American's Late Trey Helps Edge Retrievers, 73-69; Curran Scores Season High 20 Points

photo by: Gail Burton
photo by: Gail Burton

BALTIMORE – American sophomore forward Sam Iorio's trey with 1.8 seconds remaining broke a 69-all tie and propelled the visiting Eagles to a 73-69 victory over UMBC at the UMBC Event Center.

The Eagles improved to 3-1, while UMBC slipped to 4-3.

UMBC junior forward Max Curran four Retrievers in double figures with a season-high 20 points.

The Retrievers led by as many as ten points in the second half, but American converted 16 of their final 24 shots from the floor, including five consecutive treys, to spearhead the rally.

With the Retrievers trailing, 68-65, Curran blocked a shot with 23 seconds left, leading to sophomore forward Brandon Horvath's (West River, Md./Southern) dunk four seconds later. After AU's Mark Gasperini hit one of two free throws, Curran slipped inside the defense for a game-tying layup with just under 10 seconds remaining.

American did not call time-out, and, as UMBC swarmed Eagle star guard Sa'eed Nelson on the left wing, he found Iorio trailing the play and the second-year player buried a trey from the top of the key.

After a time-out a UMBC half-court pass went out of bounds, and Nelson hit one of two free throws to seal the victory.

Nelson led American with 18 points.

Horvath contributed 14 points and 8 caroms for the Retrievers, while junior forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) and graduate student forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) added 12 and 11 respectively.

UMBC built a 20-11 first half lead, but a 15-4 response by American knotted the game at 25-all with 3:11 remaining in the frame. The Retrievers scored the final five points of the half to take a 32-27 lead at the break, then started the half on an 8-3 surge to lead 40-30 with 16:39 remaining.

But the Eagles produced the game's most critical run – a 19-7 surge – and took their first lead at 49-47 on a Nelson trey with 11:26 remaining. After two ties and two lead changes, the Eagles would never trail in the final 6:29 of the contest.

American finished the game at 50 percent (27-of-54) from the floor and 13-of-30 (43.4 percent) from long range. The Retrievers were just above the 40 percent mark (23-of-57, 9-of-22) on shooting from the floor.

UMBC returns to action when they travel to face Northern Kentucky on Friday, Nov. 30.