Eagle Vision All*Access
WASHINGTON - The American University men's basketball team travels to Lehigh on Saturday, Feb. 7, for the first of a two-game roadswing. Tipoff from Stabler Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. live on MASN. The Eagles needed overtime to beat the Mountain Hawks in this year's Patriot League opener, 76-66, at Bender Arena. American has won three straight against Lehigh and holds a 17-12 advantage in the all-time series.
News and Notes
- The Eagles improved to 6-1 in the PL with their 58-34 win over Army on Wednesday, marking the program's best start in conference play since the 1981-82 team began 7-1 in the East Coast Conference. American's win also extended their current home winning streak against PL opponents to 11 games. Army's 34 points scored were the fewest allowed by AU since the 1960-61 team defeated Juniata, 79-34.
- American is currently tied with Holy Cross atop the PL standings with a 6-1 conference record. Lehigh is in a tie for fourth place with a 3-4 PL mark.
- With a 7-6 record on the road, AU is one of just 21 teams in the country to have won at least seven games away from home this season (through games played Thursday). The Eagles seven road victories ties them for seventh in the country, trailing Butler and Utah State's nine road wins and four teams tied with eight. American was one of only eight teams to begin the year by playing 10 of its first 12 games on the road.
- Senior Derrick Mercer has averaged 12.9 ppg, 6.4 apg and 4.5 rpg in AU's last eight games. Mercer has scored in double-figures in seven of the eight games and has reached double-digits in assists twice. Mercer recorded his first double-double of the season at Navy (W 68-67, 1/28/09) with 12 points and 11 assists. Against Bucknell (W 69-55, 1/14/09) he set a new career-high with 12 assists and against Army (W 58-34, 2/4/09) pulled down a career-high eight rebounds. In the team's first 13 games, Mercer averaged 9.2 ppg, 2.9 apg and 4.0 rpg.
- American owns a 10-2 record since senior Jordan Nichols entered the starting lineup. Nichols has averaged 7.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg and 28.8 mpg since earning his first start of the year at UMBC (W 74-61, 12/20/08). AU held just a 4-5 record while Nichols had averaged just 3.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.1 bpg and 24.4 mpg before joining the starting five.
- 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 1,208 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 21 games than he did a year ago and is just behind his pace from behind the arc. Carr has scored 369 points this season, 16 points ahead of his 21 game total of 353 from a year ago. His 71 makes from three put him just 1` behind his pace of 83 through 21 games last year.
Carr has made 260 career three-pointers, which ranks him seventh all-time in the PL, and is just 40 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 (41.1, 260-633, third at AU in career three-pointers (260), and third at AU in career free-throw percentage (83.7 170-203).
- 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 1,133 career points, good for 23rd 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 473 career assists, Mercer ranks third all-time at AU and is fifth all-time in the PL. Mercer made his 111th career start against Lafayette (W 78-65, 1/31/09) and is second 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 - Lehigh
All-Time Record: American Leads, 17-12
This Season's Series:
W, 76-66 (OT), Washington, D.C.
- The Eagels defeated Lehigh earlier this season in overtime, 76-66, to improve to 5-3 all-time in PL openers and 7-1 in PL home openers. American trailed at the half, 31-28, but scored 12 straight points to start the second half and open a 40-31 lead. AU led by three points with 42 seconds remaining following a Garrison Carr free-throw but Marquis Hall sent the game into overtime with a three to tie the score with 27 seconds to play. The Eagles outscored Lehigh 12-2 in the extra session to take the victory, 76-66. Derrick Mercer scored a team-high 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Garrison Carr scored 12 with five points coming in overtime. Zahir Carrington recorded a game-high 19 points for the Mountain Hawks and grabbed 11 rebounds.
- American has won three straight games against Lehigh and owns a 17-12 advantage in the all-time series.
- Lehigh enters Saturady's game tied for fourth place in the PL with a 3-4 conference mark. The Mountain Hawks are coming off a 67-52 loss against Holy Cross in which Marquis Hall was the only player for Lehigh to score in double digits with 14 points. Lehigh is averaging 66.0 ppg this season while shooting 39.2 percent (471-1202) from the floor, 33.5 percent (126-376) from three-point range and averaging 40.5 rpg. The Mountain Hawks have allowed opponents to score 63.0 ppg while shooting 38.3 percent (450-1176) from the floor, 31.4 percent (133-423) from three and average 36.5 rpg.
- Marquis Hall and Zahir Carrington lead the Mountain Hawks with scoring averages of 14.1 ppg and 14.0 ppg, respectively. Hall enters Saturday's contest with a team-best 41 made three's this season and averaging 4.4 apg. Carrington leads the PL in rebounds with an average of 8.0 rpg and shoots 42.7 percent (102-239) from the floor. Rob Keefer is Lehigh's third-leading scorer at 9.4 ppg and shoots 43.7 percent (80-183) from the field.