LEXINGTON, Va. Senior G Grant Carter hit a three-pointer with 1.6 seconds remaining to propel the Army men’s basketball team to a 71-69 victory at VMI on Saturday, Dec. 1. Senior G Jarell Brown scored a career-best 34 points, including eight three-pointers, and finished his first career double-double with 10 rebounds to lead the Black Knights in their third victory of the season (3-4).
Carter’s only field goal of the game gave the Black Knights back the lead after VMI came back from 16 down in the second half. On the Keydets’ ensuing possession, the full-court pass was deflected out of bounds with 0.3 seconds remaining. VMI inbounded the ball to Austin Kenon who appeared to hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer, but the officials disallowed the shot, ruling that the three-tenths of a second remaining was not enough time for him to catch the ball and get the shot off.
Brown tallied his second 30-point game in the last four Army outings. He missed just two shots on the day, hitting 11 of his 13 field goal tries, including an 8-of-9 effort from deep. In the last four games, the Cleveland native has averaged 28.5 points per game, shooting 62.3 percent from the field (38-61), including 62.8 percent (27-43) from three-point range. His 34-point outburst on Saturday was Army’s highest-scoring game since Matt Bell tallied 34 against New Hampshire on Nov. 28, 2004.
Sophomore C Chris Walker scored a season-high nine points, and junior F Doug Williams added seven points and eight rebounds in his season debut. Williams was in the starting lineup after missing Army’s first six games with a leg injury. Sophomore Cleveland Richard made his first start of the season, adding six points and tying his career high with six assists.
Army shot 58.7 percent for the game, including hitting on nine of its 11 three-pointers, and outrebounded the Keydets, 41-24. VMI entered the game with a scoring average of more than 100 points, but the Army defense limited the squad to a 36.2 shooting percentage and its second-lowest scoring output of the season. The Black Knights held a 34-10 advantage in the paint, but VMI made up the deficit, scoring 34 points of a season-high 27 Army turnovers.
Reggie Williams led the Keydets with 21 points and eight rebounds. Chavis Holmes added 17 points and Travis Holmes scored 13 to round out the double-figure scorers.
A see-saw first half featured four ties and eight lead changes. Army led 19-16, but the Keydets used a 14-5 run to take their largest lead at 30-24 with 6:18 left in the half. Walker kickstarted a 14-0 run to end the half with a three-point play and scored the first five points of the spurt. Brown added eight points during the run that gave Army a 38-30 halftime lead.
The Black Knights continued their momentum in the second half, scoring 17 of the first 26 points to lead 55-39 with 13 minutes to go. VMI slowly chipped away at the Army lead. A pair of free throws by Brown pushed the Black Knights’ lead to 64-55, but VMI went on a 13-2 run to take a 68-66 lead with 1:43 remaining in the game. Brown scored his final points of the game to tie the score at 68-68, but the Keydets regained the advantage when Williams made one of two free throws. VMI had the ball and the lead, but missed a three-point attempt that Williams corralled. Army called timeout to set up the play that provided the game-winning points. Williams was credited with the assist on Carter’s game-winning shot.
Army is now 1-1 on its current three-game road stretch. The Black Knights wrap up the road trip with a game at NJIT on Thursday, Dec. 6. The game will be played at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Game Notes: Army’s 58.7 shooting percentage was the highest since converting on 60.5 percent against Lafayette on Feb. 21, 2007 ... Senior G Jarell Brown’s double-double was the first since Doug Williams had 13 points and 11 rebounds versus American on Feb. 14, 2007 ... Brown made his first four shots ... Freshman G Mitch McDonald played a career-high 31 minutes, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out three assists ... Army’s 41 rebounds were the most since a 41-board game against Lehigh on Feb. 28, 2007 ... Carter’s three-pointer was his first field goal since hitting a triple in the opener at Minnesota ... Six players accounted for 171 of 200 minutes played ... None of the other five players that saw action played double-figure minutes.