BOSTON (AP) -- Tony Wroblicky had 15 points, down eight rebounds and two blocks to help American University beat top-seeded Boston University 55-36 on Wednesday night in the Patriot League championship game, sending the Eagles to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years.
Darius Gardner scored 18 points and had four assists for American, which never trailed while claiming its first conference title since winning back-to-back Patriot League championships in 2008 and 2009 for the first two NCAA tournament appearances in school history.
The Eagles (20-12) closed on a 9-2 run, then celebrated together in a team huddle before being overcome by the American fans who traveled for the game and swarmed the players.
They had reason to celebrate.
First-year coach Mike Brennan guided the Eagles, 10-20 last season, to the No. 2-seed in the conference tournament and they won it with strong shooting and defense.
Maurice Watson Jr. led BU (24-10) with 11 points and five rebounds. Dom Morris added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Terriers, who went 6 for 25 from the floor in the first half and never recovered.
American made 19 of 34 shots, going 56 percent from the floor, and forced the Terriers into difficult shots all night and several long scoring droughts.
The Eagles also outrebounded the Terriers 31-25, collecting many of them late as BU forced shots while frantically attempting to rally but never coming close.
American used an 8-0 run to pull away midway through the first half and led 24-16 at halftime. Gardner hit a 3-pointer for the Eagles with 12 seconds left after the Terriers had pulled within 21-16 on two foul shots by Dom Morris with 1:21 remaining.
Gardner scored the last eight points of the half as led the Eagles with 12 points, going 5-for-6 from the floor. The next closest American player had four. The Eagles made 10 of 18 attempts and were 4-for-6 from 3-point range.