Game #10 • Maryland Eastern Shore (1-10) at American (2-7)
Mon, Dec. 19, 2016 • 12 P.M. • Washington, D.C. • Bender Arena (2,500)
All-Time Record: Series Tied 3-3
Last Meeting: Maryland Eastern Shore 79, American 64 — 12/20/15
Stream: PLN — Dan Laing (PXP), Jeremy Huber (Analyst), Megan O'Keefe (Sideline)
American Game Notes
Maryland Eastern Shore Game Notes
WASHINGTON — American will conclude its three-game homestand and the final home non-conference contest on Monday afternoon against Maryland Eastern Shore at noon. The Eagles will finalize the out of league schedule on Wednesday at No. 1 Villanova.
TICKETS: Tickets for this 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.
PARKING: All fans driving to Monday's contest must park in the Katzen Arts Center Parking Garage and pay at the kiosks located throughout the parking facility. Non-permit vehicles are not allowed to park in the Bender Garage and are subject to ticketing.
News, Notes, and Storylines
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: The all-time series between American and Maryland Eastern Shore is tied 3-3 with the Hawks taking last season's contest at Bender Arena, 79-64, on Dec. 20. American has taken three of the last five against Eastern Shore. The Eagles return 30 of the 64 points from last season's game. Charlie Jones is the only player to have played against MDES as a freshman when the Eagles won 71-58 in Princess Anne, Maryland.
BREAKING DOWN THE YOUNGSTOWN STATE WIN: Sa'eed Nelson led the Eagles with 22 points on 9-of-17 from the field. Nelson had a season-best nine rebounds, team-high five assists, and four steals. American led 31-22 at the break and finished with four players in double figures. Mark Gasperini continues to lead the Eagles in the paint with 14 points. As a team, AU finished with 56 points in the paint. On the glass, AU outrebounded the Penguins, 46-34 with all eight players recording a rebound. Delante Jones had 12 points and eight rebounds.
MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE SCOUT: The Hawks have had one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the NCAA. Although their record is 1-10, the Hawks faced Postseason NIT Champion George Washington, Boston College, Wichita State Colorado State, Virginia Tech, Central Florida, and Michigan. The closest loss for MDES was its home opener against UMBC, a 77-73 loss. Bakari Copeland leads the team in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game and leads in rebounding at 5.5 per contest. Ryan Andino is second on the team in scoring at 13.7 per contest. Logan McIntosh is a junior transfer from Northeast Oklahoma A&M C.C. and is third in scoring, but leads the team in assists with 43. The Hawks have been outscored by nearly 16 points through 11 games and -8.4 on the rebounding margin.
COMMON FOE: American and Maryland Eastern Shore share MEAC member Howard as common foe this season.
GOING THE DISTANCE: Sa'eed Nelson's 40-minute performance against New Hampshire is the 50th time under head coach Mike Brennan that an Eagle went the distance. Jesse Reed played 16 full games, including a 50-minute performance against Colgate when the Eagles won 71-69 on Jan. 10, 2015. AU is 34-26 in games where a player plays 40 or more minutes. Through five home games, Nelson has is averaging 40.0 minutes per game
WROBLICKY IN TRAINING: Not since Tony Wroblicky has American had a dominating center. Mark Gasperini has big shoes to fill if he wants to be in the same class as the Class of 2014 graduate. In his senior year, Wroblicky averaged 12.2 points per game and was named the PL Defensive Player of the Year while helping the Eagles to a NCAA Tournament appearance. He shot 58 percent from the floor and 73 percent from the line with 7.2 rebounds per contest. Wroblicky had 23 double-digit performance in his final season with Eagles. Gasperini has already surpassed Wroblicky's number as a freshman. Through nine games, Gasperini has scored 108 points (12.0) compared to Wroblicky's 38 points (1.3).
BATTLING BACK FROM AN INJURY IS ALWAYS TOUGH: Sophomore Lonnie Rivera was ready for the 2016-17 season when a preseason injury held the lanky forward out the first three games of the season. He made his season debut against Wagner but was then shut down three more times. He eventually played in the Howard game and in the last contest against Youngstown State where he set a career-best with nine points and pulled down four rebounds. Head coach Mike Brennan said of Rivera after the YSU win, "his defense is what makes him a great player." Rivera shot 4-of-4 from the field in the home win and made a layup, three-pointer, and spot up jumper.
DON'T LOOK AHEAD: A coach never looks past the next game, but on the media schedule, AU's next game has been circled for quite some time. American will take on the reigning 2015-16 NCAA Champion Villanova Wildcats, who enter the game as the No.1 team in the nation in both the AP and USA Today polls. This will be the second game in AU's history against a No.1 team which happens to come from the same conference… The BIG EAST. On Dec. 12, 1984, the Eagles took on D.C. foe Georgetown in front of 5,112 fans at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. The Hoyas came away with the win, 86-64. Wednesday's clash with the Wildcats will be the first-ever time AU will face the defending champion that is the top-ranked team heading into the game.
ALL-TIME AGAINST TOP 25: American is 2-59 all-time against top 25 opponents in its history. The two wins come against No.5 Georgetown (W, 62-61) on Dec. 15, 1982, and No. 17 La Salle (W, 68-62) on Feb. 24, 1971. The last time American faced two nationally ranked squads in the regular season was the 2012-13 campaign when they took on No. 15 Georgetown (L, 65-48) on Dec. 22 and No. 6 Kansas (L, 89-57). AU is 1-46 on the road against top teams, 1-6 at home and 0-6 at neutral site events. The contest against Villanova will be the third time AU meets the Wildcats as a ranked opponent. The first meeting came on Jan. 28, 1963 when the (No. 6) Wildcats defeated AU, 84-49. The second contest came during American's second NCAA Tournament appearance where the third-seeded (11th ranked) Wildcats used a second half surge to defeat the Eagles 80-67.
Dan Laing and Mike Brennan breakdown the Youngstown State win and look ahead to Maryland Eastern Shore and Villanova.