Dec 19, 2016
WASHINGTON – Freshman Sa'eed Nelson scored 16 points to lead three Eagles in double figures as American University held on for a 61-58 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore in a non-conference men's basketball game on Monday afternoon.
The Eagles, who have won back-to-back games, improved to 3-7 overall, while the Hawks fell to 1-11.
Mark Gasperini added 12 points and Delante Jones finished with 11 for AU. Senior Charlie Jones had seven points, a game-high six assists and a pair of steals for the Eagles.
Ryan Andino and Dontae Caldwell finished with 13 points apiece for MDES. Caldwell also had a team-high nine rebounds, while Bakari Copeland finished with nine points and eight boards.
The Hawks used a five-point run to take a 55-53 lead with 3:23 left. It was their first lead since the opening three minutes of the game.
Nelson converted a steal and a layup to tie the game with 2:34 left and Delante Jones scored on a layup with 1:40 to play to put AU back ahead.
Following an MDES miss, Delante Jones hit a pair of free throws and Charlie Jones went 1-for-2 at the line with 13 seconds left for a five-point lead. Copeland buried a 3-pointer with two seconds left and Nelson hit one of two at the line with 1.5 seconds to play.
A desperation shot from three-quarter court fell short and the Eagles preserved the win.
American's largest lead of the first half was 24-11 with 7:05 to play, but the Hawks pulled within 29-25 by halftime.
AU led by as many as eight (45-37) in the second half before the visitors rallied.
The Eagles are heading into a major road contest next, as they travel to No. 1 Villanova for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
American's next home game is Friday, Dec. 30 when it begins Patriot League play against Loyola Maryland at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to all AU home basketball games are available online at www.aueagles.com/tickets.
For the latest on American University basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter at @AU_MBasketball.
MDES Postgame Interview With head coach Mike Brennan
Maryland Eastern Shore at American Postgame Highlights