It’s been a long time since there was a basketball game this big in Alumni Hall. Navy plays American tonight, with the winner getting the top sopt in the conference. A win clinches the regular-season Patriot League title for the Eagles (17-10, 9-3), while a win for Navy (15-12, 8-4) would pull them into a first-place tie. The Mids would own the tiebreaker with American, though, thanks to a 77-66 win at Bender Arena a month ago. AU hasn’t lost since that game, having rolled off 6 wins in a row.
The story within the story is the showdown between the two top candidates for Patriot League POY honors: Greg Sprink and American’s Garrison Carr. Sprink leads the Patriot League in scoring (20.9 ppg), is second in rebounding (6.4), and 10th in steals per game (1.3). Carr is third in scoring with 18.3 ppg and shoots 44.6% from beyond the arc, leading AU to places that few thought it would reach this season. This head-to-head matchup was the key in the first game. Carr was held to 11 points on 3-14 shooting, while Greg Sprink went nuts, scoring 36 and grabbing 4 steals. The Eagles got solid games from forwards Travis Lay and Brian Gilmore, but couldn’t match that performace in the backcourt. Jeff Jones said that his team put forth their “worst performance of the season” in that game. We’ll see if the Mids get AU’s best shot tonight.
|RPI Top 50||0-3||0-2|
|Points Per Game||64.6||76.2|
|Rebounds Per Game||35.7||40.4|
|Field Goal Percentage||0.438||0.412|
|3pt Field Goals Made||213||254|
|3pt Field Goals Attempted||531||709|
|3pt Field Goal Percentage||0.401||0.358|
|Free Throw Percentage||0.745||0.749|
|Assists Per Game||11.6||13.9|
|Steals Per Game||4.4||9.2|
|Turnovers Per Game||13.5||16.7|