Game #13 • American (3-9, 0-1 PL) at Colgate (3-11, 1-0 PL)
Mon, Jan. 2, 2017 • 2 p.m. • Hamilton, N.Y. • Cotterell Court (1,750)
All-Time Record: American 30-7
Last Meeting: American 54, Colgate 49 — Jan 30, 2016
Stream: PLN (Colgate) — Eric Malanoski (PXP)
WASHINGTON — With the calendar turning over to 2017, American travels to Colgate for its first road contest of the Patriot League season. American is coming off a tough loss to Loyola, 68-66 on Friday.
News, Notes, and Storylines
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: American owns a 30-7 all-time record over Colgate. The Raiders took the first ever meeting between both sides, but American had winning streaks of 11 (2005-10) and eight (2010-14). At one point, American won 19 of 20 games against the Raiders. Last season, both squads won on the road, with AU winning at Cotterell Court, 54-49 and falling at home 56-37. Delante Jones returns as the top scorer for AU against Colgate at 9.0 points per game in two appearances. This will be Charlie Jones' ninth appearance against Colgate. All eight returning players have at least one appearance against the hosts.
BREAKING DOWN THE LOYOLA LOSS: American had a last-second chance to defeat Loyola, but Sa'eed Nelson's potential game-winning three from the key was blocked by Andre Walker to give the Greyhounds a 68-66 win on Friday. Nelson finished with 22 points and has now scored in double figures in all but one game. Mark Gasperini added 18 points and was dominant inside the paint shooting 7-of-9 from inside the perimeter. Delante Jones added 11 points but fouled out in 33 minutes. He added a team-best five rebounds. Delante Jones hit a 3-pointer to cap a 12-2 run that made it 52-all with 8:13 left, but Chuck Champion converted a 3-point play, Jones hit a jumper and Chancellor Barnard made a layup to give Loyola a seven-point lead two minutes later. Loyola's Jarred Jones hit two free throws to make it 59-54 with 5:57 remaining, but Walker converted a 3-point play and the Greyhounds made 6 of 6 free throws from there to hold on. Jarred Jones finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds four assists and two blocked shots. Cam Gregory added 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
COLGATE SCOUT: Colgate spent a majority of its non-conference schedule on the road with 10 of the 13 games away from Cotterell Court. The Raiders played a pair of nationally ranked foes (Syracuse and Notre Dame) and played in the Holy City Hoops Classic in Charleston, South Carolina. Of the three games at home, Colgate's only win came against D3 member Union. In their first Patriot League game of the season, the Raiders defeated Lafayette on the road, 85-75, in a wild shootout. Freshman Will Rayman set a Colgate rookie single-game record with 34 points on 11-of-20 from the field, 5-of-11 from the outside and 7-of-8 from the line in 35 minutes. Lafayette countered with 33 points from Matt Klinewski and 20 from Nick Linder. Colgate has three players scoring in double figures this season — Rayman (15.1), Sean O'Brien (11.9) and Jordan Swopshire (11.1). Malcolm Regisford is having a solid season at center, averaging 7.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. As a team, Colgate is averaging 70.6 points per game but allows 75 per night.
WHAT IT WILL TAKE FOR AN AU WIN: American is coming off a performance against Loyola that saw the Eagles playing from behind the entire game. The lone tie was midway through the second half when the score was even at 52-all. The Eagles have played well in games where Sa'eed Nelson and Mark Gasperini are working hard on both ends of the court. The Eagles need a third member of the team to contribute to taking the pressure off the rookies. Delante Jones is second on the team at 12.1 points per game. Jones has reached double figures in all but two games — home losses to Wagner and Saint Francis — and had a season-best 19 points in the home win against Western Illinois. In last season's win over the Raiders, Jones had 15 points and a did a good job getting to the line, connecting on 10-of-14. Jesse Reed had 19 points and was effective on from both areas of the field.
KEY MATCHUP: The top matchup for the contest will be Colgate's Sean O'Brien against AU's Sa'eed Nelson. Both players average over 35 minutes per game, so if foul trouble isn't an issue for both players, expect the point guards to set the tempo. Nelson has the edge in scoring, rebounding and minutes played. O'Brien has the edge in assists per game.
NELSON AMONG NCAA LEADERS IN MINUTES: Sa'eed Nelson is fourth in the NCAA in minutes per game, averaging 37.5. Saint Bonaventure's Matt Mobley is first and has played in eight complete games this season. Mobley averages 38.3 minutes per game. Nelson is the only freshman in the top 30 in minutes played this season. The closest rookie is Bryant's Adam Grant at 35.3 minutes per game. UCLA's Lorenzo Ball is third in the rookie class and 52nd overall at 35.0 minutes per game. The closest patriot player to Nelson is Sean O'Brien from Colgate and Malachi Alexander from Holy Cross. Both are tied at 42nd.
COMMON FOE: American and Colgate did not share any non-conference film with each other this season, as neither team had any common foes.
MORE NCAA NATIONAL RANKINGS: Sa'eed Nelson ranks in the top 10 in the NCAA in steals per game (2.67) and 15th in total steals (32). Nelson is in the top 150 in points per game (16.8) and 104th in free throw attempts (77).
HEADED FOR 1,000: With is 11-point performance against Loyola, Delante Jones hit the 500-point milestone. As a freshman, Jones scored 361 points in 30 games and averaged 12.0 per night. This season, Jones is on pace to tie last season's performance. He is averaging 12.1 per contest through 12 games.