Presbyterian 59, Army 43
WEST POINT, N.Y. Presbyterian’s Al’Lonzo Coleman recorded a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Blue Hose to a 59-43 over Army at Christl Arena on Monday night. The Black Knights dropped to 1-6, while Presbyterian is now 2-4.
Freshman G Jesse Steele and sophomore G Nathan Hedgecock tied for the Army team lead with seven points each. It marked the second time this season that the Black Knights did not put a player in double figures. Junior F Cleveland Richard grabbed a team-high five rebounds and made two steals.
In addition to Coleman, Bryan Bostic and Josh Johnson scored in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Coleman also had a strong defensive effort with four steals and a blocked shot.
Army rallied from a 30-percent shooting effort in the first half to finish at 41.9 percent from the floor. The Blue Hose shot 48.9 percent for the game, including a 62.5 percent (10-16) mark after halftime. Presbyterian outrebounded the Black Knights, 32-20. It marked the sixth straight time Army was on the short end of the rebounding margin.
Hedgecock got the Black Knights off to a fast start, hitting his first three shots, including a three-pointer that put Army up 7-3 with 18:21 left in the first half. The Black Knights missed their next eight shots as the Blue Hose rang up five unanswered points to take an 8-7 lead with 13:23 to go. Senior C Doug Williams ended a five-minute, 53-second drought with a layup to put the Black Knights back in front, but Coleman’s bucket on the Blue Hose next trip down the floor gave them a 10-9 lead with 12:15 to go and ignited a 11-2 run that pushed Presbyterian to a 19-11 lead with 8:09 left in the half.
Army carved the lead to 19-14 from the foul line, but the Blue Hose scored nine of the next 11 points to take a 28-16 lead with 1:51 left in the half. Neither team found the basket for the rest of the half, and Presbyterian took the 12-point lead into intermission.
After making their first three shots of the half, the Black Knights went 3 for 17 from the field for the remainder of the opening stanza, finishing at 30.0 percent for the period. The Blue Hose shot 41.4 percent in the first 20 minutes and outrebounded Army, 22-11.
The Blue Hose kept their momentum going on the first possession of the second half when Johnson drilled a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to give the Blue Hose a 31-16 advantage. The basket started an 8-0 run that put the Blue Hose up 36-16 with 17:32 left. The spurt was punctuated by an off-balanced three-pointer by Bostic with the shot clock at one.
Army responded with a run of its own, outscoring the Blue Hose 15-6 over the next 7:55 to cut the deficit to 42-31 with 7:45 left. Bostic stuck another triple with the shot clock under five seconds to push Presbyterian’s lead back to 14 points and Coleman made it a 47-31 game with a basket at the 5:30 mark.
Army had one more push, scoring the next five points on three-pointer by Richard and a layup by junior G Marcus Nelson to make it 47-36 with 4:07 left. The Blue Hose scored four straight at the foul line to extend the lead to 15 points and maintained their advantage between 13 and 18 for the remainder of the game.
It was the second straight game against the Blue Hose that Army did not reach the 50-point mark. Presbyterian defeated the Black Knights, 52-35, last season in Clinton, S.C. Army has now lost its last six when not reaching the 50-point mark.
After a stretch of seven games in 17 days to start the season, Army has a week off before it attempts to snap its six-game losing streak at Bryant on Dec. 8.
Game Notes: The Black Knights used their fourth starting lineup in the first seven games. Jesse Steele made his debut in with the first unit. He is the eighth different player to start this season ... Army’s 16-point first half was its lowest-scoring 20 minutes since posting 14 points in the first half at American on Feb. 20, 2008. Dating back to last season’s game at Presbyterian, Army has scored just 78 points in two games against the Blue Hose ... Army’s 43 points tied a season low set in a loss to Princeton ... Senior F John Moonshower made his season debut with one minute of work. Moonshower missed the first six games with an ankle injury ... Sixteen of the 17 players in uniform got on the floor ... Army’s six-game losing streak is the longest since a seven-game skid in 2006-07 ... Army does not play another home game until Saturday, Dec. 13 against Fairleigh Dickinson.