A sparse crowd on had for the tip of the first game at the Bucknell pod.
Under Patriot League ticket policies, each school is guaranteed a block of 500 tickets. But Most of the three visiting teams did not take their full allotment, and even then, about 300 total were returned unsold.
Included in the crowd, the infamous Matt B., who made the trek from Washington to watch his beloved AU Eagles in the first game of tonight's twinbill. Matt asks that we let everyone know he is not dead or in jail.
At tip off Matt was one of about 300 fans in Sojka. Also in that crowd, about a half-dozen AU Blue Shirts. Not a big bunch, to be sure, but far better than the Lafayette Zoo Crew. Not a single black Zoo Crew shirt is in sight.
AU 9, Laf 2 (17:29 first) Brayden Billbe's second bucket brings a quick timeout from Fran O'Hanlon as his team falls behind 9-2 early.
AU 11, Laf 7 (15:12 first) AU has hit 5 of its first 6 shots, the only miss a three by Andre Ingram, who is 1-2 at the arc.
Lafayette 3 for 7 in the early going.
Pat Betley (Laf) leads all scorers with 5 on 2 for 2 shooting.
AU 18, Laf 9 (12:39 first) Lafayette has to shoot well to win and so far they are not. Leopards 4-11 from the field.
AU now 8-11. Ingram with 5 leads American.
AU 26, Laf 15 (7:50 first) Andrei Capusan, Lafayette's best player, has spent a lot of time on the bench already. Capusan started, but came out before the first timeout, which came at the 17:56 mark. He reentered, picked up a personal, and went back to the bench.
Capusan returned at the 11:41 mark, but thus far has only 1 rebound and 1 foul by his name in the box score. Capusan is 0-2 from the field.
He is not the only Lafayette player struggling to find his shot. The Leopards are 6 for 19, 31.6 percent from the field so far.
AU 37, Laf 29 (1:48 first) Back to back threes by Cummins brings a quick timeout by Jeff Jones as Lafayette cuts the lead to single digits for the first time since it was 20-12 with about 12 minutes to go. Cummins now with 11 points, including 3-3 on treys.
AU 41, Laf 34 (Halftime) Fran O'Hanlon has to be happy to be within 7 given how poorly the leopards shot most of the half. AU led by double digits much of the first half, but a trey by Abdullah at the buzzer cuts AU's lead to 7 at the break.
American is 17 for 24 from the field (70.8 percent), 15 of 17 inside the arc, yet only has a single digit lead.
Abdullah and Cummins with three treys each for Lafayette. Cummins with 11 total points, Abdullah 9. The Pards shot 12 for 29 (41.4 percent) in the first half.
For AU, Andre Ingram's 9 leads the way. Billbe with 8.
American with a 16-12 edge on the boards.
AU 47, Laf 40 (14:43 second) Foul troubles for Lafayette: Andrew Brown picked up his third at the 18 minute mark. Capusan had three in the first half.
Seen wondering the halls of Sojka at the half -- Rich Giallella, who apparently will be one of the officials working the Bucknell-Army game. Giallella was having a tough time finding the right locker room. Imagine that, Giallella looking lost.
AU 53, Laf 45 (11:42 second) These two continue trading baskets. Capusan has come on offensively in the second half. He now has 12 points for Lafayette.
That might have helped Lafayette close the gap, but at the other end, Paulius Joneliunas has also come on. He is also in double figures with 10.
AU 64, Laf 46 (9:25 left) Back to back threes for Garrison Carr stretch AU's lead to 18, its largest of the game.
American is still shooting 70 percent (26-37). They are 5-11 from the arc.
Linas Lekavicius now also in double figures for AU with 11.
AU 64, Laf 48 (7:35 left) AU has missed four straight shots, including a layup, dropping their field goal percentage to 65 percent.
The PL tournament record is 61.2 percent from the field, by Colgate against Army in 1997.
AU 68, Laf 51 (4:29 left) Getting sloppy in Sojka. The only thing still in suspense is that field goal percentage record. AU down to 63.4 percent.
AU 71, Laf 60 (3:04 left) With over three minutes to go, Lafayette is pressing and fouling intentionally.
If they continue, AU's FG percentage might hold up. It is down to 61.9, but if they don't shoot more field goals, they will break that Colgate record.
AU 75, Laf 62 (FINAL) No record for AU. Bunches of misses down the stretch dropped the Eagles to 58.7 percent from the field.
Lekavicius leads all scorers with 18 points on 6 for 7 shooting. Ingram (11) and Billbe (10) also in double figures.
Cummins (16) and Capusan (14) in doubles for Lafayette.
Lafayette finishes 23-57 (40.4 percent) from the field,