Mountaineers' Rally Ruins the Eagles' Rare Stopover at Home

By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

With only two of its first 12 games at home and a rough away stretch approaching, American University needed to take advantage of an infrequent appearance at Bender Arena last night.

Mount St. Mary's guard Jeremy Goode wrecked those plans.

Goode, a 5-foot-9 guard with a 25-foot shooting range, scored 22 of his career-high 29 points in the second half as the Mountaineers overcame a nine-point deficit and defeated the Eagles, 57-52.

The loss halted an eight-game home winning streak for the Eagles (4-3), who will play their next five on the road, starting Saturday against Georgetown at Verizon Center. They'll also visit George Washington and Maryland before returning home after New Year's Day.

"Goode was good," said Eagles forward Brian Gilmore, who had 15 points and a career-best 16 rebounds. "The kid has a lot of confidence and he can put the ball in the basket. He took care of the ball, really didn't take any bad shots and made big plays when they needed them."

The Mountaineers, an NCAA tournament team last spring and the Northeast Conference favorites this season, scored 40 second-half points after managing just 17 before intermission. Besides benefiting from Goode's 4-of-5 three-point shooting and 7-of-8 free throw accuracy, Mount St. Mary's limited Eagles star Garrison Carr, one of the nation's finest outside shooters, to 12 points (5 of 17 overall, 1 of 8 three-pointers).

The Eagles entered the night having won three of four close games on the road, but the home setting was initially no help as they needed 12½ minutes to surpass the 10-point mark and missed the rim on a drive, a three-pointer and a free throw. Mount St. Mary's was worse, missing 9 of 10 shots and requiring 15½ minutes to reach double figures.

The Eagles held a 24-17 lead at the break and pushed it to nine before Goode heated up and Kelly Beidler's three-pointer capped a 10-0 spurt to provide the Mountaineers with their first lead. At 33-all, Goode converted a fadeaway three-pointer and a fast break layup while Carr missed shots from near and far.

AU was within 42-39 with 6 minutes 35 seconds remaining when Jean Cajou, who defended Carr much of the evening, hit a 17-footer for his first points. Goode followed by taking advantage of turnovers and Derrick Mercer's absence (four fouls) to make his fourth three-pointer and finish a fast break for a 10-point advantage.

"They were able to get out into transition, which they weren't able to do in the first half," Eagles Coach Jeff Jones said. "They got a little bit of a rhythm going and we had no offensive rhythm when Mercer went out."

Nonetheless, the Eagles responded with a 9-2 run, culminating with Gilmore's three-pointer with 1:43 to go. With a chance to tie, Carr missed a three-pointer, but the Mountaineers missed 1 of 2 free throws and Mercer made a pair to slice the deficit to 52-50 with 33 seconds left.

After Goode made 1 of 2 foul shots, Gilmore missed a three-pointer. AU retained possession with 20 seconds remaining, but Nick Hendra's poor inbounds pass went off Carr's hand. Free throws secured the Mount's victory.

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