American University pulled away from a 50-50 tie by outscoring Drexel 18-4, and went on to defeat the Dragons, 83-78, in an East Coast Conference game today.

The victory improves AU's league record to 5-4 with home games Thursday against league-leader St. Joseph's and Saturday against Temple.A win in either game would give AU a homecourt advantage for a first-roung playoff game.

American's Boo Bowes broke his single-season field-goal record and finished with a game-high 28 points. Bowers set a record of 249 field goals last year and has 252 this year.

With the score tied at 50 with 15 minutes remaining, AU began its spurt, with Bowers and Leon Kearney scoring six points apiece.

Then it was Drexel's turn for a big push. The dragons scored 12 unanswered points, six by Len Hatzenbeller, to pull to 73-72 with 2 1/2 minutes left.

American (13-11) then pulled out of danger by making eight foul shots in the closing minutes, four by Bowers and two each by Chris Dye and Robin Hoey.

Kearney held Drexel's Dave Broadus to 13 points, seven below his average.

Drexel is 11-13 and 4-7.