Game #19 • American (5-13, 2-5 PL) at Holy Cross (10-10, 4-3 PL)
Mon, Jan. 23, 2017 • 7 p.m. • Worcester, Mass. • Hart Center (3,600)
All-Time Record: American, 19-18
Last Meeting: American 71, Holy Cross 70 (OT) — Feb. 21, 2016
TV: CBSSN — Jason Knapp (PXP), Mo Cassara (Color)
American Game Notes
Holy Cross Game Notes
WASHINGTON — After a 14-point win over Lafayette on Wednesday, the American University men's basketball team heads to defending Patriot League champion Holy Cross for a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network.
News, Notes, and Storylines
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: American owns a 19-18 all-time record against the Crusaders that dates back to the 1967-68 season. Since joining the Patriot League, American is 18-18 against Holy Cross. This rivalry has met six times in the Patriot League Tournament with each team winning games. The Crusaders took the first three in 2002, 2003 and 2007 while AU won in 2008, 2009 and 2014. American has won the last eight games against the Crusaders and coach Brennan is 7-0 against HC.
HOLY CROSS SCOUT: Since taking over the team last season, coach Carmody has wanted to instill consistency within his team. The Crusaders entered the Patriot League Tournament without winning a road game in league play. That all changed when HC ran the table in the PL Tournament en route to its 13th NCAA appearance. This year, consistency is the motto of the Crusaders. Holy Cross is 10-10 on the season and after a nonconference slate that saw the team finish one game under .500 with wins over Harvard, Albany and Quinnipiac, the Crusaders sit 4-3 in league play with early wins against Navy, Lafayette and Colgate. Malachi Alexander leads the team in points (14.4) and rebounds (5.5) and is a threat on all sides of the court. He is shooting over 40 percent from the floor and beyond the arc. Robert Champion has been a pleasant surprise for coach Carmody after being a full-time reserve under coach Milan Brown, Champion averaged 12.0 points last season and is equalling his totals this year. A high candidate for the 2016 Rookie of the Year, Karl Charles is third on the team at 10.5 points per game. A good free throw shooter (79.3%), Charles can hit a jumper from anywhere on the floor.
WHAT IT WILL TAKE FOR AN AU WIN: American took both games last season from the Crusaders, a 13-point win at Bender Arena and a one-point last-second overtime win on the road. With American and Holy Cross utilizing the Princeton offense, it will be a tough defensive match for the Eagles. The biggest key for the Eagles will be penetrating the lane and getting the line. Holy Cross is very frugal with committing fouls. American will need to find a way to get open looks at the glass or the short jumper. Last season, seniors Jesse Reed and Marco Vasic had big offensive performances against the Crusaders but it was a series that saw breakouts from freshmen Delante Jones, James Washington and Andrija Matic.
KEY MATCHUP: The featured matchup for the contest will be Delante Jones and Karl Charles. Delante Jones' turnaround layup with 2.3 seconds left in overtime gave American its seventh PL win last season. Jones is averaging 9.0 points per game against the Crusaders and Charles is at 8.5 per game after dropping 17 in the OT loss. Jones is second on the team in scoring at 12.0 per game. Charles is coming off a career performance against Army West Point with 24 points in a come-from-behind win on Wednesday. This was Charles' 10th double figures contest of the season.
BREAKING DOWN THE LAFAYETTE WIN: Charlie Jones and Alex Paquin both tied career-highs in scoring to lead the AU to a 71-57 win over Lafayette on Wednesday. American set a season-best in field goal percentage and three-point percentage shooting 61.9% on 26-of-42 from the floor and 8-of-15 from the outside. Charlie Jones' 18 points tied his career-best set nearly two years ago to the date against the Leopards in Easton, Pennsylvania. The senior shot 8-of-10 from the field with four rebounds and three assists in 38 minutes. Alex Paquin added 13 points off the bench to tie his career-best set last season at Mount St. Mary's. Paquin whose seen added minutes as of late shot 4-of-4 from the floor with two from the outside and 3-of-4 from the line. Delante Jones and Sa'eed Nelson each contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively. Jones scored all of his points in the second half and grabbed five rebounds in the final 18 minutes. American outrebounded the Leopards, 29-20, and got 22 points off the bench. American trailed early but secured the lead on a jumper by Charlie Jones with 13:20 left in the first. The Eagles would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. The hosts took a 10-point advantage 22-12 on a three by Paquin with 8:05 remaining in the frame. Lafayette cut the deficit to three (23-20) on a jumper by Eric Stafford with 2:49 left. AU went into the break ahead six, 27-21. The eagles regained the double-digit lead (40-29) on a layup by Nelson with 14:24 left in the contest. Lafayette lessened AU's lead to five (59-54) before cushioning the lead back to double digits. Matt Klinewski led the Leopards with 19 points and Nick Linder had 10. Lafayette shot 42 percent from the field.
COACHES VS. CANCER WEEK: During the Holy Cross and Navy games, members of the American coaching and support staff will be taking part in Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers Awareness Week, a collaborative initiative of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society. The coaches will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their usual game attire to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and the fight against cancer. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of coaches across the country, Coaches vs. Cancer participants have raised more than $87 million since 1993 to help the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking cancer research, provide up-to-date cancer information and education, advocate for public health policies that benefit communities, and deliver services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families.