Midway through the first half of last night's Gettysburg-American basketball game, an Eagles player could be heard encouraging his defense to hold Gettysburg to fewer than 10 points.

The game was almost 13 minutes old before the outmanned Division III Bullets reached 10 points, and by that time American was well on its way to an easy win. Five players finished in double figures as the Eagles ran past Gettysburg, 99-71, before 1,013 at Bender Arena.

In rolling up its highest point total of the season and most points since beating Gettysburg, 116-79, last year, the Eagles improved to 9-12. Mike Sampson made seven of eight field goal attempts and had 15 points to lead the balanced attack. Mike Sumner and Dale Spears each scored 14 points, Clarence Ingram had 12 and Tom Scherer 10.

Craig Broderdorp contributed nine points and Fred Tillman had eight assists.

Although the Eagles didn't play with 40 minutes of intensity, the one-sided effort was probably a good shot in the arm for American, which plays at Richmond Wednesday night.

"The guys should be confident. We needed one where everyone could get some playing time, score some points," American Coach Ed Tapscott said. "We wanted to see if we could play good man to man, and we did that. We wanted to see if we could punch it inside, and we did that. We wanted to see if we could stop their outside shooters with our zone, and we didn't do that. That gives us something to work on tomorrow."

Gettysburg, which lost its seventh straight and fell to 5-15, was tied with the Eagles at the 18-minute mark before faltering. Forcing six turnovers and grabbing six rebounds following Bullets misses, the Eagles ran off 17 straight points to rush in front, 21-4, with 13:15 to play in the half.

Sampson opened and finished the spurt with two nice inside moves for baskets. In between, Sampson had a three-pointer, another driving layup and two assists.

Former St. John's guard Scott Lamond made six three-point shots and had 22 points for Gettysburg.