WILLIAMSBURG, FEB. 13 -- American University won its second consecutive game, beating William and Mary, 75-70, tonight in a Colonial Athletic Association game at William and Mary Hall.

The win marks a turnaround for the Eagles (11-12, 6-6), who had lost seven of their last eight games before stopping Navy in overtime Monday. The Tribe dropped to 11-13, 4-7.

Defense in the game's last two minutes was the difference. With the exception of a 10-footer with 1:45 left, the Tribe's leading scorer, Thomas Roberts (21 points), hardly touched the ball, nor did his frontcourt partner Scott Smith (20 points).

American Coach Chris Knoche was especially pleased with the play of sophomore Brian Gilgeous, who guarded Roberts and scored a team-high 19 points.

"The key was defensive intensity," Knoche said. "Brain Gilgeous did a great job not letting {Roberts} touch the ball in the last two minutes. The best players in the league have struggled against {Gilgeous}. The guy is a warrior and great player."

The Eagles took the lead for good with 2:25 left when Brock Wortman (11 points) caught a Gilgeous air ball and laid it in for a 68-66 lead. Donald Grant scored on a layin to increase the lead to four with 2:05 left.

With the exception of Robert's field goal, the Tribe didn't make a shot from the field the rest of way. With 30 seconds left the Tribe could have narrowed the margin to 73-71, but Scott Smith missed a three-pointer and the Tribe could not convert on two layups.

"It's frustrating to see the effort and not the execution," William and Mary Coach Chuck Swenson said. "It was effort without intelligence."

American reserves played a key part as well. Grant came in early in the first half, played 23 minutes and scored 12 points. Erick Grace had 11 points.

"We had good play off the bench," Knoche said "That's what keyed our first-half run and carried it off from there."

The Tribe took a 6-0 lead to start the game on tough inside play by Smith and American's poor shooting. William and Mary held the lead for most of the first half, but never had a lead of more than eight points.

The Eagles took the lead for the first time with 3:15 left in the half when Chris Rooney, who was in for Wortman, scored on a drive inside. Grant had seven first-half points, including an important three-pointer that brought the Eagles within two points with 11 minutes left in the half. Grace also provided two key inside baskets. By halftime, the Eagles were up, 36-32.