Darius Gardner scored 18 points as the visiting Eagles captured the Patriot League title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament by beating the Terriers.

Gardner was nearly perfect, making 7-of-9 from the floor, and also had four assists for No. 2 seed American (20-12). Troy Wroblicky came up with 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocks and Jesse Reed recorded nine points and five boards for the Eagles, who are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the third time and first since back-to-back appearances in 2008 and 2009.

Maurice Watson, Jr. had 11 points and five rebounds to lead No. 1 seed Boston University (24-10), which couldn't get anything going against the American zone defense and shot 30.8 percent. Dom Morris supplied 10 points and eight rebounds for the Terriers, who were in search of their eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The second half didn't go much better than the first for the Terriers, who struggled from outside, including going 1-of-16 from beyond the arc, and couldn't get the ball inside with much frequency. Wroblicky had the first six points as the Eagles led 30-20 less than four minutes into the second stanza and the Terriers never got any closer than seven points.

American scored 11 of the final 13 points, including 7-of-8 free throws in the final two minutes. Both teams had their struggles in the first half as the Terriers shot a dismal 6-of-25 and the Eagles committed 10 turnovers, but Gardner scored the final eight points for American, which led 24-16 at the break.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The 16 points are the fewest in a first half this season for the Terriers, who scored 91 points in back-to-back games to reach the championship game. ... The Eagles were 10-of-18 from the floor and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, but didn't come up with an offensive rebound in the first half. ... American, which will be in search of its first NCAA Tournament win, finished 19-of-34 from the field and 13-of-16 from the line.