American Routs Boston University to Take Sole Possession of First Place in Patriot League Men's Basketball

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Darius Gardner knocked down 5-of-6 three-pointers and was one of five Eagles in double figures with 18 points in a 30-point win over Boston University on Wednesday.
Darius Gardner knocked down 5-of-6 three-pointers and was one of five Eagles in double figures with 18 points in a 30-point win over Boston University on Wednesday.

Jan. 22, 2014

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Four of the five Patriot League men's basketball games on Wednesday night went down to the wire, but the first-place matchup was the exception as American shot over 70% from the field and three-point range in an 86-56 blowout of Boston University in Washington.

The Eagles (11-7) extend their best Patriot League start to a 7-0 record, becoming one of only nine teams in League history to open with seven wins. American's Mike Brennan is the first head coach since Bucknell's Pat Flannery (1994-95) to begin his Patriot League tenure with seven victories.

BU (13-7) falls to 6-1 in League action, and is joined in second place by Army (10-8, 6-1) after a Dylan Cox putback with 21 seconds to go lifted the Black Knights to a 66-63 win at Colgate (7-11, 1-6).

Holy Cross (10-9, 4-3) and Bucknell (9-9, 4-3) follow after each moving over .500 in Patriot League action on Wednesday. The Crusaders won their third straight when they survived for a 59-58 win at Lafayette (4-14, 0-7) when Nick Lindner missed at the buzzer, while the Bison shot 27-of-34 at the foul line and pulled away late for a 70-60 win at home against Loyola Maryland (8-10, 3-4).

Lehigh (9-11, 2-5) put an end to a five-game losing skid in dramatic fashion, with Mackey McKnight tying the game late in regulation and winning it on a bucket with 1.1 seconds left in overtime for a 68-66 victory at Navy (7-11, 2-5).

American has to defend first place right away, as the Eagles will visit Army with the Black Knights trying to tie for the top spot on Saturday at 4 p.m. Boston University is at Bucknell on Saturday at 2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network as both teams try to keep pace, while three games will tip off at 7 p.m. on Saturday including Holy Cross at Navy, Colgate at Loyola Maryland and Lafayette at Lehigh.

Recaps and box scores from Wednesday's games are included below.

at American 86, Boston University 56
Box Score
*American turned a battle for first place in the Patriot League into a laugher with an 86-56 triumph over Boston University on Wednesday at Bender Arena.
*The Eagles have their best start in Patriot League play at 7-0, and become just the ninth team to open with at least seven victories.
*BU actually got off to the fast start with a 13-2 lead five minutes in, but the Eagles took over after that.
*American answered with 12 straight points to take the lead, and then put together an 8-0 run to go up 24-17 with 6:46 left in the half and hold the lead for good.
*The Eagles extended their advantage to 37-27 at halftime, then broke the game open with a 12-3 run for a 58-39 lead with 11:22 to play.
*The lead never fell below 17 the rest of the way, maxing out at 30 with the final score of 86-56.
*American had the best shooting percentage in the Patriot League this year by making 30-of-42 field goals.
*The Eagles shot 71.4% from the floor, just shy of the Patriot League record of 71.7% and breaking a school record that had held since 1981.
*American made 11-of-14 three-pointers for a 78.6% clip from long range, the second-highest percentage in the Patriot League this season and also the second-highest of all time in the League.
*Both the field goal and three-point percentage stand in the top five for a single game in Division I this season.
*The Eagles made 29-of-36 shots after a 1-of-6 start, and hit 11-of-12 three-pointers after missing the first two.
*Five players scored in double figures for American, led by Jesse Reed with 20.
*Darius Gardner added 18 points, Tony Wroblicky scored 17, Marko Vasic had 11 off the bench and John Schoof finished with 10.
*American finished with 22 assists, led by Vasic with six and Gardner and Schoof with five apiece. *The Eagles also did the job defensively, holding the Terriers to 16-of-50 (32.0%) from the field and 4-of-16 from three-point range while putting up a 31-21 rebounding advantage.
*Maurice Watson Jr. led the Terriers with 15 points, while D.J. Irving added 10.
*American has its longest winning streak since 2011 at eight in a row, while BU's six-game win streak came to an end.



Army 66 at Colgate 63
Box Score
*Dylan Cox scored on a putback of his own miss with 21 seconds left to give Army the lead and the Black Knights held on for a 66-63 win at Colgate on Wednesday.
*Damon Sherman-Newsome missed a layup on the other end with five seconds left, and Kyle Wilson hit a pair of free throws to seal the three-point win for Army.
*The Black Knights go five games over .500 in the Patriot League for the first time.
*Colgate had used an 8-0 run to take a 63-62 lead on a pair of free throws by Austin Tillotson with 36 seconds to play.
*Josh Herbeck led Army with 16 points, while Wilson added 15 and Cox had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
*Army made 12-of-20 shots and 5-of-7 three-pointers in the second half after a cold-shooting first half.
*The Black Knights held a 36-26 edge on the boards and limited Colgate to 8-of-26 shooting from three-point range.
*Ethan Jacobs led the Raiders with a career-high 22 points and hit 5-of-9 three-pointers, but the rest of the team made just 3-of-17 from long range.
*Sherman-Newsome and Murphy Burnatowski each added 11 points for Colgate.
*Army won at Colgate for the third time in the last four years.

