@AU_MBasketball Wins Season Opener in Overtime

Sa'eed Nelson

FAIRFAX, Va. — Junior Sa'eed Nelson eclipsed 1,000 career points and led all scorers with 24 points to lead the American University men's basketball team to a 78-75 overtime win at George Mason on Friday evening. 

Postgame Notes

  • The win against George Mason was the first season-opening win for American and head coach Mike Brennan since the 2010-11 season when AU defeated Saint Francis (Pa.) 62-55 at Bender Arena on Nov. 12, 2010.
  • Brennan is now 2-3 all-time against the Atlantic 10 and 1-1 against George Mason.
  • The win snaped a 13-game losing streak against the Patriots. The last AU win against Mason was on Jan. 18, 1997, an 84-75 win at Bender Arena. 
  • Nelson went over the 1,000-point mark with a layup at the 7:08 mark of the second half. 
  • Sam Iorio completed his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Last season, Iorio had six double-doubles. The 13 rebounds tie a career-best set at Navy on Jan. 5, 2018. 
  • Mark Gasperini had 14 points in his first game since Feb. 28, 2017, the Patriot League First Round at Army West Point. 
  • Marvin Bragg set a career-best 16 points off the bench with five rebounds and shot 3-of-5 from the outside.
  • Yilret Yiljep played in his first game for American since Jan. 8, 2014. Yiljep missed the remaining games of his undergraduate career due to a heart condition. 
  • American led 32-31 at the half thanks to a Gasperini half-court buzzer-beater to put American ahead. 
  • The game featured 13 ties and 16 lead changes. AU's held its largest lead of six (37-31) after Larry Motuzis scored on a layup. 
  • Iorio gave AU a 66-64 lead with 52 seconds left in regulation before Javon Greene tied the contest 30 seconds later sending the contest to overtime. 
  • In overtime, Greene gave the Patriots a 74-70 lead with a layup at 1:43. Bragg dialed up from long-distance to cut the deficit to one with 1:07 left. 
  • Nelson regained the lead for American (76-75) with an old-fashioned three-point play (layup and free throw) with 35 seconds left. 
  • Iorio capped the overtime win with two free throws after a defensive rebound on a potential game-winning shot Otis Livingston II.

Up Next 

  • American will travel to Northwestern to meet the Wildcats on Monday evening at 7 p.m. CST / 8 p.m. EST.   
  • The game will be broadcasted on BTN Plus / BTN2GO.

Social Media

For the latest on American University men's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_MBasketball.


Sa'eed 1,000 points