Men’s Basketball gets back on track, beats Holy Cross 57-50
After a cancelled flight and an eight-hour bus ride into the heart of Massachusetts, the Eagles overcame an 11-point deficit to defeat the College of Holy Cross Crusaders Feb. 2.
The Eagles came into the game on a three-game losing streak. Their most recent loss against Navy sent the team into a four-way tie for second place. The Eagles needed a win to keep up with the rest of the Patriot League, and they got one.
After being upset with his team’s defense in the past three losses, head coach Mike Brennan was happy with the Eagles’ effort on the defensive end.
"We battled back and stuck with it. We couldn't score very well in the first half, but our defense was solid," head coach Mike Brennan said, according to aueagles.com. "We're small, but we battled. Pee Wee is an unbelievable player."
A total team effort lifted the Eagles over the Crusaders. Senior guard Darius “Pee Wee” Gardner and junior guard Jesse Reed scored 12 points each. Gardner also chipped in five rebounds, three steals and two assists. Reed lead the Eagles with six rebounds. Both players logged the full 40 minutes. Marko Vasic provided a spark off the bench once again, scoring six points and grabbing five boards. He also lead the Eagles with three assists.
The Crusaders jumped out to a 23-18 lead in the first half, a half where both teams shot terribly from the field. The Eagles shot a dreadful 28.8 percent, while the Crusaders fared a little better, connecting with 40.9 percent of their shots. The Eagles were down 19-8 with 7:11 left in the first half but battled back from the deficit.
The tables turned in the second half. The Eagles outscored the Crusaders by 12 points, and their weapon of choice was the three-pointer -- connecting on six of their 10 tries in the second half. The Crusaders were shut down on the perimeter, only connecting on three of 11 tries from beyond the arc for the game, and only one in the second half.
The Eagles were once again beaten thoroughly on the boards. The Crusaders outrebounded AU 26-21, and doubled their points in the paint. Senior center Kevin Panzer proved to be ineffective bigman, only pulling down two rebounds in 15 minutes of play.
The Crusaders were lead by senior forward Malcolm Miller, who lead all scorers with 19 points. He also pulled down eight rebounds.
The win keeps the Eagles (12-10, 5-5 PL) in a four way tie for second place. Holy Cross (8-12, 3-7 PL) falls to last place in the Patriot League.
Revenge is on the Eagles’ mind as they take on Loyola (Maryland) Feb. 4 at Bender Arena.