WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Army West Point women’s basketball team’s 2017-18 season came to a close in the Patriot League Tournament semifinal round after falling to top-seeded American, 60-49, at Bender Arena on Thursday night.
Aliyah Murray and Destinee Morris led the Cadets in the scoring column with 12 and 11, respectively. Janae McNeal and Madison Hovren chipped in with seven apiece, while Libby Tacka added six. Hovren also got in done on the glass, reeling in a team-high 12 against the Eagles (25-6, 17-2 Patriot League).
The Black Knight’s ended their campaign with a 17-14 overall record, marking the sixth consecutive season that the program finished with a winning record. The six-senior Cadet class closed out their careers with 91 wins under their belts.
Hovren passed Aimee Oertner ‘16, Melissa Miles ‘81, Megan Evans ‘09 and Leeann Duhoski ‘90 for 10th in all-time rebounds with 698.
She also passed Jen Hazlett ‘14 for 15th in all-time field goals made with 424.
Additionally, she finished third in single-season rebounds by a junior with 307 and fourth in rebounding average by a junior with 9.9 per contest.
Murray tied her career-high in blocks with three.
Morris tied her season-high in made shots with four.
The Army bench accounted for 29 points, marking the most in a game this season since Dec. 16 against St. Joseph’s Brooklyn (55).
It was the third consecutive outing that the bench scored more than 20 points.
The Black Knights shot 55 percent from long range, the second-best percentage from deep this season.
Army scored 35 second-half points, compared to its 14 in the first.
How it happened. Army took its first lead of the night after a 3-pointer by Tacka put the Black Knights ahead 7-5 with 3:11 left on the clock in the opening quarter. The Eagles responded with 10 unanswered points to build an eight-point advantage, before Tacka brought it within five with her second three of the night.
Out of the media timeout in the second quarter, Army threw a full court press at the Eagles and forced an immediate turnover and eventual score by Murray down low. With the Eagles holding a six-point edge, 18-12, Emily Kinneston and Maria Liddaine helped their team go on an 8-2 run to close out the quarter.
Kinneston, the Patriot League Player of the Year, was instrumental in the Eagles’ first-half success, scoring 15 of her team’s 26 points on 6-of-13 shooting. On the opposite end, Army was limited to just three made shots in each of the first two quarters. The Black Knights could only connect on 21 percent of their attempts from the field in the half.Army came out on the court for the second half and Hovren scored on back-to-back possessions. A 7-1 American run then put the Eagles ahead 33-19, but Destinee Morris made two consecutive shots, including a make from deep to pull the Cadets within single digits.
With the Eagles lead cut down to seven following a pair of Daizjah Morris free throws, American connected on two 3-pointers. It was a nine-point advantage, 39-30, in favor of American when the third quarter ended.
To start the fourth, American went on a 7-2 run and pushed its lead to 14. The Black Knights got as close as eight, 54-46, before American closed out the game for the Patriot League Tournament win.