American University unleashed a wolf in Stan Lamb's uniform and the 6-foot-2 guard exploded for 29 points to power the Eagles over Hofstra, 78-73, at Ft. Myer last night.
Lamb, who had been a .436 shooter this season, hit 13 to 16 shots from the field and three for six from the line to exceed his career high by 14.
The victory ties AU with Temple at 2-2 in the eastern division of the East Coast Conference. The two will meet next week here in a battle that will determine a first-round bye in the ECC championships. LaSalle already has a first-round bye.
AU coach Jim Lynam sent Lamb in with about eight minutes left in the first half when American was trailing by eight points. Lamb produced 18 points before halftime.
"He gave us a big boost." Lynam said. "We were struggling offensively and I thought we were missing a lot of open shots."
Lamb, a 20-year-old native of the Bronx, N.Y., was ecstastic with the results. "I knew I had it in me. I think the fans and the coach knew it and it was a good time to let it out - against a conference opponent."
He had an additional reason to be happy. "They're beaming this game up to New York so I really wanted us to win. When I graduated from high school. Hofstra was one of the schools I wanted to go to but their coach wouldn't look at me."
AU's offense shaped up after an uncoordinated first 12 minutes. Hofstra's 3-2 zone defense forced the Eagles to shoot wildly.
Hofstra led by as many as eight points, an edge the Flying Dutchmen could take pride in considering their leading scorers, guards Henry Hollingsworth and Brian Appel, were sidelined with the flu.
AU broke the game open midway in the second half, building up a 15-point edge, thanks to Lamb and rebounding by forward Russell (Boo) Bowers and center Howard Lassoff.
Bowers had 12 rebounds and 12 points, Lassoff 13 rebounds and 11 points. Guard Hark Garlitos was the only other player in double figures, scoring 11.