NEWARK, N.J. Senior G Jarell Brown scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Army men’s basketball team to a 54-44 victory against NJIT on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The victory was Army’s second straight and evened the Black Knights’ record at 4-4 for the season. The Highlanders fell to 0-10 on the season.
It was the fifth straight game that Brown, the Patriot League’s leading scorer, reached the 20-point plateau. He was 11 for 21 from the floor, including 1 of 4 from three-point range. Brown also added three assists and two steals without committing a turnover in 37 minutes.
Sophomore G Josh Miller scored nine points, grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and dished out a game-high six assists. Junior F Kenny Brewer tallied eight points off the bench, while junior F Doug Williams corralled seven boards.
Jheryl Wilson led the Highlanders with 16 points, while Nesho Milosevic had a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Black Knights outshot NJIT 42.1 percent to 34.1 percent. It was the second straight game the Black Knights held an opponent to under 40 percent from the field. Army also outrebounded the Highlanders, 35-33, and held a 9-3 advantage in second-chance points.
Army opened the game with a 14-0 run and would lead by at least nine points for the remainder of the contest.
“I thought we really played well defensively and we played well offensively,” head coach Jim Crews said. “We had a lot of opportunities where we just didn’t complete the play. We had the ball right where we wanted it, but just couldn’t come up with the bucket. They kept coming back at us, but that didn’t surprise us. Consistently, we were very good on defense tonight.”
The Highlanders were called for an offensive foul on their first possession and senior F Corban Bates swished a short jumper to start Army’s game-opening 14-0 run. Miller hit his first three-pointer to make the score 8-0, and Brown gave the Black Knights their first double-digit lead. Army extended the advantage to 12-0 on an emphatic dunk by Brewer who took a feed from Brown in traffic. Miller’s second field goal of the game stretched the lead to 14-0 before Jheryl Wilson hit the Highlanders first basket 5:25 into the contest.
A 7-2 NJIT run cut the Army lead to 18-9, but Army scored the next nine points to take their largest lead of the contest at 27-9. A three-point play by Miller and back-to-back baskets by Brown highlighted the spurt. Army led 29-11, but the Highlanders scored the final eight points of the first half to go into the locker room down 29-19.
The Black Knights forced 16 first-half turnovers that led to 15 points, while limiting NJIT to 35 percent shooting from the field (7-20).
NJIT scored the first point of the second half to cut its deficit to nine points at 29-20, but Army responded with a 10-3 run to push the lead back to 16 points with Brown accounting for eight of the markers during the spurt. The Black Knights led by as many as 16 points on three other occasions. The Highlanders would not go quietly, however, scoring the next five points to cut the lead to 11 at 46-35. Army posted the next six points to open its largest lead of the half at 54-37 on a bucket by Brewer with 1:59 to go. Again, NJIT responded with the last seven points of the game, including a four-point play by Kraig Peters and three free throws by Wilson, to set the final score at 54-44.
Army outscored the Highlanders in the paint, 24-12 and held a 20-9 advantage in the points off turnovers category. The victory marked the first time the Black Knights have won consecutive games since reeling off three straight conference games last January.
The Black Knights return home to face Quinnipiac on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 12:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live from Christl Arena on NESN.
Game Notes: Army used its fifth starting lineup in eight games ... Guards Josh Miller, Jarell Brown and Marcus Nelson have started all eight games ... They were joined in the frontcourt by senior F Corban Bates and junior F Doug Williams ... Brown scored 10 points in the first half and 13 points after halftime, marking his ninth double-digit half in the last five games ... Brown and Nelson (8) accounted for 18 of Army’s 29 first-half points ... Brown moved into a tie for 21st place on Army’s career scoring list ... Brown is all knotted up with Derrick Canada with 1,071 career points ... Army has won back-to-back road games for the first time this season, ending its three-game road stretch with a 2-1 record ... Williams is averaging 7.5 rebounds in his two games since returning from a leg injury ... The win was the second straight game that Brown was the only Army player in double figures ... The Black Knights are now 2-0 all-time against NJIT.