WASHINGTON — Sa'eed Nelson finished with 24 points in consecutive games but the American University men's basketball team fell to Saint Francis U., 69-62, on Saturday afternoon at Bender Arena.
Nelson shot 8-of-15 from the field and 7-of-10 from the line. He added seven rebounds, four steals, three assists in 40 minutes. Mark Gasperini had 16 points in 35 minutes and grabbed six rebounds. James Washington had six points and seven rebounds in 35 minutes and was perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
American (0-5) struggled in the opening 20 minutes, but battled back in the second and outscored the Red Flash 39-29.
Saint Francis finished the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 40-23 lead. The run saw American trailing by nine before the quick 1:30 spurt by the visitors which included a buzzer-beating three by Scott Meredith.
A technical foul by Ifeanyi Umezurike let the Eagles back into the contest midway through the second. Washington converted on both free throws to put the Eagles within seven (47-40).
American made a short comeback with a 7-0 run and trailed 53-48 on a three by Jalen Rhea at 8:12. Leon Tolksdorf nailed a three with 57 seconds left to put the Eagles within six (66-60), but free throws put the Red Fash ahead by three possessions late.
Jamaal King led the Red Flash with 20 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Josh Nebo contributed 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Keith Braxton added 14 points and 15 boards.
Both sides shot 41 percent from the field with the Red Flash outrebounding AU, 45-33.
American will remain home and host Western Illinois on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Premium location sideline reserved seats are still available for all games and can be purchased at AUeagles.com by clicking here.The first 750 fans in attendance will receive a free pair of Eagles sunglasses courtesy of TEAM AU corporate partner DC Trails charter bus services.
St. Francis Postgame Press Conference with Head Coach Mike Brennan
Saint Francis at American Postgame Highlights