Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Darius Gardner supplied 18 points, Tony Wroblicky scored 15, and American University punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a 55-36 triumph over Boston University in the title game of the Patriot League Tournament on Wednesday at Agganis Arena.
The second-seeded Eagles stifled the top-seeded Terriers, holding Boston to just 30.8 percent shooting from the field, including a woeful 1-of-17 effort from 3-point range, en route to claiming their first tourney crown since winning back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.
American (20-12), which advanced to the Patriot League title tilt for the fifth time in program history, shot a scorching 55.9 percent from the floor.
Maurice Watson, Jr. scored 11 points and handed out five assists, but turned the ball over seven times for BU (24-10), which went 15-3 in conference play during its first season in the Patriot League this year.
Despite shooting a dreadful 24 percent from the floor in the first half, Boston U. trailed by just six, 26-20, early in the second following consecutive jumpers from John Papale.
With the margin at seven shortly after, Jesse Reed registered back-to-back buckets to spark a 7-2 swing from the Eagles that Gardner capped with a jumper for a 38-26 lead with 8:23 to play.
Boston failed to trim the margin to single digits from there, going nearly four minutes without a field goal down the stretch to allow American to run away with the victory.
The Terriers had a longer field goal drought early in the game, going seven- plus minutes without a make as the Eagles turned a one-point lead into a 16-7 spread with 8:11 left in the half.
BU answered with five straight to get within four, but Gardner closed the frame on a personal 8-4 swing to send American into the break with a 24-16 advantage.
BU's previous lowest point total this season was 53 in a 10-point home loss against Bucknell on Feb. 23 ... Both teams scored 26 points in the paint ... BU had 10 turnovers as a team, while American turned the ball over 17 times ... Boston's Dom Morris had 10 points and eight rebounds ... American won the rebounding battle, 31-25.