Army Loses Overtime Thriller Versus Lehigh

Ella Ellis tied for the team lead in points, rebounds and assists.

Ella Ellis tied for the team lead in points, rebounds and assists.

Feb. 25, 2012

Final Stats

Lehigh 74, Army 72 (OT) Get Acrobat Reader

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - John Adams' three-pointer with 10.3 seconds left in overtime propelled Lehigh (23-7, 11-3 PL) to a 74-72 victory over Army (12-17, 5-9 PL) in the regular-season finale at Christl Arena Wednesday afternoon. The Black Knights led 72-71 when Lehigh's C.J. McCollum drove the lane and found an open Adams who hit his second three-pointer of the game to give the Mountain Hawks the victory.

Army had a chance to tie, but missed two free throws, the second intentionally, with 2.8 seconds remaining. Lehigh rebounded and missed the front end of a one-one-one, but the Black Knights could not get a shot off in time.

The game went back and forth for the entire 45 mintues with a total of 20 ties and 16 lead changes. Neither team led by more than seven points.

Senior G Julian Simmons and junior F Ella Ellis led the Black Knights with 14 points each. Ellis also tied for the team lead with five rebounds and four assists. Junior F Jordan Springer grabbed five rebounds, and Simmons dished out a career-high four assists. Freshman G Maxwell Lenox contributed nine points, two rebounds and four assists.

Simmons hit two three-pointers to become only the second Army player to make at least 60 three-pointers in three different seasons (Mark Lueking).

McCollum led all players with 26 points on 11-of-18 from the floor. Gabe Knutsen scored 17 and snared six rebounds, while Adams added 11 points. McCollum also accounted for six rebounds and a team-high five assists.

Army had a chance to win despite shooting just 9-for-26 (.346) from three-point range. Sophomore G Josh Herbeck hit three, including a buzzer-beater three-pointer and the shot that gave Army a 72-71 lead with 2:13 left. The Mountain Hawks shot 49.2 percent and were 8-for-21 (.381) from deep.

After Lehigh scored the first basket of the game on a three-pointer, the Black Knights ripped off a 12-2 run to claim a 12-5 advantage following a jumper by Simmons with 15:29 left. Army started the game by making five of its first seven shots.

Lehigh scored the next seven points to tie the game at 12-12 as Army missed seven consecutive shots. Lenox drained a baseline jumper with 11:18 left to end Army's cold streak and give the Black Knights a two-point advantage. The Mountain Hawks tied the game on a layup by Justin Maneri, but Army scored the next five points, including a three-pointer by Ellis to regain a 19-14 lead with 9:15 left in the opening half.

After a layup by Corey Schaefer cut the Army lead to three, the Black Knights scored the next three points to re-establish a six-point lead at 22-16 with 6:51 left. Lehigh had an answer, however, with an 8-2 run of its own, regaining the lead at 26-24 on a jumper by McCollum with 3:58 left in the first half.

The Black Knights tied the game on a layup by sophomore F Andrew Stire, but McCollum scored four straight for the Mountain Hawks to give them a 30-26 advantage. Army scored the final five points of the half, including a 24-footer from Herbeck at the buzzer that sent the Black Knights into the locker room with a 31-30 advantage.

Lenox led the Black Knights with seven points in the first half, while Herbeck and Simmons each had six. McCollum led all scorers with 13 first-half points. Army held the lead despite shooting just 43.3 percent overall and 3-11 from three-point range (.273).

Springer scored the first basket of the second half to put Army on top by three, but the Mountain Hawks scored 10 unanswered points to seize a 40-33 lead. The Black Knights got right back into the game when Simmons hit his first three-pointer to start an 11-3 run that put them back in front 44-43with 12:12 left. Simmons scored eight points during the spurt, including the go-ahead three-pointer.

The see-saw tipped back in the Mountain Hawks' favor after five straight points re-established a four-point lead with 11:12 left. The Black Knights stemmed Lehigh's momentum and tied the game at 48-48 after a three-pointer by freshman G Chris Gramling, the first of his career, and a free throw by Ellis.

A jumper by McCollum broke the 10th tie of the game, but Ellis answered with an old-fashioned three-point play to put Army back on top at 51-50 with 7:32 left. McKnight hit a three-pointer to put the Mountain Hawks back on top by two, but Johnson scored in the post and freshman F Whit Thornton converted a fastbreak layup to give Army back the lead at 55-53 with 6:19 left.

Lehigh scored four straight points to take a 57-55, but Ellis rattled home a jumper to knot the game at 57-57 with 4:33 left.  Army stepped up defensively with Springer drawing two charges in a row and grabbing a defensive rebound to keep the game tied.  Springer then stepped to the free throw line where he knocked down a pair of free throws to put the Black Knights back on the positive side of the scoreboard at 59-57 with 2:06 left.

Knutsen continued to flip the lead, converting a three-point play with 1:51 left. Springer tied it at the free throw line, but McCollum answered with a pull-up jumper to make it 62-60 with 1:16 on the clock. Army answered right back with a layup by a cutting Mo Williams that knotted the game at 62-62. McCollum hit a pair of foul shots to give Lehigh the lead, but Ellis answered on the other end by stroking a pair of foul shots to tie the game once again.

Lehigh had the final shot in regulation, but McCollum's pull-up three-pointer was off the mark. Simmons secured the rebound, forcing the game into overtime.

Williams started the scoring in the extra session with a three-pointer from the right wing, but McCollum answered on Lehigh's next possession with a three-pointer to make it 67-67 with 4:14 left. A layup by Lenox put Army back in front, but consecutive dunks by the Knutsen and Adams gave the Mountain Hawks a two-point lead with 2:50 left.

With the shot clock winding down, Lenox drove the baseline and kicked to Herbeck who drained his third three-pointer, putting Army on top 72-71 with 2:13 left. Neither team scored again until Adams' game-winning three-pointer.

Army will be the sixth seed in the Patriot League Tournament and play at third-seeded American on Wednesday, Feb. 29 in the quarterfinal round. The Eagles won both regular-season meetings with the Black Knights this season.

Game Notes: Senior Josh Johnson and Pat Harris made their first career starts ... Jordan Springer had his team-best 28-game starting streak stopped as head coach Zach Spiker started all three Army seniors ... Ella Ellis snapped a string of 12 straight misses from the floor with his first three-pointer of the afternoon ... Army is now 1-1 in overtime this season ... the Black Knights defeated Navy in two extra sessions on Feb. 11 ... Maxwell Lenox has 92 assists, the most by an Army freshman since 2000-01 ... Ellis became just the second Army player to score 500 points, grab 130 rebounds and hand out 50 assists in the same season (Randy Cozzens, 1984-85) ... Ellis' 512 points this season marks the 19th time an Army player has scored 500 points in a season ... it ranks 17th on the Army single-season list ... Herbeck (6th - 75), Ellis (t-13th - 61) and Julian Simmons (15th- 60) are the first three Army players to rank in the top 15 on the single-season three-point list in the same season.

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