WASHINGTON -- Jesse Reed scored 18 points and American University advanced to the Patriot League championship game, coming from behind to beat Holy Cross 57-46 Saturday afternoon.
Darius Gardner and Kyle Kager added 10 points apiece for the second-seeded Eagles (19-12), who will play at No. 1 seed Boston University Wednesday. The Terriers (24-9) advanced to the title game earlier Saturday with a 91-70 win over Army.American trailed 39-29 with 16 minutes remaining, but got a spark from Charlie Jones (five points, four rebounds) off the bench and finished the game on a 28-7 run. Jones' offensive rebound led to a 3-pointer by Reed that gave the Eagles a 43-41 lead with 7:43 left.John Schoof made a 3-pointer and Tony Wroblicky added a driving layup to give American a 49-41 cushion with 3:17 remaining.Dave Dudzinski had 22 points for the third-seeded Crusaders (19-13), who shot 28 percent and committed nine turnovers in the second half.The first half was a tale of runs. Gardner scored eight consecutive points to cap off a 10-0 American run that gave the Eagles a 16-7 lead. With American ahead 18-10, Dudzinski and Malcolm Miller (10 points) combined to score 12 straight points to give the Crusaders for a four-point advantage.Holy Cross led 28-22 at halftime, with Dudzinski (15 points) and Miller (seven) matching American's output.Anthony Thompson (10 points) scored eight of Holy Cross' first 12 points in the second half to boost the Crusaders' advantage to a game-high 10, but that's when American's Jones entered the game and the Eagles went to a 2/3 zone. Holy Cross became flustered, going scoreless for nearly 7 minutes.Holy Cross missed 17 of its last 20 shot attempts and committed nine of its 12 turnovers in the second half. American scored 20 points off Holy Cross miscues.Wroblicky scored nine points and added seven assists for the Eagles, who return to the title game for the first time since 2009 when they won their second of consecutive tournament championships.