WASHINGTON, D.C. – The VMI basketball team fought its way to contention the entire contest but ultimately fell to host American University by a 69-61 score Tuesday night at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C.
The Keydets (5-7, 0-0) stayed with the Eagles (8-2, 0-0) throughout but allowed American to build a 14-point advantage early in the second half that proved insurmountable. The Keydets trailed by just six at the break by a 35-29 count.
VMI tallied 30 points in the paint to American’s 18 and logged 11 points off turnovers to the Eagles’ eight, but depth became an issue as American tallied 19 points off the bench to VMI’s zero.
A strong team from beyond the arc, VMI also struggled from three-point range as the Keydets hit just four of 17 (.235) while the Eagles connected 14 times out of 34 attempts (.412).
*Asher Woods’ seven rebounds ties a career high
*Tony Felder, Jr. came one point shy of his career best (scored 21 tonight)
*Sean Conway’s three steals ties a season high
*Short on reserves, 100 percent of VMI’s point total came from the starting lineup
*Matt Rogers led American with 20 points on the night while Lorenzo Donadio put in 14
Coach Wilson Postgame
“Credit to American - they are really good. We didn’t play our best tonight and they had something to do with it. I thought they had a great game plan; they were very worried about us shooting the three and they did a great job of forcing us into something else.
“I was proud of our guys - we fought until the end. Our young team is growing right now and in the maturation process. We are going to get the point that we will be able to win games like this against high-level teams when we don’t shoot well from three.”
VMI will play the second of a three-game road swing next week after the completion of final exams. The Keydets next take on Fordham University on Thursday, Dec. 22, at noon in the Bronx, New York.