American fell 73-69 at Colgate Sunday to fall to 7-6, 1-1 in the Patriot League. Here are five key plays/sequences from the game.
1. After slow start, American gets hot from 3
The Eagles began the game just 1-for-7 from 3-point range, but then made six of their final seven 3s in the first half to build a six-point advantage at the break. Sam Iorio led the way with three 3s and 13 points, but Stacy Beckton Jr. also made both his attempts and Sa’eed Nelson and Larry Motuzis added treys. When AU shoots this well from deep, it’s hard to stop.
2. Stacy Beckton Jr. scores career-high 17 points
The sophomore had one of his best games as an Eagle and his highest-scoring outing. He was tremendous throughout, picking his spots to attack the rim — where he’s clearly become more adept at drawing fouls — and also knocking in three 3s. Beckton added a pair of blocks, too, and did all this while often guarding Colgate’s Jordan Burns with Nelson in a bit of foul trouble.
3. Colgate overcomes eight-point deficit in second half with 9-0 run
When Nelson hit a pull-up jumper, American led 57-49 with 8:16 left. Colgate called timeout. After the break, the Raiders took over with a 9-0 spurt to grab the lead. It was punctuated by Will Rayman improbably saving a ball underneath the basket leading to a Burns layup. It defined how Colgate made just enough plays down the stretch.
4. American’s late shots don’t fall
You can’t fault American’s late-game offensive execution. First, Marvin Bragg saw defenders leave him and rightly took a 3 — it was just long. Then in the final minute with two opportunities down 69-68, Mark Gasperini got great position and just back-rimmed his signature jump hook. On the next possession, Nelson swung a pass to the opposite corner and Bragg who was ready to hit the game-winning shot — it just rolled out. American ran good late offense; it just didn’t convert.
5. The last 6.5 seconds
American was up against it in the last 6.5 seconds. Colgate’s plan was clearly to foul and not give the Eagles a chance at a game-tying 3. This was made easier by Nelson dribbling into what looked to be a hand-off play with Iorio. With Nelson not facing the basket or looking to shoot, the Raiders fouled with 2.8 seconds left. After making the first free throw and a timeout, Nelson appeared to intentionally miss the second, but the rebound wasn’t strong and all three Eagles pursuing the rebound were boxed out and didn’t stay on their feet. An easy Colgate rebound and two free throws later, the Eagles were done. Despite its ineffectiveness, missing that FT was the right decision with so little time left.