WEST POINT, N.Y. Jarell Brown hit a three-pointer with two seconds left on the clock to propel the Army men’s basketball team to a scintillating 59-58 victory over visiting Sacred Heart Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena.
Brown, who tied his season high with 24 points, hit 10-of-18 field goals, including 4-of-6 from three-point range, to reach the 20-point plateau for the seventh time this year.
It didn’t appear as though Army (10-4) would need any late game heroics, as the Black Knights led 55-47 with 3:33 to play. A pair of Luke Granato three-pointers fueled a quick 10-0 Sacred Heart scoring burst that gave the Pioneers (6-7) their first lead since midway through the second half at 57-55 with 1:38 to play.
After an exchange of empty possessions, Chris Walker split a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left, and Granato did the same four seconds later to give Sacred Heart a 58-56 advantage, setting the stage for Brown’s heroics.
Walker grabbed Granato's missed free throw and passed the ball to Matt Bell, who penetrated the defense before kicking the ball out to Brown, who was setting up on the right wing. Then, with a Sacred Heart defender running at him, Brown calmly knocked down the game-winning trey.
The first half was a back and forth affair that featured eight ties and seven lead changes. Following the stanza’s fourth tie at 14-14, Army reeled off six straight points to establish a 20-14 lead at the 8:45 mark. Sacred Heart responded with a 10-2 spurt to take a 24-22 lead with 3:21 remaining. After Army tied the game at 26-all, the Pioneers closed the first half with a 5-2 spurt to take a 31-28 lead into halftime.
Sacred Heart opened up the second half with back-to-back baskets by Jarrid Frye to establish its largest lead of the game (35-28) at the 18:17 mark. Army used a 28-9 run to regain control of the game, building a 53-44 advantage with 4:58 to play. Brown scored 11 points during the run, which appeared to give Army full control of the contest.
Bell finished with 15 points, while Walker chipped in eight points and five rebounds. Marcus Nelson produced two points, a career-high 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals. The 12 rebounds are the most by an Army player in a game this season. The Black Knights outrebounded Sacred Heart, 39-27.
Frye led three Sacred Heart players in double figures with 14 points. Granato added 13 points and Joey Henley scored 12 for the Pioneers.
Army will conclude the non-conference portion of its schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 2, when the Black Knights travel to Hanover, N.H., to take on Dartmouth College. Tip off from Leede Arena is set for 7 p.m.