WEST HARTFORD, Conn. Senior G Jarell Brown scored 24 points, including 15 in the second-half, to lead a valiant Black Knights’ comeback effort, but the Hartford Hawks were able to hang on for a 70-64 victory at Chase Arena on Wednesday night. Army trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, and was down 15 at the break, but battled back to tie the game in the final two minutes.
Brown’s 24-point night pushed his career scoring total to 1,014 points. He is the 26th player in Academy history to record at least 1,000 points in their career. It was his third straight 20-point game, tying a career-high. Brown finished the night with six three-pointers, his third straight game with at least five triples. Brown was also Army’s (2-4) top rebounder, collecting five caroms.
Sophomore G Josh Miller was also in double figures, scoring a career-best 16 points, all in the second half. Miller made three steals on the defensive end. Sophomore G Marcus Nelson handed out a game-high five assists.
Warren McClendon led four Hawks (4-4) in double figures with 17 points. Michael Turner tallied 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds, while Joe Zeglinski collected 11 markers as well. Morgan Sabia came off the bench to score 10 points.
The game was a tale of two halves with the Black Knights scoring a season-low 20 points in the opening stanza, but tallying a season-high 44 points after halftime. Army shot just 36 percent in the opening stanza (9-25), including a 15.4 percent mark from behind the arc, but rallied to connect on 51.1 percent (16-31) of its shots from the floor in the second half. The Black Knights were 7 for 14 from three-point range after halftime.
Hartford held a significant advantage at the foul line, making 21 of 31 attempts. Army was 5 for 7 for the game. The Hawks also held a 37-28 lead on the boards.
Army jumped out to a 5-2 lead just more than four minutes into the game and led 11-10 with 13:19 left in the opening period. Hartford took control with a 15-0 run, holding the Army offense without a point for nine minutes and 20 seconds. A jumper by Brown ended that run and brought the Black Knights back within 12 at 25-13, but the Hawks were able to extend their lead to as many as 16 points. Brown hit his first three of the game with less than a minute to go, but a Hartford basket just before the horn made the halftime score, 35-20.
The Army offense picked up the pace in the second half with a 16-7 run that sliced the lead to six points with 13:25 remaining. Hartford responded with a 6-0 run of their own to push the lead to 12 points, but three straight three-pointers, including two by Brown, trimmed the margin to 52-49 with 8:36 left in the game. The Hawks extended the lead to eight points, but Army scored 15 of the next 22 points to tie the score at 64-64. The tying points came on a rainbow jumper by Miller with 1:51 left. The Black Knights could not get the lead, however, as the offense did not score for the remainder of the game. Hartford was able to pull away at the foul line, scoring the six-point margin of victory on free throws. Overall, the Hawks’ final 10 points came from the charity stripe.
The Black Knights continue their three-game road swing on Saturday, Dec. 1 at VMI. Tip-off from Lexington, Va., is slated for 1 p.m.
Game Notes: Junior F Doug Williams was in uniform for the first time this season ... Williams missed the first five games with a leg injury ... Sophomore C Chris Walker made his first appearance since getting hit in the nose at Cornell ... Senior G Jarell Brown’s nine points in the first half snapped a streak of four consecutive halves with at least 11 points ... He came back with 15 points in the second stanza ... Army has now had a player reach the 1,000-point mark for their career in two straight seasons ... Matt Bell did it in 2006-07 ... Wednesday’s game was Army’s first trip to Hawks’ home court ... The all-time series is now tied at 1-1.