Making it count. After flunking as a minor league baseball pitcher, American senior Stephen Lumpkins appears motivated to make his final basketball season memorable. He scored a game-high 21 points on Wednesday, hitting 7 of 8 shots, and pulled down 11 rebounds, leading AU to a 34-19 edge on the boards. The 6-8 left-hander also had four steals in his first game at AU in 20 months. “I was really excited — Bender, we had a good crowd tonight, I forgot how fun of an atmosphere it was,” Lumpkins said. “I’m older, more mature now. Being away kind of helped me see things better now when I’m on the court. It’s more like attention to the little things.”
Munoz saves the day. American senior point guard Daniel Munoz was losing the battle against the trapping pressure defense of Mount St. Mary’s, committing a career-high eight turnovers. But there was little doubt who AU coach Jeff Jones wanted at the free throw line to decide the game. Making two free throws with 13 seconds left, Munoz gave the Eagles the lead. He then made a steal and hit two more from the stripe to wrap it up. “We knew their style of play and what it was going to be like,” Munoz said. “I didn’t do the best job I could. That last minute I just had to stay confident.”
Pressure Sensitive? With little quickness in the backcourt, American’s susceptibility to pressure could be an ongoing issue. AU committed 23 turnovers on Wednesday. In addition to the eight turnovers by Munoz, starting guard Austin Carroll had five in 14 minutes.
The Sniper. There’s little doubt about the role of 6-6 senior Mike Bersch. He has attempted 123 field goals in his career, 100 of them from beyond the arc. On Wednesday he hit a career-high five 3-pointers in seven attempts. AU had trouble with the trap of the Mount, but when the AU guards beat it, Bersch was often open with his feet set, camped out for a catch-and-shoot 3.
Road Warriors. After a game Monday night at home against San Francisco (1-1), AU (2-1) will play seven of its last nine this calendar year on the road, including local tests Howard (Dec. 4) and UMBC (Dec. 6) followed by tough games at Georgetown (Dec. 22) and Kansas (Dec. 29) on back-to-back Saturdays.