BETHLEHEM, Pa. — With its five-game winning streak on the line, the American University men's basketball team succumbed to a hot-shooting Lehigh squad 72-49 on Saturday night at Stabler Arena.
Freshmen Andrija Matic and Delante Jones combined for 26 points with Matic scoring a team-high 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Senior Jesse Reed scored all of his seven points in the first half.
American (7-16, 5-7 PL) fell into a 12-0 hole early in the contest and missed its first eight shots until Delante Jones hit a jumper at 13:33.
The Eagles chipped away at Lehigh's double-digit lead for the remainder of the half and cut the deficit to seven on two occasions. The first was a three-pointer by James Washington with 10:29 remaining to cut the deficit at 19-12, and then off a pair of free throws by Jesse Reed to make it 21-14.
Lehigh's offense continued to put points on the board in the half and led 38-28, despite the Eagles finishing the frame on a 12-6 run.
Delante Jones had 11 points for the Eagles and Redd added seven. American shot 37 percent from the field and made five three-pointers.
Lehigh's Kyle Leufroy had nine points and Jesse Chuku contributed eight points, as the Mountain Hawks shot 56 percent from the floor.
The Mountain Hawks began the second half on a 14-0 run and took a 54-28 lead on a Tim Kempton layup at 13:51. Delante Jones broke the run with a free throw. Lehigh increased its lead with eight straight points before Andrija Matic hit a three from the top of the key.
The Eagles battled the rest of the contest, but could not withstand the early deficit.
Kempton finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. Lehigh had two other players finish in double figures with Luefroy adding three more points in the second half for 12 points. Price was third on the squad with 11 points.
Lehigh shot 53 percent from the field and outrebounded the Eagles, 37-28.
The Eagles struggled from the floor and shot 32 percent.
American will stay on the road for a meeting in Boston with the BU Terriers on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.
The Eagles will return home to Bender Arena on next Saturday (2/13) against Army West Point on Hall of Fame Day. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and can participate in AU Athletics' eighth annual silent auction, benefitting AU student-athletes beginning at 3 p.m. on the Bender concourse.
Admission to the silent auction is free with a game ticket and there is something for every Eagles fan to bid on, including great items such as fine dining, travel, sports memorabilia and experiences, art and more.
At halftime of the contest, American will recognize the Class of 2016 inductees into the Cassell Hall.
Tickets start at just $7.50 per seat, and a limited amount of premium location, sideline reserved chairback seats still remain. Click here to purchase online or call (202) 885-TIXX to secure your tickets.