Johnny O’Neil scored 16 points and Jaxon Knotek added 12 of his 14 points in the second half as visiting American rallied to upset neighborhood rival Georgetown, 74-70, on Wednesday afternoon in Washington, D.C.
Geoff Sprouse scored 15 points and Jermaine Ballisager Webb added nine points and seven rebounds as the Eagles (3-2) rallied from a 16-point deficit in the first half to snap an 11-game losing streak against the Hoyas (3-3).
It was American’s first win in the series since 1982 when it shocked the then-No. 5 Hoyas, a team that featured current Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing.
Georgetown was led Wednesday by Primo Spears’ 15 points and six assists. Akok Akok added 14 points and six rebounds while Jay Heath chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.
After trailing 33-17 midway through the first half, American chipped away at the deficit and eventually caught Georgetown midway through the second half.
An eight-point run by the Eagles, which included a 3-pointer by Sprouse transformed a 55-53 disadvantage into a 61-55 lead with 7:27 left. From there American led the rest of the way.
Georgetown pulled to within two points as Heath made a corner 3 with 2:25 to go. But a minute later, Knotek hit a driving floater in the lane to put the Eagles up 68-64.
In the final minute, Matt Rogers hit a hook shot in the lane. And in the final 19 seconds, Sprouse made 4 of 4 free throws to sew it up.
Elijah Stephens contributed nine points, five steals and four assists as American earned its third straight win. The Eagles hit 51.8 percent of their shots from the floor, while the Hoyas shot 38.1 percent.
American did it without top scorer Colin Smalls, who was out with an injury, while Georgetown was without Brandon Murray, who averages 15.4 points and a team-high 4.4 assists.
Eight minutes into the game, O’Neil gave American its lone lead of the first half, 11-10, with a transition slam.
But Georgetown followed with a 19-2 spree which was fueled by the Hoyas’ bench. Reserve Ryan Mutombo started the run with back-to-back baskets and finished it with a putback. Wayne Bristol made a 3-pointer and a layup during the run, helping the Hoyas to a 29-13 lead.
Georgetown led 40-30 at halftime.
–Field Level Media