ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Sa'eed Nelson led the American men's basketball team with 19 points to give the Eagles a 74-58 win over Navy on Wednesday evening at Alumni Hall.
American (7-21, 4-13 PL) shot 61 percent from the floor, connected 5-of-11 from the outside and dominated at the line shooting 18-of-30.
Shawn Anderson had 17 points for Navy, who shot 5-of-28 from the outside and missed its first 10 from deep.
American led 33-27 at the break after jumping out to a 9-2 lead with three straight three's by Matt Cimino and Delante Jones. The Eagles led by 10 (27-17) with 7:06 left of Charlie Jones' second long-distance basket of the half.
Navy rattled off a quick pair from the outside to begin the second and cut the deficit to one (37-36) on its third three of the half.
American fired back with a 7-0 run in 1:15 to retake an eight-point lead, 44-36, with 14:49 left. The visitors then pushed the lead back to double digits and led 65-51 on a layup by Nelson with 4:05 left.
Poor shooting by Navy in the final minutes allowed AU to hold the commanding lead.
Navy outrebounded American, 42-35 and grabbed 23 offensive boards. The Eagles dominated in the paint, 34-28, despite a double-double from Tom Lacey, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
American will conclude the regular season at Loyola on Saturday at noon.
PL Tournament Scenario: With the win, American can not climb beyond the No. 9 spot in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament.
No. 9: AU beats Loyola and a Lafayette loss at Colgate. If both American and Lafayette win on Saturday and Navy defeats Bucknell, AU is still No. 9 due to the win over Navy (higher seed).
No. 10: AU falls to Loyola and a Lafayette win/loss at Colgate and Holy Cross jumps Navy.
The three potential opponents for American in the opening round are Army West Point, Colgate or Loyola.