Shooting Woes Plague Black Knights In Loss To Bucknell

Final Statistics: Bucknell 62, Army 51

Army Postgame Quotes

WEST POINT, N.Y.  – Army (14-14, 4-10 Patriot League) ended its regular season with a 62-51 loss to Bucknell (14-16, 9-5 Patriot League) in Patriot League men’s basketball play at Christl Arena on Saturday night. The Black Knights could not overcome a 32.7 percent shooting night, including a 29.4 shooting percentage from three-point range.

Bucknell entered the game eighth in the conference in three-point percentage at 32.4 percent, but hit 7 of 15 triples (.467), including four of their first six. The Bison shot 41.7 percent for the game overall. Bucknell also outscored the Black Knights 25-12 at the free throw line.

Senior G Josh Miller was Army’s top scorer with 11 points, 10 of which came in the final 1:20 of the contest. Sophomore G Julian Simmons also scored in double figures with 10 points. Seniors Cleveland Richard, Jon Sizemore and Tyrell Thompson all had a team-high three rebounds in their final home appearance.

Darryl Shazier led all scorers with 19 points, while Bryan Cohen added 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds.

Bucknell boasted a 39-26 rebounding edge to help overcome 19 turnovers that led to 24 Army points.

Army has now lost 14 straight games when shooting 33.3 percent or less.

The Black Knights scored the first five points of the game and led 8-6 with 14:21 left in the opening stanza before the Bison went on a 17-5 spurt to take a 23-13 advantage. Shazier scored all 11 of his first-half points during the run. Army hit only two of its 11 shots and committed five of its seven first-half turnovers during the 11-minute, two-second stretch.

Thompson pulled the Black Knights within eight with a spin move in the post with 3:01 left in the half. Neither team scored for the remainder of the half, sending the Bison into the locker room with a 23-15 lead. Army missed its final three shots of the half, while the Bison misfired on three shots and committed a turnover in the final three minutes.

Shazier led all players with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers. Richard and Simmons topped the Army scoring list with five points each. The Black Knights hit only 28.6 percent of their shots (6-21) in the first 20 minutes, including a 2-for-7 mark from behind the arc. Bucknell connected on 45.0 percent of its field goal tries despite the cold finish.

The Bison outscored Army 20-9 over the first 11:33 of the second half to take their largest lead at 43-24 with 8:27 left. The Black Knights made just two of their 12 shots during that span. Army was able to close within 12 points following a 7-0 run that was capped by Simmons’ second three-pointer of the game.

The Army defense held the Bison without a field goal for the final nine minutes, 14 seconds, but Bucknell scored its final 21 points from the free throw line. Bucknell stretched its lead to 17 points with 1:43 left, but Army had one final run. The Black Knights scored 10 of the next 12 points to pull within 57-48 with 46 seconds left, but the Bison iced the game at the free throw line, hitting five of their final six tries. Army made seven of its last 12 field goal tries.

Army has now lost 14 of 15 games this season when allowing at least 60 points.

The game marked the final Christl Arena appearance for Miller, Richard, Sizemore, Thompson, Eric Zastoupil, Marcus Nelson and Chris Walker.

With Army’s loss and Lehigh’s victory, the Black Knights will travel to Bethlehem to take on the top-seeded Mountain Hawks on Wednesday night. Lehigh swept the regular-season series, but Army has ousted the Mountain Hawks from the postseason in the quarterfinals in each of the past three seasons, including two games at Stabler Arena.

Game Notes: Army went back to its normal home white uniforms after wearing specialty uniforms for the Navy and Lafayette games … Army lost its chance to clinch a winning regular season … the Black Knights must now advance to the Patriot League championship game to ensure their first winning mark since 1984-85 … Cleveland Richard had his career-high eight-game streak of games with at least 10 points snapped with nine points before fouling out with 6:44 left … head coach Zach Spiker started an all-senior lineup of Cleveland Richard, Eric Zastoupil, Tyrell Thompson, Jon Sizemore and Marcus Nelson … Miller went 2 for 4 from three-point range, snapping a 1-for-19 slump entering the game … his 11 points marked his first double-digit scoring game since Jan. 20 … Marcus Nelson had two steals to run his career total to 143 … Richard (148), Miller (147) and Nelson have now equaled or surpassed the previous career record of 143 set by George Tatum … Julian Simmons’ two three-pointers put him in sole possession of ninth place on the Army career ledger … he needs just one more to become the ninth player to make 100 triples in their career … Army scored 20 of its 36 second half points in the final 5:37.

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