- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

Led by 24 points from senior Garrison Carr, American defeated Holy Cross 73-57 on Friday at Bender Arena to win the Patriot League championship and clinch its second straight NCAA tournament bid.

The Eagles never trailed after the opening eight minutes and led by as many as 20 points in the second half before Holy Cross tried to rally. AU’s second-half lead, though, never dipped into single digits.

AU, which lost to Tennessee in the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament, will learn its seed and opponent Sunday evening.

Derrick Mercer added 13 points for the Eagles. Carr became AU’s all-time 3-pointer leader (296) by going 6-for-8 from long range.

Leading by 10 at halftime, AU scored on seven straight possessions to extend its lead to 45-25 with 15:12 remaining. The Crusaders chipped away as the Eagles went into a tailspin, going nearly four minutes without a point while their advantage was cut to 47-34. But after Brian Gilmore’s three-point play with 9:58 remaining, AU led by 17.

AU led 28-18 at halftime as Holy Cross struggled to get anything going offensively. The Crusaders missed 18 of their first 22 shots and, in one stretch, committed three offensive fouls in four possessions.

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