Outhustled and outrebounded by one of the few teams to start a smaller lineup, American University got past NCAA Division III Washington (Md.) College, 84-61, lastnight at Fort Myer.

It was the Eagles' seventh straight victory after two losses at the start of the season.

AU, with no starter over 6 feet 6, lost the battle of the boards, 43-35. The tallest Shoremen stands 6-5. But in a gym so cold players could almost see their breaths, the Shoremen played as if they could hardly see the basket, shooting 34 percent compared with 58 percent for the Eagles.

Boo Bowers had an off night for AU, making six of 17 shots and finishing with 18 points, nine under his average. But guards Robin Hoey (20 points on 10 for 14 shooting from the field) and Ed Sloane (15 points on six for nine) picked up the slack.

"I think tonight I was shooting a little too far out," Bowers said. "I didn't play as smart as I should. I think I could have penetrated more and dished off or taken the easy shot."

Both teams showed the effects of long vacations. The Eagles went 11 days without playing and the Shoremen a month.

The Eagles looked ready at the start, but the Shoremen closed the gap to two, 24-22, with 8:45 left in the first half.

But the Shoremen never got closer than two, turning the ball over six times in the next five minutes as AU built a 37-25 lead with 3:14 remaining in the half. The Eagles led, 43-31, at intermission and the Shoremen's continued poor shooting in the second half put them deeper in the hole.