Holy Cross 59 at Lafayette 58
Box Score
*Lafayette's Nick Lindner missed a shot in the final seconds as Holy Cross held on for a 59-58 win over the Leopards on Wednesday in Easton.
*The Crusaders have won three straight and are over .500 in League play for the first time at 4-3.
*Holy Cross led 52-43 with six minutes left, but Lafayette used a 13-4 run to tie the score at 56-56 with 1:13 to play.
*Eric Green made a free throw with 54 seconds to go for a 57-56 edge, and Justin Burrell hit a pair at the line for a 59-56 lead with 19 seconds left.
*Lafayette got within one on a pair of free throws by Bryce Scott with 11 seconds to go, and had the chance to win after Anthony Thompson missed the front end of a 1-and-1.
*Burrell led Holy Cross with 15 points, while Malcolm Miller added 10.
*Holy Cross shot just 20-of-50 from the field and 7-of-21 from three-point range, but hit 12-of-16 at the free throw line.
*The Crusaders limited Lafayette to just 4-of-13 from three-point range and held a 33-25 edge on the boards.
*Lindner had 13 to lead the Leopards, while Joey Ptasinski and Dan Trist each added 10.
*A 14-for-14 night at the free throw line helped keep Lafayette close, and the Leopards turned it over only seven times.
*Holy Cross beat Lafayette for the first time since 2012, ending a four-game run for the Leopards in the series.

at Bucknell 70, Loyola Maryland 60
Box Score
*Bucknell made 27-of-34 free throws and pulled away down the stretch for a 70-60 win over Loyola Maryland on Wednesday at Sojka Pavilion.
*The Bison improve to 4-3 in the Patriot League and snap a two-game losing skid while dropping the Greyhounds to 3-4 in League action.
*Bucknell led by five early in the second half, but Loyola turned it to a five-point advantage the other way with a 10-0 run for a 38-33 lead with 16:39 left.
*Bucknell used an 11-4 run to re-claim the lead, and then followed a Loyola three-pointer with an 8-2 stretch to go ahead for good.
*The game stayed tight until Bucknell closed with an 8-2 run in the final 1:20 to pull away for the 10-point win.
*Cameron Ayers led the Bison with 19 points and was a perfect 10-of-10 at the foul line, while Ben Brackney scored 14 points and Brian Fitzpatrick added 12.
*The Bison held Loyola to 4-of-18 three-point shooting to overcome their own 5-of-18 mark from long range.
*Dylon Cormier led Loyola with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while Jarred Jones had 13 points off the bench and shot 6-of-11.
*The rest of the Greyhounds shot just 11-of-36 from the field, and as a team Loyola was just 8-of-16 at the free throw line.
*The teams were playing for the fifth straight year, with the home team winning for the first time in that stretch as the Bison beat Loyola for the second straight season.

Lehigh 68 at Navy 66 (OT)
Box Score
*Mackey McKnight hit a tying layup in regulation and then won it with 1.1 seconds left in overtime to lift Lehigh to a 68-66 win at Navy on Wednesday.
*McKnight tied the score with 18 seconds to play in regulation after Lehigh had climbed back into game after trailing by eight midway through the period. *Lehigh scored four straight points in overtime for a 66-63 lead, but Navy tied it on a three-pointer by Zach Fong with 22 seconds left.
*Following McKnight's basket, Jesse Chuku blocked a three-point attempt by Fong as Navy was going for the win.
*Chuku also blocked Brandon Venturini's attempt to win it in the final seconds of regulation for the Mids.
*Four players in double figures for Lehigh included Tim Kempton (15), Stefan Cvrklaj (14), Justin Goldsborough (13) and McKnight (11).
*McKnight also dished out six assists to become the second Mountain Hawk and fifth Patriot Leaguer to reach 500 for a career.
*Lehigh shot an even 50% (23-of-46) from the field and hit 17-of-22 free throws.
*Navy was just 22-of-68 (32.4%) from the field and fell despite committing only seven turnovers and forcing 16 by the Mountain Hawks.
*Worth Smith led Navy with a career-high 26 points, while Grant Vermeer (13), Fong (10) and Venturini (10) also scored in double figures.
*Lehigh put an end to a five-game losing streak, and both of its Patriot League victories have come in overtime.
*The Mountain Hawks beat the Mids for the eighth straight time.
*Navy fell to 0-3 in overtime this season, including 0-2 in League action.