Just when most of American University thought star forward Boo Bowers had gone into a sophomore slump, he led the Eagles to Coach Gary Williams' first collegiate victory last night.

Bowers scored 15 of his 22 points in he second half and AU stopped outmanned but pesky Catholic, 83-68, at Brookland Gym.

However, the victory was not a time for postgame celebrations because starting AU center Bob (Piper) Harvey collapsed in the locker room and was taken to Georgetown University Hospital.

Dr. Mark Stern, who examined Harvey, said he had suffered a concussion and would be kept overnight for observation. His condition was listed as stable or good." Stern said Harvey should be able to play basketball within a week.

Harvey, a transfer from La Salle playing his first season for the Eagles, was injured when he hit the floor after taking a charge by Catholic guard Tom Green with five seconds left in the game.

The impact of the collision sent Harvey down, the back of his head hitting the floor. After a couple of minutes, Harvey was able to walk to the bench. He then walked to the locker room holding an ice pack to the back of his head. He collapsed there, vomiting and having trouble breathing.

American's quickness and CU's inability to get consistent play out of point guard Donnie Farrell practically guaranteed AU's first victory in four games.But Bowers made it a lot easier.

Catholic trailed by 15 points early in the second half, but had closed to 58-50 when Bowers came off the bench with eight minutes left. He hit a 10-foot jumper from his left baseline, then a 10-footer from the baseline on the other side.

Next, with CU overplaying him, he passed the ball to wide open center Tom Pfotzer for a layup, then followed with a perfect bounce pass to Stan Lamb for a layup off a fast break. When Lamb stole a pass and drove the length of the court for a dunk, the Eagles had scored on five straight possessions for a 68-52 lead with six minutes to play.

Actually Bowers, leading vote getter as a freshman on last season's All-Metropolitan college team, has played reasonably well this season, except for a lackluster performance against Navy on Tuesday night at Capital Centre.

In that game, Bowers scored only two points in the first 31 minutes and seemed to have lost his court presence. Last night he had a sorry first half -- three fouls, three turnovers and seven points -- before he got started.

"Remember, he's a sophomore," said Williams. "I watched tapes of last year's games and he had some in which he couldn't get it going. But he was super down the stretch. This is his second year out of high school. There's a lot of pressure on him, what with him making Playboy's top 50.

"I look at some of the other famous sophomores and see they haven't done more than Boo this season."

Williams said he expected the victory would give his players as well as himself confidence.

"I wanted to get the first one," said the former Maryland point guard and assistant coach at Lafayette and Boston College. "Our players need the confidence. I need the confidence. It's tough to tell people you played well and you're 0-3. That's the record, that's what they look at."

AU lost to St. John's, Alabama and Navy.