Army Pulls Away Late In Win Over Mount Saint Vincent

Final Stats: Army 62, Mount Saint Vincent 56

Army Postgame Quotes

WEST POINT, N.Y.  – Army broke open a 54-54 tie with an 8-0 run to take a hard-fought 62-56 win over Mount Saint Vincent at Christl Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Black Knights (8-2) and Dolphins (4-3) swapped the lead six times in the second half, before the Black Knights pulled away for its third straight win.

Army won its sixth straight home game, including all five of its appearances this season.

Senior F Cleveland Richard led all players with 17 points, including 10 in the second half. Sophomore G Julian Simmons was also in double figures with 11 points, including a team-high two three-pointers. Senior G Josh Miller led the Black Knights with eight rebounds, five assists and four steals. Senior G Marcus Nelson blocked three shots, including two on a key defensive stand during the decisive run, to move into second place on Army’s all-time list with 65 career rejections.

The Division III Dolphins stayed in the game with 11 three-pointers (11-34), including four by Dino Johnson and three by Nick DiMaggio. DiMaggio led the team with 13 points, while Johnson added 12 markers. Pat Panetta grabbed a team-high five boards for the Dolphins.

Army shot 45.7 percent for the game and limited Mount Saint Vincent to a 33.9 percent shooting average. The Black Knights held a 16-rebound edge (41-25) and were able to use their superior size to outscore the Dolphins 28-10 in the paint. Army turned the ball over 20 times in the game.

The Black Knights have now won 11 straight games when limiting their opponents to less than 60 points.

Mount Saint Vincent jumped out to an 11-7 advantage on the strength of a 3-for-6 start from three-point range. The Black Knights, playing their first game in a week, started sluggish on the offensive end, hitting just three of their first seven shots and turning the ball over three times in the opening seven minutes.

Army trimmed the Dolphins’ lead to 13-11 with 10:40 to go when junior G Mitch McDonald found junior F Jeremy Hence for a layup, but Mount Saint Vincent answered right back with consecutive three-pointers by Johnson to claim a 19-11 lead with 9:23 left.

Senior C Chris Walker ended a three-minute, 29-second Army scoring drought for the Black Knights to make it 19-13 with 7:11 to go. The basket jumpstarted an 8-0 run with Richard’s three-point play tying the game at 19-19 with 4:46 left in the half.

With the score tied at 23-23, Richard hit back-to-back jumpers to give Army its largest lead of the half at 27-23 with 26 seconds remaining. The Dolphins scored the last points of the half on their sixth three-pointer, this one by DiMaggio, with 11 seconds remaining. Army came up empty on its final possession, sending the Black Knights into the locker room with a 27-26 advantage.

Richard scored a team-high seven points in the opening 20 minutes, while Johnson led the Dolphins with nine points, all on three-pointers.

Army shot 54.5 percent (12-22) in the first half, but was just 1 for 7 from three-point range and turned the ball over 11 times. Mount Saint Vincent hit 37.0 percent (10-27), but made six three-pointers (6-18).

Army started the half on a 5-2 run to extend its lead to 32-28, but the Dolphins drained back-to-back three-pointers to regain a 34-32 advantage with 17:33 to go. After a pair of free throws by Walker, senior G Jon Sizemore’s fastbreak layup off a Dolphin turnover gave the Black Knights a 36-34 lead with 16:38 left. The basket was part of a 6-0 run that pushed the Black Knights back in front 38-34 with 15:52 on the second-half clock.

The Black Knights led 39-38, but the Dolphins struck again from long range when DiMaggio stroked his third of the game to give them a 41-39 lead with 13:33 to go. Army responded with a 7-0 run to take its largest lead at 46-41 with 10:26 remaining. The Dolphins did not fold, however, as Kieran Halton converted a three-point play to cut the Army lead to 46-44 with 10:17 left.

Army led 50-46, but again the Dolphins found the mark from three-point range on a long jumper by Johnson to trim the margin to 50-49 with 7:56 left. The Black Knights led by two points, but another three-pointer, this one by Cunningham gave the Dolphins a one-point lead with 6:17 left.

Richard answered with a three-pointer of his own for the 10th lead change of the game, putting Army back on top 54-52 with 5:57 on the clock. Panetta tied the game for the fifth time with a pair of free throws with 5:10 left. Neither team scored for the next three minutes until Miller followed his own miss with a jumper in the lane that gave the Black Knights a 54-52 lead with 2:08 left. Army did not trail again.

Mount Saint Vincent came up empty on its next possession, and the Black Knights were able to get the rebound and push the ball up the floor. Miller found a streaking Richard for a layup that extended the Army lead to 58-54 with 1:29 remaining.

Nelson went to work on the defensive end, blocking a pair of shots before Army could corral the rebound. Miller hit 1-of-2 free throws to push Army’s lead to 59-54 with 37 seconds left. Army’s defense came through yet again with a steal before Simmons hit two free throws to extend the Army lead to 61-54 with 29 seconds left. Nelson finished Army’s scoring with a free throw to make it a 62-54 game with 21 seconds remaining in the game. Panetta tacked on the final basket of the game to set the final margin.

Army has won 26 straight games against non-Division I opponents since the 1993-94 season.

The Black Knights play their final game before the holiday break on Tuesday, Dec. 22 when they host New Hampshire. Tip-off at Christl Arena is set for 2 p.m.

Game Notes: The Dolphins’ 56 points snapped Army’s two-game streak of holding opponents to less than 50 points … Army is 6-0 when leading at halftime … the Black Knights shot 64.0 percent from the free throw line, stopping a four-game streak of hitting less than 60 percent of their free throws … Army is now 19-5 in its last 24 games when holding the rebounding edge and 11-2 in its last 13 games when holding at least a 10-rebound advantage … Army has outrebounded six of its first 10 opponents after holding the edge only five times in 30 games last season … Army is 8-2 for the first time since the 2006-07 team started 9-2 … Arm is now 17-10 since the start of last season since when Cleveland Richard scores at least 10 points …  … Marcus Nelson took his first three-point attempt of the season … Tyrell Thompson missed his sixth straight game with an ankle injury … MSV’s Kieran Halton fouled out with 4:24 left in the second half.

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