Mike Abner scored 21 points and Russell (Boo) Bowers added 14 as American University easily handed William and Mary, 61-45, last night at Fort Myer.
The Eagles' victory in their final regular-season home game improved their record to 13-10 and assured the team of a.500 regular season. William and Mary dropped its 11th straight road game and fell to 8-13 for the season.
"After they got behind, they had to take some shots they weren't used to taking," said AU Coach Gary Williams. "They did a good job of collapsing on Bowers, but that gave us some open shots and Mike has the confidence that he can stick it."
The Eagles had a 26-22 halftime lead as Abner, starting his second game in place of Stan Lamb, who became academically ineligible, and roommate Bowers each blocked two shots and contributed eight points. Their intimidation and AU's aggressive 3-2 zone forced the normally patient Indians
Although the taller Indians got off 31 shots before intermission, they made only 10. The Eagles were more accurate, and sank 12 of their 20 shots by working the ball inside for layups and short jumpers.
William and Mary, behind three field goals by Billy Harrington, trailed, 41-35, with 7:50 to play. Then the Indians went cold, missing their next 10 shots and were shut out for five minutes. Bowers, who scored fewer than 20 points for only the third time this season, consistently leaped above the man guarding him and passed to Abner and 6-foot-7 center Bob Harvey for easy for easy lay-ins during the William and Mary dry spell.
AU scored 14 unanswered points and has a 55-35 advantage with 2:38 left.
The Indians began forcing their shots, sending up several air balls in the final two minutes.
William and Mary shot only 29 percent for the game while AU shot 52 percent. Each team had 38 rebounds.