Raiders by a margin of 34-18. AU defeated Army on Jan. 21, 2005, by a score of 72-37 for the program's largest margin of victory over a PL opponent.
Senior Brian Gilmore scored a career-high 28 points at Colgate (W 79-49, 1/17/09) on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor and was 6-of-8 from behind the arc. Gilmore also recorded career-highs with his 11 field goals and six threes.
Garrison Carr became the 27th player in AU history to score 1,000 points at UMBC (W 74-61, 12/20/08). Carr entered the game needing 15 points to reach 1,000 and did so in the game's first 10 minutes, hitting 5-of-6 shots from the floor including 3-of-4 makes from three and a pair of free-throws. He finished the night with a career and game-high 34 points, including a career-high eight three-pointers. Carr currently sits in 22nd place all-time at American with 1,142 career points.
Senior Garrison Carr set new AU and PL records last season with 135 made three-point baskets and scored 606 total points, the seventh highest total in school history. This season, he has scored more points through 17 games than he did a year ago and is just behind his pace from behind the arc. Carr has scored 303 points this season, 17 points ahead of his 17 game total of 286 from a year ago. His 57 makes from three put him just 12 behind his pace of 69 through 17games last year.
Carr has made 245 career three-pointers, which ranks him ninth all-time in the PL, and is just 55 treys shy of the PL's all-time record of 300 held by Army's Mark Lueking (1992-96). Carr is currently ranked fourth in the PL for career three-point percentage (40.8, 245-600), third at AU in career three-pointers (245), and third at AU in career free-throw percentage (84.9, 163-192).
Derrick Mercer joined classmate Garrison Carr in AU's 1,000 point club at Maryland (L 67-51, 12/22/08). Mercer entered the game against the Terps with 999 career points and surpassed the 1,000 point plateau on a layup with 13:04 to play in the first half. Mercer finished the game with a team-high 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting and dished out a game-high six assists while playing all 40 minutes. Mercer has scored 1,078 career points, good for 24th all-time at American. Carr and Mercer are the first pair of AU teammates to take the floor together as 1,000 point scorers since Tim Fudd (1,303 pts., 1991-96) and Darryl Franklin (1,347 pts., 1992-1996) did so during the 1996 season.
With 451 career assists, Mercer ranks fifth all-time at AU and is eighth all-time in the PL. Mercer made his 107th career start at Colgate (1/17/09) and is third all-time at American. Mercer is one of just four Eagles to have ever started 100 career games, joining Andre Ingram (117 starts, 2003-07), Darryl Franklin (110 starts, 1992-96) and Gilgeous over the century mark. If Mercer starts every remaining regular season game for AU this season, he will finish his career with 118 starts and break the AU record of 117 held by Ingram. If Mercer appears in every remaining regular season game, he will have played in 120 career games, surpassing the AU record of 118 also held by Ingram.
American's game against Lehigh marked the 100th career appearance for senior Jordan Nichols, joining him with classmates Garrison Carr, Brian Gilmore and Derrick Mercer as having played in 100 career games at AU. Carr and Gilmore each made their 100th career appearance against Brown (W 68-53, 1/2/09), while Mercer played in his 100th career game at Georgetown (L 73-49, 12/6/08).
Inside the Series - Holy Cross
All-Time Record: Holy Cross Leads, 14-5 Last Season's Series: L, 66-64, Washington, D.C. W 62-46, Worcester, Mass. W 62-60, Washington, D.C., Patriot League Quarterfinals
American won two of three games against Holy Cross last year including a 62-60 win at home in the PL Tournament Quarterfinals. The Crusaders won the first meeting between the team's, 66-64, at Bender Arena in a game which featured eight ties and 13 lead changes in the second half alone. Andrew Beinert high a 19-foot jumper with 19 seconds on the clock to take the victory. Garrison Carr and Brian Gilmore each scored 17 points for the Eagles while Tim Clifford paced Holy Cross with 24.
AU rebounded in the regular season rematch, taking a 62-46 victory at Holy Cross for only the team's second win at the Hart Center. American held a three point lead at the half but shot 66.7 percent (14-21) in the second half to run away with the win. Carr scored a game-high 22 points, including 16 in the second half. Clifford again led Holy Cross with 18 points.
American and Holy Cross met for a third time in the PL Tournament Quarterfinals at Bender Arena and AU was able to come away with a 62-60 victory. The Eagles overcame a six point halftime deficit and took the final lead with just seconds remaining as Gilmore was fouled on a layup and converted the free-throw. Derrick Mercer came away from the game with high scoring honors as he netter 16 points. Clifford was the Crusaders leading scorer with 23.
Holy Cross owns a 14-5 advantage in the all-time series between the teams but American has come away with the last two victories. Three of the last four games between the teams have been decided by just two points. Holy Cross had won eight straight games against the Eagles before taking the final two meetings of last season.
The Crusaders enter Saturday's contest with an 8-11 overall record and a 3-1 mark in the PL. Holy Cross won its first three conference games of the year before being beaten at Navy on Wednesday, 74-68. Holy Cross has averaged 64.6 ppg while shooting 41.5 percent (428-1031) from the field, 29.8 percent (84-282) from three and grabbing 36.7 rpg. The Crusaders are giving up 65.7 ppg to their opponents while allowing them to shoot 43.3 percent (394-910) from the field, 34.0 percent (108-318) from three and averaging 39.2 rpg. R.J. Evans leads Holy Cross on the offensive end, averaging 13.2 ppg and 5.2 rpg. He is complimented by Andrew Keister who has averaged 8.0 ppg and 5.7 rpg.