American fell to Bucknell 80-60 to drop to 5-17, 2-9 in the Patriot League. Here are five key plays/sequences from the game.
1. Bucknell scores 14 straight points
The Bison blitzed the Eagles from the outset, easily getting to the rim and beating American in transition. It got so bad for AU that Mike Brennan pulled his top three guys, including the nation's minutes per game leader Sa'eed Nelson, from the floor.
2. American creates Bucknell turnovers, creeps back into game
For a bit it looked like the Bison would run away with the game in the first half, but American recovered from the brutal start and got back into the contest on the defensive end — forcing some turnovers, while sloppy Bucknell helped, too. American got as close as 35-24 before entering halftime down by 13.
3. American slashes to the rim, gets within 10
The Eagles were at their best when getting to the rim vs the Bison, and on three straight possessions early in the second half Lonnie Rivera, Delante Jones (on a beautiful backdoor cut) and Sa'eed Nelson did just that for layups to slice Bucknell's lead to 10. American would continue to hang around, but couldn't get much closer.
4. Nana Foulland takes over in second half
Mark Gasperini did a good job in the first half of not fouling and defending Foulland, but that all fell apart in the second half as the Bison went to their big guy over and over. He fouled out Gasperini and beat him by receiving entry passes from many angles for layups. His presence in the second 20 minutes was the difference between the game becoming tight and Bucknell cruising toward the victory.
5. Bucknell ball movement finishes AU
American was within 54-46 on a Gasperini jump hook about midway through the second half, but Bucknell then went on a 16-2 spurt to pull away highlighted by ball movement American couldn't keep up with and big 3s by Zach Thomas and John Azzinaro.