Aurora tops Edgewood in battle for top spot
Courtesy of Aurora University, Sports Information Department
AURORA, Ill. -- The Northern Athletics Conference pitted its top two men's teams against one another on Wednesday evening in Aurora, IL as the Aurora University Spartans played host to the Eagles of Edgewood College.
The game started out almost identical to the earlier match-up this season (December 16, 2006) at Edgewood College, in which Edgewood jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and never looked back en route to a 68-65 victory over the Spartans. This evenings game saw the Eagles jump out to a 6-0 lead and Edgewood had a five-point lead (10-5) four minutes into the contest when Aurora began what would be a 17-0 run over the next three and a half minutes to take command of the contest.
The Spartan run was fueled by a hounding defense that led to back-to-back Chad Trudo buckets and a thunderous dunk by Darrick Leonard. Spartan Dusty Magee came off the bench to knocked down consecutive three-pointers from beyond NBA range. Edgewood's Kyle Scott ended the AU run with a three-point field goal of his own, but Aurora was well on its way for the night.
Aurora continued to play arguably their best game of the season, in what may turn out to be the most important game of the year, putting Aurora in the commanding top spot in the NAC at 13-2, while Edgewood falls to 11-3.
Aurora would finish off the first half with a 52-33 lead, shooting 57.1% (20-35) from the field and 52.4% (11-21) from three-point range. Edgewood shot a respectable 46.2% (12-26) from the field but could not keep up with the Spartan three-point barrage.
The second-half saw much of the same as AU built their lead to as much as 31 points before finishing with the 28-point victory.
The Spartans were led by Darrick Leonard's game-high 24 points on six-of-eight shooting from three-point range and five assists, Chad Trudo finished with a double-double, 16 points on four-of-six shooting from three-point range and 10 rebounds, Dusty Magee had 16 points on four-of-eight shooting from three-point range off the AU bench, junior All-American candidate Larry Welton had 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots and Mike Leonard had 10 points and six rebounds. AU shot 50.0% from three-point range for the game (18-of-36).
Edgewood was led by Kyle Scott's 19 points and Charlie Averkamp had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Overall, Aurora shot 34-of-72 (47.2%) from the field on the night the win improves the Spartans' overall record to 20-2 and 13-2 in the NAC. Edgewood falls to 13-7 overall and 11-3 in the NAC.