American University ran into an unexpectedly tough Randolph-Macon team at Fort Myer last night, but came away with a 61-56 victory.
American Coach Ed Tapscott was displeased both with his team and himself.
"I've never been that angry before" Tapscott said. "The first half was the most unintelligent half I've ever seen by an AU team. (The Yellow Jackets led by seven points at intermission.) I don't know why we didn't play well. I guess you have to blame it on the coaching. We probably didn't deserve to win."
AU (5-2) fell behind by 10, 41-31, two minutes into the second half on Bryan Vacca's 22-foot jumper. Then, the Eagles finally awakened. Juan Jones made a five-footer and Fernando Aunon fed Mark Nickens for a layup before making a five-footer himself to cut the lead to 41-37.
Sophomore Jim Lutz drove for a layup and made a free throw for the three-point play. Nickens stole the in-bounds pass and scored to give the Eagles their first lead of the night, 42-41, with 13:35 left. Jones scored six of AU's next eight points, the last basket on a 12-foot turnaround to keep the Eagles on top, 50-46.
American went to a slowdown with 2:25 to play, and the Yellow Jackets (5-2) surprisingly didn't foul to get the ball back. "We meant to foul," Randolph Macon Coach Hal Nunnally said. "We just never established our offense in the second half."
Jones led AU with a career high 26 points; Vacca, a senior from Mount Hebron High, paced the Yellow Jackets with 21 points.