EASTON, Pa. — Sam Iorio completed his fourth and second straight double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds, but the American University men's basketball team was unable to stop Lafayette from the outside in a 90-85 loss in Patriot League play on Saturday at the Kirby Sports Center.
With the loss, American dropped to 6-21 on the year and 3-13 in the Patriot League. The win moved the Leopards to 9-18 on the year and 7-9 in the PL.
Sa'eed Nelson added 20 points and six assists for the Eagles who added two more players in double figures, Larry Motuzis (16 points) and Cheikh 'CB' Diallo (12 points).
Alex Petrie led the Leopards with 27 points and was one of five players with double digits for the hosts. Justin Jaworski had 17 points and E.J. Stephens dropped 16 off the bench.
It seemed everything fell for the host Leopards from the outside, knocking down 12 of 16 from deep range and shot 65 percent from the field.
On the other end, American shot the ball well at 57 percent from the floor with 11 made 3-pointers.
The score was tied at 39-all at the break, but it took the Leopards a bit of a comeback after surrendering the first 11 points in favor of the Eagles. the Leopards grabbed a 20-19 lead on a jumper by Alex Petrie with 11:16 remaining in the opening half.
From that point in the half, both sides traded baskets with Petrie and Stacy Beckton Jr. nailing 3-pointers with less than a minute remaining.
Early in the second half, Lafayette took a six-point lead, 45-39, but American went on a 17-7 run and led 56-52 with 15:12 left. Nearly 10 minutes later, the Leopards took a double-digit lead, 77-67, on a pair of free throws by Petrie.
The Eagles responded and cut the difference by a single possession, 84-81 on a 3-pointer by Iorio with 2:38 remaining. AU had one final chance at a comeback with less than 30 seconds remaining after a steal by Beckton Jr. found a sprinting Nelson. Lafayette finished the game at the line to preserve the win.
American closes out the road portion of the regular season on Wednesday at Holy Cross. The Eagles return to Bender Arena on Saturday, Feb. 24 for their final game of the regular season, hosting Bucknell.
Tickets to the home season finale is now on sale at the Bender Arena box office or online by clicking here
For the latest on AU Men's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_MBasketball.