WASHINGTON — Freshman Andrija Matic hit a free throw with less than a second remaining to give the American University men's basketball team a 67-66 win on Senior Day Saturday at Bender Arena.
With the win, American will face No. 3 Boston University in the Patriot League Quarterfinals on Thursday evening at Case Gym.
Freshman Delante Jones led the Eagles with 18 points in 38 minutes. Seniors Jesse Reed and Marko Vasic also scoring in double figures, as did junior Charlie Jones. Reed had 14 points and seven rebounds and Vasic added 10 point and seven boards. Charlie Jones had 12 points and four rebounds.
Andre Walker led Loyola with 25 points.
American shot 47 percent from the field along with 46 percent from the outside and 63 percent from the line.
In a game that saw 18 lead changes and 10 ties, the final five minutes had nearly half the lead changes and ties.
American led 32-31 at the break and led held an eight-point lead with 12:08 left on a pair of free throws by Delante Jones. The Greyhounds went on a 9-0 run and took a 19-18 advantage on a jumper by Andre Walker at 8:45. Charlie Jones gave the Eagles a four-point (25-21) edge in a three-pointer with 5:34 left and then a six-point lead (30-24) on a three with 3:13 left. Walker shrunk AU's lead with his third triple with 24 seconds left
Charlie Jones led the Eagles with eight points at the half. American shot 44 percent from the field and 63 percent from the outside.
The second half was a true see-saw battle as neither team led by more than two possessions. American took a five-point lead 43-38 on a layup by freshman James Washington. The Eagles led 66-61 after Jesse Reed hit a pair of free throws with 42 seconds left.
Loyola cut the deficit to two with a three by Walker with 33 seconds left and then tied the game at 66 with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left.
American had a chance to win the game on a jumper by Delante Jones, but his shot missed allowing Matic to pull down the rebound as he was fouled on the way down setting up the game-winning free throw.
AU fans and alumni planning to attend the road game at Boston are encouraged to reserve tickets in the American fan seating block by calling the AU Athletics Tickets office. Eagles fans should call (202) 885-TIXX to purchase tickets. They can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with contact information and a representative will return your call. All tickets in the AU fan section must be purchased by Wednesday, March 2nd at 5 p.m. Tickets prices, set by the Patriot League, are $14 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens. Seating space is limited so reserve your tickets today.