WEST POINT – The Army West Point men’s basketball team saw its rival Navy register a 68-59 victory Saturday afternoon in the teams’ annual Star game.
Army and Navy split their two regular season meetings with each team recording a win on their opponent’s home court.
The Black Knights never led in this one, marking the first time all season the Cadets didn’t have at least one advantage in a game.
The Mids jumped out to an early 12-5 edge seven minutes into the contest before increasing their lead to a game-high 15 points at 33-18 with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Navy used a 21-13 run during that stretch. The Cadets tried to rally but were only able to cut the deficit down to 35-23 at the break. Army’s 23 points were a season-low for any half this season.
Ironically, the Mids completely flipped the script from the teams’ previous meeting as the Black Knights held the 35-23 advantage down in Annapolis back on Jan. 14.
A small 8-2 run for the home squad to start the second period cut a 12-point lead down to six just three minutes in. The Black Knights kept it close at 41-35 with 13:07 remaining following an Alex King steal and dunk. Unfortunately, a 6-1 run for Navy quickly extended its advantage to 47-36 with just under 12 minutes left to play.
Army continued to battle and again made it a 49-43 ballgame with 8:22 on the clock but ultimately weren’t able to get any closer. Five-straight from the Mids handed them back a double-digit lead and then they maintained that distance before going on to secure the nine-point victory.
Two reached twin-figure scoring for the Black Knights with Jordan Fox leading all scorers with 19 points. He finished 6-of-14 from the floor, 2-of-9 from downtown and 5-of-6 at the free throw line. He chipped in three rebounds and a team-best four assists as well.
Senior Luke Morrison tried to help from long range, draining four of his seven attempts. He closed out his night 6-of-9 from the floor for 16 points.
Rookie Babacar Thiombane notched a team-high five rebounds, while Morrison, Matt Wilson and Jacob Kessler added four each.