John Schoof added 14 points for the Eagles (1-1) who hit 17 of 40 field goals (42.5 percent). St. Francis shot just 38.5 percent (15-39).
Malik Harmon paced the Red Flash (0-2) with 20 points and four assists.
Reed and Harmon traded fire at the end - Harmon scoring a layup and adding a three-point play on either side of a Reed 3-pointer, pulling the Red Flash to within 48-46 with 1:28 left.
That was still the score when American's Charlie Jones hit just one of two free throws with 12 seconds left. St. Francis' Earl Brown grabbed the rebound and fed to Dominique Major (1-for-4 shooting) who missed a 3-pointer. Pee Wee Gardner grabbed the board as the Eagles rode out the final five seconds for the win.