Black Knights Score Comeback Win Over Brown In Last Non-League Contest

Final Stats: Army 59, Brown 51

Army Postgame Quotes

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army outscored Brown 26-12 over the final 14 minutes to turn a six-point deficit into a 59-51 victory in men’s basketball action at Christl Arena on Wednesday night. The win snapped the Black Knights’ (10-4) two-game losing streak and improved their home winning streak to eight games, including all seven home appearances this season.

After Brown’s (6-10) Garrett Leffelman scored to give Brown a 39-33 lead with 14:02 left, sophomore G Julian Simmons made the first of his three second-half triples to start the Black Knights’ decisive run. Simmons finished with a game-high 16 points, 15 of which came in the second half. He started the game 1 for 7 and 0 for 4 from long range, but made four of his last six attempts, including all three of his triples.

Senior G Josh Miller scored a season-high 15 points, his fourth straight game in double figures. Miller also had a team-high seven rebounds and five assists without committing a turnover in 37 minutes. Miller had 13 points in the first half, keeping the Black Knights in the game on a tough shooting night. Senior G Marcus Nelson scored 11 points on 4 of 5 from the floor. It was his highest-scoring game since a 13-point night in the opener at VMI.

Tucker Halpern was the only Brown player in double figures with 13. Andrew McCarthy grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. The Bears played most of the game without leading scorer (16.7 ppg) Matt Mullery ,who suffered an injury less than five minutes into the contest.

Army scored the win despite shooting a season-low 35.5 percent (22-62). The Black Knights shot just 28.6 percent in the first half, and minus Miller’s effort in the first 20 minutes, the remainder of the team hit only 18.6 percent of its shots (5-27).  Brown connected on 33.3 percent of its shots in the game, but only 29.6 (8-27) after halftime.

The Black Knights committed a season-low five turnovers, while forcing the Bears into 11 miscues. Army outrebounded the Bears 44-39, including a 13-8 edge on the offensive glass.

The Bears scored the first basket of the game, but Nelson put the Black Knights in front 3-2 with an old-fashioned three-point play after making a steal on the defensive end. Army led 8-7 before scoring the next four points to take its largest lead of the first half on a layup by senior F Eric Zastoupil with 12:41 left.

The Black Knights went cold from the field, missing their next three shots and turning it over twice while the Bears scored five straight to tie it at 12-12. Miller broke the deadlock with a jumper at the 9:52 mark, but Halpern put Brown back in front 15-14 with a three-pointer.

The Bears led 17-16 before Miller’s second three-pointer pushed Army back in front 19-17 with 6:13 on the clock. A Simmons’ free throw pushed the Black Knights’ lead to three points, but Peter Sullivan tied the game with the Bears’ third three-pointer of the half at the 4:04 mark. Two Brown free throws made it 22-20, but Miller answered again with his third triple of the half to put the Black Knights back in front 23-22 with 3:04 left. Two free throws by Halpern provided the eighth lead change of the half, and the advantage would change hands twice more before the end of the first stanza. The Bears scored the last four points of the half to take a 28-25 advantage into the locker room.

The Bears continued their run in the second half when Adrian Williams stroked a triple on the opening possession to give Brown a 31-25 lead. The Bears led 33-27 before Army used a 6-0 run to tie the game at 33-33 with 16:56 left on a fastbreak layup by Simmons.

Williams once again had an answer for the Bears, hitting a three off an offensive rebound to give Brown the lead. The Bears scored the next six points to take a 39-33 lead with 14:02 left. Simmons stopped a an 0-for-4 start from long range with his first triple to trim the deficit to three points, and tied the game at 39-39 with another three with 12:35 left.

The Bears answered again with a three-pointer by Halpern on their next possession to re-take a three-point advantage. Senior C Chris Walker scored his first basket of the game to cut the Brown lead to one point and ignite a 13-2 run that pushed the Black Knights in front 52-44 with 7:12 left.

Army was able to keep its lead at a minimum of six points for the remainder of the contest and led by 10 points until the Bears’ final basket in the waning seconds.

With the win, Army finished its season series versus the Ivy League unbeaten at 5-0.

The Black Knights open their Patriot League schedule on Saturday, Jan. 9 at Colgate. Tip-off at Cotterell Court is scheduled for 2 p.m. Army will be trying to stop a seven-game losing streak in league openers and a five-game skid in Hamilton.

Game Notes: After a run of four straight games leading at halftime, the Black Knights have been behind at intermission in each of the last three games … Army tied a program record for its longest home winning streak since moving into Christl Arena in 1985 … the 2006-07 team also won eight straight wins at the facility … the win snapped the Bears’ two-game winning streak in the series … Marcus Nelson recorded his 70th career blocked shot … Nelson is now just four blocks away from tying the Academy record … Julian Simmons has been Army’s leading scorer in each of the last three games, averaging 15.7 points per game in that span … Miller is scoring at 13.3 points per game in the last four outings … Miller moved into a sixth-place tie on Army’s career assist ledger (291) … Army has outrebounded nine opponents this season, going 7-2 in those games … Army’s 62 shot attempts tied a season high … the Black Knights’ 44 rebounds were a season best … Army is 10-0 this season when keeping opponents under 60 points and 0-4 when allowing teams to score 60 or more … the Black Knights have won nine non-conference games against Division I teams for the first time in program history … Army’s 10 non-league wins are the most since the 2006-07 squad entered Patriot League play at 10-5 (two wins over Division III teams) … Zach Spiker is the first Army basketball coach to win 10 of his first 14 games on the Black Knights’ sideline since Tates Locke started 10-4 in 1963-64 … Army has now won at least 10 games in four straight seasons since Mike Krzyzewski’s first four years (1975-76 through 1978-79).

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