Eagles Host Navy in Midweek Battle

Eagles Host Navy in Midweek Battle

Game #20 • Navy (10-10, 5-3 PL) at American (5-14, 2-6 PL)
Wed, Jan. 25, 2017 • 7:30 p.m. • Washington, D.C. • Bender Arena (3,500)
All-Time Record: American, 45-39
Last Meeting: American 72, Navy 65 — Feb. 24, 2016
Stream: PLN Dan Laing (PXP), Jeremy Huber (Color), Megan O'Keefe (Sideline)
Live Stats

American Game Notes
Navy Game Notes

WASHINGTON — 
American is looking for its fifth win at Bender Arena on Wednesday when the Eagles host Navy. AU is coming off a 63-55 loss to Holy Cross on Monday evening.

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 45-39 all-time record against the Midshipmen that dates back to the 1928-29 season. Since joining the Patriot League, American is 27-6 against Navy. AU is 2-0 against Navy in the PL Tournament.The Eagles have won the last three meetings, averaging 67.6 points per game while allowing 57.3.

NAVY SCOUT: The Midshipmen are coming off a 96-80 overtime win at Army West Point on Saturday. Shawn Anderson was named the PL Player of the Week after scoring 30 points against the Black Knights. He added 11 points previously in a win over Lehigh. Anderson leads the Mids with 12.4 points per game and is second in rebounds at 5.2 per game. Anderson is the only player to average double figures in scoring. George Kiernan is second on the team with 9.0 points per game despite playing all 18 games as a reserve seeing less than 20 minutes a night. Hasan Abdullah and Bryce Dullin are third and fourth in scoring had 21 points each in the OT win at Army. Navy is in the plus column in both scoring (+1.6) and rebounding (+4.5) margins. 

WHAT IT WILL TAKE FOR AN AU WIN: American needs to keep the ball intact after turning it over 23 times in the loss to Holy Cross. Delante Jones led the Eagles with 18 points, shot well from the floor and collected six rebounds. Jones enjoys playing the Midshipmen, averaging 21.5 points per game last season. Jalen Rhea also thrives against the Mids defense, with an average of 7.4 points per game. Sa'eed and Mark Gasperini struggled in the 1-3-1 defense set forth by Holy Cross. Gasperini finished with 11 points in 17 minutes picking up early fouls that forced him to the bench. Nelson had seven points along with six rebounds, four assists but turned the ball over four times. American will also need to do a better job at the free throw line. The Eagles shot 42 percent against the Crusaders and on the season are shooting 60 percent.

KEY MATCHUP: The featured matchup for the contest will be Delante Jones and Shawn Anderson. Jones is coming off an 18-point performance in the loss to Holy Cross on Monday. Jones has reached double figures in 15-of-19 games this season. He set a season-best at Boston U. with 21 points. Jones has hit the double-digit mark in all five wins for American this season. Last season, Jones scored 23 points in his first meeting with the Midshipmen on the road and then added 20 in the late-season win at Bender Arena. Anderson had 30 points in the win over Army and shot 13-of-17 from the line. 

BREAKING DOWN THE HOLY CROSS LOSS: Delante Jones led the Eagles with 18 points, but costly turnovers and rebounding allowed Holy Cross to come away with a 63-55 win on Monday evening on CBS Sports Network. Mark Gasperini added 11 points and four rebounds in 17 minutes due to early foul trouble. Charlie Jones contributed eight points and Sa'eed Nelson had seven. Both played 40 minutes. The Eagles turned the ball over 23 times and were outrebounded 29-25. AU shot 50 percent from the field and struggled from the outside (6-of-19) and the line (5-of-12). Holy Cross also struggled to control the ball with 16 turnovers but made its mark at the line shooting 24-of-34. The Crusaders were led by four players in double figures. Malachi Alexander had 15 points while Karl Charles added 12. Patrick Benzan chipped in 11 off the bench and Robert Champion finished with 10 points connecting on 8-of-12 from the line. American (5-14, 2-6 PL) trailed 28-23 at the half and never led by more than a possession. The Crusaders held an eight-point advantage 25-17 with 3:10 remaining. In the second half, Holy Cross jumped out to an 11-point edge, 42-31, on a layup by Benzan. AU cut the deficit to single digits late, but the Crusaders went 5-of-8 from the line in the final minute. The loss snaps AU eight-game winning streak over the Crusaders.

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. 

START ME UP: Since being inserted into the starting lineup, Charlie Jones is averaging 9.8 points per game and 6.3 rebounds. Jones cracked the lineup against Bucknell on Jan.5. Jones is shooting 54 percent from the floor, 31 percent from the outside and 67 percent from the line. During the span, he is tied with Sa'eed Nelson with 19 assists and has a positive assist/turnover ratio.