- The Washington Times - Monday, March 4, 2002

Opponents might sometimes lose sight of American guard Glenn Stokes on the floor. And for the first 37 minutes of yesterday's Patriot League semifinal against Lafayette, the 5-foot-7 Stokes was lost, too, mired in a 1-for-11 shooting slump.
But in a 42-second span late in the second half, Stokes broke a tie by drilling two 3-pointers, the last coming with 2:06 to play, helping American to a 66-58 defeat of Lafayette. The Eagles advanced to the league championship game Friday, when they will play Holy Cross at 4:30 p.m. at Bender Arena.
Stokes helped win it, but the Eagles would not have been in that position without Patriot League player of the year Patrick Doctor. Doctor backed up his award by scoring a career-high 33 points and adding a career-high tying 14 rebounds in a thoroughly dominating performance. Doctor made 15 of 17 free throw attempts, both also career highs.
"It feels great I'm so happy to be in this position," Doctor said of the tournament final. "We have an opportunity to do something [go to the NCAAs] the school has never done before."
Doctor, whom the other Eagles nicknamed "Rocky" because of his puffy left eye (he sustained a corneal abrasion and a cut on the eyebrow Saturday), had his masterful game while wearing a pair of Oakley sunglasses that he bought yesterday morning. Doctor needed the eyewear because the abrasion made his eye sensitive to light; after a search for goggles proved fruitless, Doctor went with a pair of Oakleys.
The eye issues hardly had an effect on Doctor, who proved nearly unstoppable once he got the ball on the low block. He didn't match his previous outing against the Leopards, when he went 10-for-10 from the floor, but he was almost as dominant, finishing 9-for-12 from the field.
"Most of his shots came from two feet away from the hoop," flustered Lafayette forward Mike Farrell said. "You don't need perfect vision for that."
The Leopards pulled out the teams' two regular season meetings in tightly contested affairs, but the Eagles would not be denied yesterday. If the scoreboard didn't fully indicate American's mastery of Lafayette, the rebound totals the Eagles manhandled Lafayette 46-24 backed it up. The disparity was as much a reflection of American's size as it was hustle, namely by Steven Miles (nine rebounds) and Stokes (nine).


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