WASHINGTON — A 17-0 run in the second half bolstered the American University men's basketball team over Navy 72-65 on Wednesday evening in a wild affair at Bender Arena.
American (10-18) moves to 8-9 in the Patriot League setting up a crucial game on Saturday to end the regular season against Loyola at Bender Arena. Navy (18-12) falls to 9-8 in the league. Both teams are still in contention for the last first-round bye.
Senior Jesse Reed finished with 21 points and six rebounds. Reed shot 3-for-4 from the outside and 4-of-6 from the line. Freshman Delante Jones had 20 points on 5-of-9 from the field and 8-for-12 from the line.
American shot 53.5 percent from the field, 50 percent from the outside and 63 percent from the line.
Will Kelly led the Midshipmen with 22 points on 10-of-11 from the field. Navy shot 49 percent from the field and struggled heavily from the outside shooting 1-of-11 and 12-of-25 from the charity stripe.
Navy led 32-29 at the half and held an 11-point lead, 24-13, with 6:38 left on a layup by Shawn Anderson. American expelled Navy's lead to one, 29-28, on a 15-5 run.
Early in the second, American trailed by as many as 14 points on a layup by Edward Alade at 14:49. The Eagles finished out the game on a 30-13 run which included the 17-0 run that gave the Eagles a nine-point lead with 1:22 left.
American took the lead off a step-back three-pointer by Reed as the shot clock was expiring with 4:37 left to give AU a 62-60 lead.
Navy cut American's lead to five with 26 seconds left on the front end free throw by Jace Hogan.
Juniors Charlie Jones and Jalen Rhea each made a free throw to seal the victory for the Eagles. Both had impressive performances with Jones contributing six points and nine rebounds and Rhea adding 10 points.
The 2015-16 regular season will conclude on Saturday afternoon at noon against Loyola.
All fans are encouraged to arrive early for a special pre-game ceremony honoring Men's Basketball's Class of 2016. A limited amount of premium location sideline reserved chairback seats still remain for this game, and tickets start at just $7.50 per seat. Click here to purchase online or call (202) 885-TIXX to secure your tickets.
American Patriot League Scenarios
American can finish in either 6th, 7th, or 8th
• American is sixth if …AU defeats Loyola and Navy loses to Bucknell.
• American is seventh and hosts (10) Lafayette on Tuesday if AU defeats Loyola and Navy wins.
• American is eighth if … Loyola defeats AU. American will then host (9) Holy Cross on Tuesday.
• Loyola can not finish in the top six or the bottom two. The Greyhounds are guaranteed a Tuesday home game in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament against either Holy Cross or Lafayette.