Ed Sloane scored a career-high 27 points and Gordon Austin had a perfect shooting night to pace American University to an 87-68 victory over Hofstra last night at Fort Myer in an East Coast Conference game.
Austin finished with 19 points on six of six field goal from the floor and seven of seven from the free-throw line. He also contributed a game-high 10 assists.
It was the eighth straight victory and 10th in the last 11 games for the Eagles, 13-5 overall and 7-1 in the ECC. AU moved into second place in the conference, one game behind Temple.
AU Coach Gary Williams' only concern was center Juan Jones, who had to leave the game midway through the first half after being hit in the face during a scramble for a loose ball. Jones was believed to have suffered an injury to his cheek-bone, and was treated at Arlington Hospital and released.
"I was pleased that we played so well after losing Juan because he is our best inside player," Williams said. "We needed him to help contain David Taylor who presented a threat to us inside."
Taylor, Hofstra's 6-foot-8 center, scored 13 points in the first half, but was among three Flying Dutchmen starters who fouled out with five minutes left to play.
The Eagles had little difficulty gaining control during the first 20 minutes. They had a 39-28 advantage at intermission.
Hofstra was stymied by the AU press, which produced 11 first-half turnovers, and by Sloane, who had 15 points that half.
The Flying Dutchmen's three-quarter-court press and half-court zone were ineffective as AU made 61 percent of its first-half shots.
"They were in that zone and after I hit a couple of shots early I kind of felt it," said Sloane, who scored AU's first seven points."They seemed to be more concerned about our inside game and they weren't coming out on me."
AU, running at every opportunity, opened a 60-44 advantage with 8:37 left to play.