Friday, November 16, 2012

AU Wins Home Opener 62-57

AU senior Stephen Lumpkins (l) vs. Hoyas 12/17/11

The American Eagles opened their home regular season with an exciting 62-57 win over Mount St. Mary's last night at Bender Arena. The announced crowd of 1,323 saw AU overcome 23 turnovers (16 in the first half) as it struggled with a suffocating Mountaineers defense all night long. The Eagles (2-1) used a decisive 34-19 advantage in rebounding, along with a 20-5 edge in made free throws to hand the Mounts their second loss of the season.

Senior forward Stephen Lumpkins led all scorers with 22 points and 11 rebounds, tossing in a career-high four steals for good measure. Fellow senior Mike Bersch came off the bench to score 15 points on 5-7 3-pt. shooting.

The game was tied at 57 with 13 seconds left, when guard Daniel Munoz (yet another senior) took over with four free throws and a game-clinching steal. The Eagles shot an impressive 50% for the game, and an equally stellar 50% from 3 point land. Toss in 80% free throw shooting, and it's clear to see where AU's strengths lie. Where they don't, is also clear. Team speed and ball handling need work, as Mount St. Mary's was able to take the ball away at will.

Lumpkins topped off his grandiose performance with a near-perfect 7 of 8 shooting from the field: The 6-8 forward certainly appears ready to defend his Patriot League FG% title (59.2%) from last year. AU returns home on Monday night, where they'll host the San Francisco Dons at 7:30 PM, before going on the road for two games against Florida Atlantic and A-10 power St. Joseph's.

Click here for last night's box score.