Five key plays: American 66, Holy Cross 49

Here are five key plays/sequences from American’s 66-49 win over Holy Cross Saturday.

1. Another fast start for American
Similar to their start the previous Saturday vs. Bucknell, American came roaring out of the gate with a 12-0 run spurred by two 3s, two transition baskets, and a pair of offensive rebounds. The Eagles set the tone early and would never look back.

2. Jacob Boonyasith’s career day
The freshman got his first start and took advantage of the opportunity, pouring in 17 points including five 3s. On Monday, Boonyasith was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week — he also played well at Loyola last Wednesday, contributing 13 points, three steals and three rebounds in a win. Boonyasith’s recent development is a boon for American, which isn’t missing a beat with injuries due to its depth.

3. Holy Cross can’t get anything going offensively
American’s defense had a lot to do with it, but Holy Cross could never get untracked offensively. The Crusaders shot 35%, were just 2-for-15 from 3, and got only four points from leading scorer Jacob Grandison.

4. Sa’eed Nelson, defensive disruptor
This possession in particular shows what Sa’eed Nelson does on the defensive end for American — he disrupts. First here, he flat-out reject Caleb Green’s shot. Then, he is aware enough to come off his man, leap, and break up an alley-oop attempt for the much bigger Jehyve Floyd. Finally, the result is Nelson feeding Mark Gasperini on the other end, where he is fouled. Nelson’s defense-to-offense is one of the biggest reasons the Eagles are the hottest team in the Patriot League.

5. Larry Motuzis fills in on the boards
With American missing Sam Iorio’s 6.5 rebounds per game, someone needed to fill in, and Larry Motuzis did just that. The senior guard grabbed eight rebounds — some gimmes, some more difficult — and generally was in the right place at the right time throughout the game to help get AU’s attack going the other way started. He added 11 points and three assists.