With the graduation of two of its top three scorers, the American University men's basketball team was left to wonder at the start of the season where it would get its points. If yesterday was any indication, the answer is everywhere.
The Eagles placed all five starters in double figures in beating Lehigh, 82-69, in a physical game at Bender Arena. The win was the second in as many games for the Eagles, who extended their home win streak to 15 games.
"I don't think I necessarily strive to have five guys in double figures, but it's nice," said American Coach Chris Knoche. "All five played well at times. Unfortunately, right now, our games are like our practices. They tend to go up and down."
Senior guard Brock Wortman led the Eagles with 24 points; backcourt mate Chris Rooney and forward Brian Gilgeous each added 15.
None of those figures surprised Lehigh Coach David Duke. Instead, it was the contributions of center Sean Stevens (10 points) and forward Craig Sedmak (12 points, 11 rebounds), who took pressure off the backcourt and helped the Eagles to a 44-31 rebounding edge.
"The two inside guys, I didn't think they would get double figures," Duke said. "If they do that, they're going to be a real good team."
The Engineers (2-2) led by five points in the first half, but Wortman -- who didn't score in the team's season-opening win over UDC -- led the Eagles back by scoring 10 points in just over three minutes. His two free throws with 2:21 left in the half gave American a 33-32 lead, and Lehigh never led again.
"The guys on the team have been calling me 'Doughnut' all week," said Wortman, who became the school's all-time three-point leader when he hit his 87th in the second half. "It gave me something to think about."
The physical nature of the game led to some minor skirmishes, and the officiating got to the Engineers, who drew three technical fouls. Overall, there were 47 fouls called and 69 free throws.
The Eagles home win streak faces a serious challenge Monday night, when Old Dominion comes to Bender for a 7:30 game.