American University gained revenge last night on Bucknell, the team that knocked the Eagles out of the Lafayette College Invitational tournament last month. The Eagles routed the Bison, 84-65, Ft. Nyer gym.
In the earlier encounter, won by Bucknell, 65-60, American's Carroll Holmes sustained a concussion when elbowed by Bucknell's John Callawy, and it was feared the two would resume hastilities last night.
John Callaway. But neither was in the game at the same time.
Ten minutes into the second half, American had built a 21-point lead as guard Dante Fulton sak three consective shots to bring the Eagles up to 60-40. Then Bison guard Gerald Purnell hit a hot streak, sinking five baskets to bring bucknell back to within nine points four minutes later at 70-61.
American scored 10 of its next 14 points on free throws, while Bucknell never hit a field goal in the final minutes.
The half-time score of 36-25 was an improvement for the Eagles over the first time they met the Bison this season when they trailed 25-15, at the half.
Lassoff was the high scorer in the first half with 12 points and connected on his four free throws as the Eagles were perfect in that category. Foward Cleo Wright of AU had 10 points for the half, the only other scorer in double figures.
The highlight of the first half if not the game, had to be a referee's call on a shot by American's 6-foot-9 center Howie Lassoff, with a just less than 12 minutes gone and the score 22-17 in favor of the Eagles.
Lassoff's shot appeared to go up through the bottom of the net and right back down again. The referee, Bill Reilly, declared the shot a basket and the score advanced in favor of American, 24-17.
"That's the most incredible call I've ever seen in basketball," said Bucknell coach Charlie Willum.
American shot 57.1 per cent from the field, making 16 of 28 attempts compared to Bucknell's 407, hitting only 11 of 27 attempts. The Bison made three of their four foul shots.
American shot 29.3 per cent from the free-throw line and 55.5 per cent from the floor, compared to Bucknell's 82 and 39.4 per cent, respectively.
The Eagles' Calvin Brown led the scoring with 22 points. Howie Lassoff, with 18 points, Cleo Wright with 16 and Fulton were the other Eagle double-figure scorers.