Coming into their home game with Wagner, American had won three straight games. It looked like it was heading for a four game winning streak until the Eagles let go of a nine point second half lead. The Eagles would fall to Wagner, 64-58.
Most times a coach will blame their defense when you lose a lead like that but that wasn’t the case tonight. “Our offense sputtered in the second half,” said Coach Mike Brennan. With the score tied at 54, Wagner went on a 10-4 run to close out the game. “I thought it was more our offense. I thought our defense. It wasn’t as good in the second half but our offense couldn’t score,” said Brennan. With 11:30 left in the second half, a Mark Gasperini free throw gave American a 42-33 lead. In the last 8:30 minutes, the Eagles only made three shots from the field.
After holding Wagner to 28% shooting in the first half, it completely changed in the second half. The Seahawks shot 54.2% in the second half. AJ Sumbry had scored all 10 of his points in the second half before fouling out. Chase Freeman also was scoreless in the first half only to pitch in 12 points in the second. Also, after only going to the free throw line 4 times in the first half, the Seahawks shot 15-18 from the line in the second half.
Once again, American was led by junior point guard, Sa’eed Nelson. Nelson had 22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. “He’s been a monster in every game so far,” said Brennan. Nelson, along with Sam Iorio, played all 40 minutes.
Up next for American is Saint Francis (PA) on December 4th.