Men's Basketball Hosts Army West Point on Saturday

Men's Basketball Hosts Army West Point on Saturday

Game #17 •  Army West Point (7-10, 1-4PL) at American (4-12, 1-4 PL) 
Sat, Jan. 14, 2017 • 2 p.m. • Washington, D.C. • Bender Arena (3,500)
All-Time Record: American, 26-10
Last Meeting: Army West Point 65, American 59 — Feb. 13, 2016
TV: CSN+ — Bram Weinstein (PXP), John Feinstein (Color)
Stream: PLN — Dan Laing (PXP), Jeremy Huber (Color), Megan O'Keefe (Sideline)
Live Stats

American Game Notes
Army Game Notes

WASHINGTON — After three straight setbacks, the American University men's basketball team is looking for its second win in Patriot League play when it hosts Army West Point on Saturday afternoon on CSN+.

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.

News, Notes, and Storylines

ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: American owns a 26-10 all-time record against the Black Knights that dates back to the 1963-46 season. American won straight 11 meetings over Army since joining the Patriot League. AU has had winning streaks of six and seven games over Army but the Black Knights have taken the previous four. 

ARMY WEST POINT SCOUT: Army West Point sits tied for last in the Patriot League with American at 1-4 after five games. The Black Knights won seven non-league games with five coming on their home court. Army, much like American, are young starting three underclassmen (AU starts four). Jordan Fox has taken over this season, leading the Cadets in scoring, averaging 12.9 points per game. Army had to replace four 1,000-point scorers due to graduation. Matt Wilson — second on the team in scoring and rebounds— has played in all 17 games at 17.8 minutes per outing. In his first season, head coach Jimmy Allen has his squad playing hard on both ends of the court. The Black Knights are scoring 75.9 points per game and are in the plus in rebounding margin. In PL play, Army has four players averaging double figures with Fox taking the lead at 13.0. 

WHAT IT WILL TAKE FOR AN AU WIN: American has struggled in the past two games defending two different types of offensive attacks. Against Lehigh, center Tim Kempton went off for a career-best 36 points in the paint and at the line. In the previous match against Boston U., The Terriers connected on 12-of-18 from the outside. The Eagles will need to stop an Army squad that pushed the ball and plays a faster tempo. The Black Knights have taken 186 more shots that AU and made double the amount of three's. If American can stop Fox and Tommy Funk while slowing down the rate of possessions, the Eagles can make it tough for the high-octane Black Knights.

KEY MATCHUP: The top matchup for the contest will be a pair of rookies, Mark Gasperini and Matt Wilson. Gasperini chipped in a season-best 19 points at Boston U. and is third on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game. Gasperini has seen two of the top centers in the PL early this season and held his own when in the contest. With Wilson coming off the bench, Gasperini will also face Mac Hoffman in the post. Wilson enters the game as a three-time PL Rookie of the Week Award winner. He is tied with AU's Sa'eed Nelson with three weekly recognitions. Wilson's 11.6 points per game is second on the team despite playing only 17.8 points per game. 

BREAKING DOWN THE BOSTON U. LOSS: American suffered a 76-66 defeat on the road at Boston University on Wednesday evening. The Terriers were hot from the outside connecting on 12-of-18 from three. Delante Jones led the Eagles with 21 points and Mark Gasperini added 19. Charlie Jones nearly recorded a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds. American struggled early on but battled back throughout the contest cutting the deficit to four (61-57) off free throws by Charlie Jones with 5:16 left to play. The Terriers opened the contest with a 20-4 lead knocking down four three-pointers during the run. AU responded with a 12-0 run to lower the deficit to 20-16 after a tip-in by Delante Jones. BU came back with a 9-0 run and regained a double-digit advantage until American cut it to seven before the break, 31-24. In the second half, AU never gained a lead or secured a tie, but played a well-balanced 20 minutes. AU shot 40 percent from the floor and made 14-of-17 free throws. Cedric Hankerson led the Terriers with 21 points and hit 5-of-7 from the outside. Eric Fanning added 17 points and six rebounds and Tyler Scanlon had 12 points all from three. Boston shot 44 percent from the field and 82 percent from the line.

FORMER EAGLES UNITE: AU's Jalen Rhea and Army's John Miller both hail from New Albany, Ohio and played for the Eagles of New Albany High School. Rhea has seen action in 13 games as a senior and tied a season-best nine points at Boston on Wednesday. Miller has played in 11 games for the Black Knights and scored six points in 28 minutes.

PATRIOT LEAGUE FRESHMAN PROVIDING IMMEDIATE IMPACT: The Patriot League's freshman class has been a factor throughout the season play with four rookies scoring in double figures and four averaging nearly five rebounds per game. American guard Sa'eed Nelson leads PL freshman and is tied for third overall with 16.2 points per game while leading the League with 2.6 steals per game. His teammate forward Mark Gasperini is averaging 11.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg. Last week's PL Rookie of the Week Will Rayman of Colgate broke Adonal Foyle's Raider rookie single-game scoring record with 34 points vs. Lafayette (12.30). He also had a breakout 28-point performance against Penn State and is averaging 15.1 ppg. Army's freshman forward Matt Wilson, a three-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week is among the nation's leaders in field goalpercentage (67.6). Lehigh freshman forward Pat Andree connected on 10-of-12 3-pointers vs. St. Francis (Pa.), one short of the PL single-game record.

Ep. 6: AU Hoop Talk with Mike Brennan

Head coach Mike Brennan joins host Dan Laing for this week's episode of AU Hoop Talk. AU AD Dr. Billy Walker sits with Laing in the second segment.