American Dismantles Army at Bender Arena
By: Ethan Hennessy
Army entered Saturday afternoon’s game at American looking to keep pace with Lehigh and Loyola for the race for a home quarterfinal game and they looked to stay above Holy Cross in avoiding having to play a first-round game in the Patriot League Tournament.
The result the black knights produced could not have been worse for achieving those goals. The first half of the game was a back-and-forth affair that saw the eagles hold a slim lead for most of the half. American shot 52% from the field. Army only hit 44% of their free throws.
Early in the second half, the lead changed hands eight times until American began to pull away around the 11-minute mark as a Stacy Beckton Jr. three-pointer extended the eagle lead to eight points. From that point onward it was all American. Coach Allen of Army said that American was consistently good on the offensive end, they beat them to every 50-50 ball, and that his team had no answer on the defensive end of the court. Matt Rodgers who tallied 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists said that Coach Brennan told preached transition defense and to lock down the boards in his halftime message. Five players for the eagles scored in double figures for them which was the first time in two years that has happened.
This win gave American their second win in the previous three tries. The eagles still have hope to host a first-round game in the Patriot League tournament, but they will need assistance to surpass Lafayette.