Final Statistics: Army 56, Harvard 53
Army Postgame Quotes
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Sophomore G Julian Simmons scored 11 of his game-high 16 points in the final six minutes, four seconds to rally the Black Knights from a six-point deficit in their 56-53 win over Harvard in men’s basketball action at Christl Arena on Monday night. Army has now won three in a row and improved to 3-1, while the Crimson dropped to 3-1 after their first loss of the season.
Army trailed 44-38 before Simmons scored eight of the game’s next 10 points to tie the score. Army was able to take the lead in the final minute, and the Katy, Texas native helped seal the victory with three key foul shots in the waning seconds.
Simmons’ 16 points represented his highest scoring game of the season and ran his streak of consecutive games in double figures to a career-high four. Simmons hit 4-of-11 overall and was 3-for-6 from long range. He also connected on 5-of-7 free throws. Senior F Cleveland Richard was the only other Black Knight in double figures with 12 points and a team-high four assists.
Senior C Chris Walker led all players with nine rebounds. He also chipped in six points and a career-high four steals. Senior G Marcus Nelson added seven points, while junior F Jeremy Hence snared seven rebounds.
Oliver McNally was the only Harvard player in double figures with 15. Jeremy Lin, who came into the game averaging better than 18 points per game, went 0 for 6 from the floor and scored all six of his points from the free throw line (6-13).
Turnovers played a key role in the outcome. Harvard held a 36-28 rebounding edge and outshot the Black Knights 42.9 percent to 34.0 percent, but could not overcome 30 turnovers that led to 22 Army points. The Black Knights committed 21 miscues of their own.
The game featured 51 fouls and a total of 57 free throws. Harvard hit 19 of its 31 free throws, while Army connected on 18 of its 26 shots from the line.
The Black Knights scored first and held an early 4-2 lead after a pair of baskets by Richard. Neither team got off to a fast start as Army was 2 of 6 from the floor with four turnovers, while the Crimson were 1 for 2 shooting and committed five early miscues.
Keith Wright tied the game at 4-4 and Lin hit one of his two free throw attempts to give Harvard its first lead at 5-4 with 14:26 left. Richard came right back with a three-pointer to jumpstart a 10-0 run that gave the Black Knights a 14-5 lead with 12:49 left in the first half.
Brandyn Curry ended the run to make it 14-7 game, but Simmons hit a triple to push Army’s lead to 10 at 17-7. The three-pointer represented the first points in an Army 7-0 run that stretched the advantage to 21-7 with 8:14 left in the opening stanza.
Curry again ended the Army run with a pair of free throws that stopped a five-minute, 17-second scoring drought for the Crimson and pulled them within 12 at 21-9 with 7:13 to go. Army led 23-9 before the Crimson scored the next four points to cut the margin to 23-13 with 4:56 left in the half. The Black Knights led 25-13, but Harvard ended the half on an 8-0 run to send the teams into the locker room with Army ahead 25-21.
Richard led all players with nine points in the first 20 minutes. Army shot only 33.3 percent in the opening half (8-24), but forced the Crimson into 20 turnovers that led to 14 points. Harvard was 6 for 15 from the floor in the first half, scoring eight of its 21 points from the free throw line (8-15).
Josh Miller scored first points of the second half for the Black Knights off the opening inbounds to give Army a six-point cushion, but Doug Miller’s basket at the 17:22 mark trimmed the lead back to 27-23. The Black Knights led by six after a pair of Simmons foul shots, but McNally stroked a three-pointer that started a 7-0 run and gave the Crimson a 30-29 lead.
The game went back and forth until a three-pointer by Dee Giger extended the Crimson’s advantage to 35-33 with 13:29 remaining. Miller had a chance to regain the lead for the Black Knights, but could not convert the free throw attempt on a three-point play try. Giger put the Crimson in front by three points on their next possession with an old-fashioned three-point play of his own at the 12:12 mark.
Nelson hit one of two free throws with 11:31 left, but Pat Magnarelli scored on the inside and then hit a free throw on Harvard’s next possession to make it 41-36. Magnarelli’s basket was the last field goal by either team for the next five minutes. The teams exchanged trips to the foul line, and the Crimson led 44-38 with 6:13 remaining.
Simmons ended the field goal drought with his second three-pointer of the game that sliced the Army deficit to 44-41, but McNally answered with a two-pointer to extend the lead back to five. Simmons again found the mark from the corner to bring the Black Knights back within two points at 46-44 with 5:24 to go.
Simmons went to work again, scoring his eighth straight point to tie the game at 46-46 with 4:08 to go. He had a chance to complete a three-point play, but came up short on the free throw that would have given the Black Knights the lead.
McNally put the Crimson back on top with 1-of-2 free throws with 3:40 remaining, but Richard sank both his foul shots on the other end to put Army back in front at 48-47. Again McNally had the answer, drilling a deep three to put Harvard ahead by two, but Walker scored in the post to tie the game for the eighth time with 2:51 to go.
Again a trip to the foul line, this time by Lin, put the Crimson back in front by a point with 1:44 left. Army went ahead with less than a minute to go when Harvard was whistled for goaltending on Nelson’s layup attempt to give the Black Knights a 53-51 lead with 48 seconds left.
Harvard was called for an offensive foul on its next possession, leading to a pair of free throw attempts by Miller. The senior rolled the first one home, but missed the second for a 53-51 lead with 25.4 seconds left. Rookie Ella Ellis was able to force a scrum on the rebound and the alternate possession arrow pointed to the Black Knights keeping the ball on their end of the floor with 21.8 seconds left.
The Crimson were forced to foul, putting Simmons the line with 19.1 seconds left. The sophomore stroked them both to push the Army lead to 55-51. Lin missed a three-pointer on the other end, but Kyle Casey corralled the offensive rebound and put it in to make it a 55-53 game with 8.6 seconds left.
Simmons again went to the foul line, but this time was only able to make one to keep it at a one possession game with 7.3 seconds left. The Black Knights called their final timeout to set their defense, and picked up the Crimson full court. Andrew Van Nest’s game-tying attempt was off the mark and Army celebrated its third straight win.
The victory snapped a four-game losing streak to the Crimson and ran the Black Knights winning streak versus the Ivy League to three games, including both meetings this season.
Army wraps up its three-game stretch versus Ivy League opponents when it hosts Yale on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m.
Game Notes: Julian Simmons started his second straight game in place of Tyrell Thompson, who suffered an ankle injury prior to the Princeton game … Freshman C Jordan Springer made his collegiate debut, entering the game with 8:14 left in the first half … Josh Miller and Cleveland Richard were forced to sit three minutes into the second half after picking up their third fouls … Army was whistled for its seventh team foul of the second half just 5:35 into the half … the Black Knights have won now won three straight games in November versus Division I competition for the first time … freshman G Jason Pancoe played a career high nine minutes … Army used 13 of the 15 players in uniform … Army has turned the ball over 20-plus times in three of its four games … Army has led by double digits in the first half of its last two games.