Black Knights Top Yale For Fourth Straight Win

Final Statistics: Army 64, Yale 48

Postgame Quotes

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Senior F Cleveland Richard scored a game-high 18 points, including 13 in the second half, to lead the Army men’s basketball team to a 64-48 win over Yale in front of 1,064 fans at Christl Arena on Saturday. The Black Knights have now won four straight games and stand at 4-1 on the season, while the Bulldogs dropped to 2-5.

Army is 4-1 for the first time since the 1983-84 season. The Black Knights’ four-game winning streak is their longest since a six-game run during the 2006-07 campaign.

Richard’s 18-point outburst was Army’s best individual scoring effort of the season. Junior F Jeremy Hence also scored a season high with 10 points. Richard, senior C Chris Walker and senior G Marcus Nelson all pulled down five rebounds, while senior G Josh Miler led the Black Knights with four assists. Nine different Army players scored, including all seven that played at least 10 minutes.

The Army defense did not allow a Yale player to score in double figures. Four Bulldogs scored nine points, including Alex Zampier who entered the game averaging 22.3 points per contest. The trio of Nelson, Hence and junior G Mitch McDonald limited the Bulldogs’ leading scorer to only 4-of-15 shooting, including 1 for 8 from behind the arc. Jordan Gibson was the Bulldogs’ top rebounder with five boards.

Yale’s 48 points represented Army’s best defensive effort of the season and the fewest points scored against the Black Knights since a 47-36 loss to Holy Cross on Jan. 14, 2009. Army has now allowed 56-or-fewer points in all four of its wins this season.

Army rebounded from a season-low 34.0 percent shooting percentage against Harvard to hit 50.0 percent (25-50) of its shots versus Yale. The Bulldogs shot just 36.0 percent from the floor, including 19.0 percent (4-21) from three-point range. The Black Knights outrebounded the Bulldogs, 35-31, and held a 40-16 advantage in points in the paint.

Army jumped out to a 4-0 lead on layups by Miller and Nelson, while the Black Knights’ defense forced the Bulldogs to turn the ball over on their first four possessions. Yale got on the board at the 16:57 mark on a layup by Gibson. The Black Knights went more than four minutes without a basket, but back-to-back scores by Richard pushed the Army lead to 8-2 with 13:35 left in the half.

The Black Knights led 10-4, but Zampier snapped an 0-for-3 start with a three-pointer to trim the lead to 10-7 with 12:10 remaining. Yale sliced the lead to 14-12, but Miller hit a three-pointer to make it a five-point cushion with 9:52 left. Army led 19-14 before Raffi Mantilla hit consecutive three-pointers to push the Bulldogs in front for the first time at 20-19 with 6:35 remaining in the opening period.

Army regained the advantage on a layup by Eric Zastoupil with 4:55 left. The bucket started a 13-4 run to end the half that put the Black Knights in front 30-22 at intermission. Three of Army’s points came on a three-pointer by Julian Simmons that snapped an 0-for-5 start for the Black Knights’ leading scorer.

Mantilla led all players with nine points, all on three-pointers, in the first half. Nelson led the Black Knights with seven points and was one of three Army players with three rebounds. It was a tough first half for both teams’ top scorers. Simmons was 1-for7 from the floor with a three-pointer, while Zampier hit just two of his eight first-half shot attempts.

Army started the half on a 14-7 run, including seven points by Richard to take a 44-29 lead with 17:14 left. Zampier’s pull-up jumper cut the Yale deficit to 13 points and jumpstarted a 7-2 run that pulled the Bulldogs within 10 points with 13:47 remaining. Richard completed a three-point play to push the Black Knights back on top by 13 points at 49-36 and start a 9-0 run that included a three-minute, six-second scoring drought for the Black Knights. Hence punctuated the run that stretched Army’s lead to 55-36 with 8:15 left with back-to-back acrobatic layups.

Yale’s Porter Braswell converted an Army turnover into a fastrbeak layup with 6:21 to go to stop a seven-minute, 26-second scoreless stretch for the Bulldogs. Yale closed within 14 points, but Army quickly rebuilt a 19-point lead with 2:09 to go and was able to maintain at least a 16-point margin for the rest of the contest and take the 64-48 victory.

Army is now 3-0 versus the Ivy League this season with games against Dartmouth and Brown still on the schedule.

The Black Knights have just one day of rest before they wrap up their three-game homestand versus Bryant on Monday, Nov. 30. Tip-off at Christl Arena is set for 7 p.m.

Game Notes: Senior G Tyrell Thompson was in uniform, but did not participate in pregame warm-ups due to an ankle injury … sophomore C Joe Clark made his collegiate debut in the first half … Army has led at the half in each of its last four games … junior G Nathan Hedgecock made his first appearance of the season in the second half … fourteen of the 15 Army players in uniform played with Thompson being the only exception … Army averaged 22.0 turnovers per game entering the contest, but committed only 14 miscues against the Bulldogs … Both halves featured a 32-24 Army margin … the 16-point win as Army’s largest margin of victory since a 17-point win at Bucknell in the final game of the 2008-09 regular season and the first game this season not decided by seven points or less … Army has outrebounded three of its first five opponents after having a positive rebound margin only five times in 30 games last season … the Black Knights are now 19-9 in their last 28 games when scoring at least 60 points … Julian Simmons had his career-high four game streak of scoring at least 10 points stopped … Army has now won four straight games November for the first time … the Black Knights have won their last four and eight of their last nine games at Christl Arena … Army is 15-7 in its last 22 games when making at least 50 percent of its field goal tries … The crowd of 1,064 was the largest of the season at Christl Arena.

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