Army Claims Papa John’s Bulldog Bash Title

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Army West Point men’s basketball team earned the title of tournament champions after defeating Marist here Saturday afternoon, 82-75, at the Papa John’s Bulldog Bash.

The Black Knights posted back-to-back wins in a two-day span to win their first tournament title since 2015 when the Cadets claimed the Barclays Center Classic crown.

Army was familiar with its opponent Saturday, having played the Red Foxes 14 days ago in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Following that 94-73 road win and Saturday’s win, the Cadets defeated a non-league opponent twice in the same season for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign when they did so against Dartmouth.

The Black Knights trailed two minutes into the contest but a layup from Matt Wilson on the fast break handed Army the 5-4 edge. The Cadets then maintained that advantage and even extended their lead to a game-high 16 points at 39-23 with seven minutes remaining in the opening period. Marist cut into the deficit but Army managed to take a double-digit lead into the break.

The Red Foxes slowly started to chip away at the advantage throughout the second half and pulled within 73-68 with just under three minutes to play. Four-straight points from Army over the course of the next two minutes though extended the lead to 77-68. Marist was never able to pull any closer than six in the final minute of play to ultimately hand the Cadets the victory.

Four reached double-digit scoring for the Black Knights with Tommy Funk’s 16 points leading the way. The sophomore finished 3-of-6 from the floor, 1-of-2 from long range and a career-best 9-of-10 at the free throw line. He chipped in a game-best eight assists as well.

Joining him in double figures was Wilson and Tucker Blackwell with 15 points apiece and Alex King with 10 points. Wilson has now recorded double-digit scoring in Army’s last five games, while Blackwell reached a career-best in scoring with King matching his.

Junior Jordan Fox added a career-high nine rebounds, while also dishing out three helpers. He did see his 12-game double-digit scoring streak come to a halt after notching just six points in the contest. That streak dated back to last season.

Funk was named the tournament’s most valuable player, having averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds throughout the event. Wilson and Blackwell were also tabbed to the all-tournament team. Wilson averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds, while Blackwell chipped in 10.5 points per contest.

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