Eric White snapped out of a 22-minute scoring drought by scoring four points in overtime, including the game-winning basket on a turnaround jump shot with four seconds left, as American defeated Delaware, 79-78, last night before 420 at Fort Myer.
The Eagles had hoped to spring guard Frank Ross, who scored a career-high 34 points, for the final shot. But when Ross was unable to get free of his defender, White became the prime target.
Posting up low on the right side of the key, White took a bounce pass from Henry Hopkins off an inbounds play, turned, and banked in the shot that raised American's record to 7-5.
Delaware, which forced the overtime on a 25-foot jumper by Taurence Chisholm with three seconds left in regulation, had no chance for a shot after White's and fell to 7-4. The Blue Hens remained winless at Fort Myer in six tries.
"I thought if we executed, we had a chance to win," said Coach Ed Tapscott, whose Eagles won their second straight after losing five in a row. "Eric was our second option on the final play, but I thought we got the ball to the right guy. He has good hands."
Although thankful for the win, Tapscott was frustrated by his team's inability to put the Blue Hens away earlier.
"I thought a couple of times we could have taken control," said Tapscott. "But I credit Delaware. We expected a tough game."
After a dismal first half in which he scored just five points, Ross was simply spectacular after intermission. The 6-foot-2 junior scored 25 points in the second half, including 18 of American's 22 during one eight-minute stretch, and added a pair of jumpers in the overtime.
"Frank was rushing it in the first half," said Tapscott. "I told him to relax and just let the offense create opportunities for him."
John Weber's 18 points were high for Delaware, which played a large role in its own defeat. The Blue Hens turned the ball over 18 times, shot just 40 percent (13 of 32) from the field in the first half and twice drew technicals.
In addition, leading scorer Oscar Jones (17.9 average) spent most of the second half on the bench in foul trouble. He ended with 14 points. Catholic 92, Washington Coll. 91: Rob McCarry scored 32 points to lead the Cardinals to a home success in overtime. McCarry, averaging 23.3 points per game, made 11 of 15 field goal attempts and 10 of 12 free throws.