ANNAPOLIS, MD. – The Army West Point men’s basketball performance at Navy on Saturday afternoon was nothing short of a miracle.
The Black Knights rallied from 25-points down with 13 minutes remaining to register a 71-68 victory over their archrival. The outcome handed Army its first Star Game win in three tries and brings the Alumni Trophy back to West Point. The Cadets finished the regular season 2-1 against their service-academy foes including a 79-71 triumph over Air Force back on Dec. 7.
The impressive win ties for the largest comeback in NCAA Division I play this year. Nevada also rallied from 25 points down to beat North Mexico on Jan. 9. It was also the largest comeback in the Army-Navy Game series history.
With Navy’s lead up to a game-high 25 points, senior Mac Hoffman sparked a quick 6-0 run for Army with 12:40 remaining following a jumper to make it a 54-35 ballgame. The Mids then saw Tom Lacey hit a jumper with nine minutes to play but Army answered with another 27-6 rally to knot the score at 62-62. That last run closed out Army’s 33-8 overall rally from 12:40 to 2:38. During that stretch the Cadets drained five 3-pointers, including two very important ones back-to-back from Jordan Fox. Army also made 12 straight field goals at one point during the epic comeback.
Navy quickly broke the tie with a trey of their own but a 7-2 run from the Black Knights handed the visitors their first lead since the 12:17 mark of the opening period. That small rally was highlighted by another make from downtown by Fox with 19 ticks on the clock.
Strong defense by the Cadets in the final 10 seconds then secured them their fifth win in Patriot League play. Army shifts to 11-17 overall, while Navy falls to 15-13.
Fox earned his fifth career 20-plus point outing with a game-high 22 points. The sophomore finished 8-of-15 from the floor, 5-of-9 from downtown and 1-of-3 at the free throw line. His five treys were a career best. The Jackson County, Ky., native also led all players with seven assists and two steals.
Joining him in double-digit scoring was rookie Tommy Funk and Hoffman, who posted 14 and 11 points, respectively. Hoffman notched his second career double-double after adding a game-high 10 rebounds.
Army is back in Christl Arena on Wednesday for its last regular season home contest of the year. The Black Knights welcome Boston University at 7 p.m.