American Hosts Western Illinois in First Meeting on Tuesday

American Hosts Western Illinois in First Meeting on Tuesday

Tues, Nov. 29, 2016 • 7:30 P.M. • Washington, D.C. • Bender Arena  (3,500)
Game #6 • Western Illinois (2-4) at American (0-5)
All-Time Record: First Meeting
Last Meeting: First Meeting
Stream — PLN — Dan Laing (PXP), Jeremy Huber (Analyst)
Live Stats

WASHINGTON — The American University men's basketball team is looking for its first win of the season on Tuesday night when they host Western Illinois at Bender Arena.

The first 750 fans in attendance to Tuesday's game vs. Western Illinois will receive a free pair of Eagles sunglasses courtesy of TEAM AU corporate partner DC Trails charter bus services.

Tickets for Tuesday's game are still available and start at just $7.  Purchase the best seat locations today at AUeagles.com by clicking here
Current undergraduate, graduate, and WCL students are admitted free to all home basketball games in Bender Arena with AU ID.

News, Notes, and Storylines

BREATHE! IT'S ONLY NON-CONFERENCE: The Eagles continue to look for their first win of the season. Through five games, American is 0-4 in games decided by 10 or fewer points. The only double-digit deficit was to Texas A&M on Nov. 14.  

HELLO, SUMMIT … HELLO, AMERICAN: This is the first-ever meeting between American and a member of the Summit League. The league, originally known as the Mid-Continent Conference changed its name on June 1, 2007.

IN SEARCH OF 50: Head coach Mike Brennan is searching for his 50th career win as head coach of the Eagles. He surpassed the 100-game mark at Akron. His career record is 49-53.

BREAKING DOWN THE SAINT FRANCIS LOSS: Despite the Red Flash starting the contest on a lull, the visitors shot 41 percent after the first 20 minutes and led 40-23. The Eagles bounced back in the second half outscoring the Red Flash 39-29. Jamaal King had 16 of his 20 points in the first half. Sa'eed Nelson finished with 24 points and 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.

WESTERN ILLINOIS SCOUT: The Leathernecks are also looking for their first D1 victory of the season. Western Illinois defeated non-D1 programs Oak Hill Christian and Crown College and lost to Kansas State, Southeast Missouri, Eastern Illinois and Miami (Ohio). Garrett Covington leads the Leathernecks at 21.3 points per game. Mike Miklusak made his season debut against Miami and finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Dalan Ancrum and Jabari Sandifer also contribute solid minutes as upperclassmen. 

COMMON FOE?: American and Western Illinois do not share any common foe but have a few degrees of separation. Tommy Strine, director of basketball operations graduated from Fort Wayne which is in the Summit and Assoc. AD/Communications Doug Dull was the former SID of Kansas State, who opened the season against Western Illinois. Also WIU radio announcer Scott Kornberg was a student at Maryland and broadcasted games for the Terrapins while Dull ran the Terps office …Outside of that, nothing in common in this matchup.

EAGLES ADD THIRD NLI FOR 2017-18 SEASON: •  Head coach Mike Brennan has announced the third signing of an NLI for the upcoming 2017-18 season in Marvin Bragg from Cerritos, California. Bragg, a 6-6 small forward attends Gahr High School, coached by Ricky Roper. In AAU, he plays for the Earl Watson Elite 17U Silver program. According to MaxPreps.com, Bragg averaged 18.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game as a junior in 27 appearances. In 80 career games at Gahr, Bragg is averaging 11.4 points per game. 

JACK BAUER: Nelson, the top freshman scorer in the Patriot League, scored 24 points apiece in both of American's games last week. The freshman point guard finished with 24 points, five rebounds and two assists against Wagner, before scoring 24 points to go with seven rebounds, three assists and four steals against Saint Francis (Pa.). Nelson is currently averaging 15.8 ppg through five games this season.

FRESHMEN TROUBLE: Mark Gasperini and Nelson are the first set of freshmen to score back-to-back double figures under head coach Mike Brennan. Against Wagner, Nelson had 24 and Gasperini had 19. In the last contest against Saint Francis, Nelson had 24 and Gasperini had 16. 

40/40/40 Club: Gasperini is shooting 40 percent or better in all three shooting categories. The 6-10 freshman is shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc and the free throw line. Gasperini is second in the club averaging 12.4 ppg and 5.2 rpg. 

STREAKY SOPHOMORES: Through five games, Delante Jones and James Washington are third and fourth in scoring. Jones averaging 11.6 ppg with three  in double figures. Jones started the season hot with 10,18 and 18 points, respectively. In the past two games, he is 4-18 from the field with eight points against Wagner and four against Saint Francis. Washington scored a season-best 18 points at Akron and had a pair of eight-point performances against Texas A&M and Wagner. On the glass, the duo is over-averaging last season's numbers. Jones averaged 3.6 rebounds compared to 4.2 this season and Washington is up at 4.0 from 1.7.