Jan. 25, 2012
Army 74, Holy Cross 68
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army (10-11, 3-3 PL) used a 14-0 second-half run, including seven points by junior F Jordan Springer, to turn a six-point deficit into an eight-point lead and went on to a 74-68 victory over Holy Cross (8-12, 2-4 PL) in Patriot League men’s basketball action on Wednesday night inside Christl Arena. The Black Knights trailed 52-46 with 10:37 left in the game, but scored the next 14 points over a three-minute, 47-second span to take the lead for good.
Springer finished the game with a career-high 18 points, including 17 in the second half, and just missed a double-double with eight rebounds. Springer also blocked two shots and made one steal. He made all six of his field goal tries and knocked down six of his eight foul shots. Junior F Ella Ellis led all players with a season-high 26 points, including four three-pointers. Senior G Julian Simmons rounded out Army’s top scorers with 12 points.
R. J. Evans paced the Crusaders with 18 points, while Devin Brown added 12 markers, all from three-point range. Mike Cavataio added seven points and a team-high six rebounds off the bench.
Army entered the game with 40 three-pointers in its last three games, but was just 7-for-18 from deep (.389) in the game. The Black Knights made 17 of their 26 shots from inside the arc (.654) to finish with a 54.5 percent accuracy rate. The Crusaders shot 25 three-pointers, making eight and posted a 44.1 percent mark from the floor. Army outrebounded Holy Cross, 30-26. The teams combined for 39 turnovers, including 20 by the Black Knights, but Army owned a 27-20 edge in the points off turnovers category.
Army came out of the gate quickly, jumping out to a 12-2 lead with 16:17 left in the first half. Simmons scored seven points during the run, including a three-pointer. A dunk by Dudzinski stopped the Black Knights’ momentum and started a 19-4 Holy Cross run that gave the Crusaders a 21-16 lead with 10:16 to go. Army went three minutes, one second between field goals during the run.
The Crusaders extended their lead to 26-19 on a three-pointer by Brown with 9:22 left. Ellis drilled his third three-pointer of the half and junior G Jason Pancoe knocked down a triple to start a 12-5 Army run that tied the game at 31-31 with 2:55 left. A post-up basket by Evans put the Crusaders back in front with 1:44 to go, but Lenox tied the game with a layup of his own with 24.7 seconds on the clock. Holy Cross called time out to set up the final possession of the half, but was whistled for a turnover. Army took the ball with 6.2 seconds left, but Lenox’s runner at the buzzer glanced off the rim to send the teams into the locker room deadlocked at 33-33.
Army shot 11-for-21 (.524) overall and 5-for12 (.417) from three-point range in the first half. The Crusaders hit 48.1 percent of its shots and 45.5 percent of its three-pointers in the opening stanza. Ellis led all players with 11 points in the opening period, assuring his 23rd consecutive game in double figures. Beans paced the Crusaders with seven in the opening stanza.
The Black Knights scored six of the first nine points of the second half to regain the lead at 39-36 with 18:38 to go, but Holy Cross used a 9-2 run to reclaim a four-point edge with 15:19 left on the clock. Army scored the next five points, taking a 46-45 lead on a free throw by Lenox at the 13:11 mark.
The momentum continued to swing back and forth as the Crusaders reeled off a 7-0 run to take a 52-46 lead.. True to form, Army answered with 14 straight points, including seven by Springer to claim a 60-52 advantage. Simmons capped the spurt with a three-pointer at the 7:30 mark.
Holy Cross scored nine of the next 12 points to get within two, but, Ellis drained a three-pointer to start a 10-0 rally that gave the Black Knights their largest lead of the game at 73-61 with 48 seconds left. Springer scored six points during the run.
The Crusaders had one last push, cutting their deficit to five with less than four seconds left, but time ran out with the Black Knights on top 74-68.
The victory was Army’s first home win over the Crusaders since 2002. The two teams have split the last four games in Worcester.
Army wraps up the first half of its Patriot League schedule on Sunday, Jan. 29 at Lehigh. Tip-off at Stabler Arena is set for 2 p.m. The Black Knights and Mountain Hawks split last season’s series with each team winning on the other’s home court.
Game Notes: Ella Ellis made three three-pointers in the first half to become the 10th player in Army history with 100 career three-pointers … Ellis ranks ninth all-time with 102 career triples … Josh Herbeck was 0-for-3 from three-point range snapping his streak with at least one triple at 20 games … Army has led by at least 10 points in the first half of the last two meetings against the Crusaders … the 33-33 halftime score marked the first time this season Army has gone into the locker room tied … the Black Knights are 8-3 at home and have won six of their last seven at Christl Arena … the Black Knights are 7-0 this season when making at least half of their field goal tries … Army’s seven three-pointers stopped a three-game streak with at least 10 … the Black Knights have scored at least 40 points in five of its last eight halves.