Cadets Capture Comeback Win Over Air Force

USAF ACADEMY, CO – Despite trailing by 17 points entering the half, the Army West Point men’s basketball team came from behind to capture a 66-61 victory over service-academy foe Air Force on Saturday afternoon at Clune Arena.

Tommy Funk and Lonnie Grayson led the comeback effort and combined for nearly half of the Black Knights’ (5-6) second-half points in the win over the Falcons (4-6). Funk finished as Army’s top scorer after putting up 14 points, while Grayson totaled 11. Alex King was the third Cadet to reach double-digit points after he buried three 3-pointers and tallied 10 in the scoring column.

After a poor shooting start, Army completely flipped the script in the second half and shot 50 percent from the field while not turning the ball over a single time. Defensively, the Black Knights limited the Falcons to 29-percent shooting and only 21 points on five made field goals in the second half.

Air Force shot the ball efficiently in the opening frame, connecting on 51 percent of their attempts from the field, including six makes from long range. Meanwhile, the Black Knights could not get into a rhythm offensively and shot the ball just 25 percent from the floor.

The Falcons grabbed the early advantage and never gave it up through the opening 20 minutes of action, capping the half on a 14-5 run to take a 40-23 lead into the break.

Army came out of the locker room for the second half and looked like a completely different team. The Black Knights knocked down four of their first five and opened up the frame on an 11-4 run to put a dent into the deficit. With 14:12 on the clock, Army turned to Funk and he began to catch fire, scoring six straight points to bring the Cadets within seven, 48-41.

Funk’s first basket sparked an 18-4 Army run that lasted over five minutes and gave the Black Knights their first lead of the game, 53-51.

It was back and forth the rest of the way and Air Force reclaimed the lead, 61-60, following a Pervis Louder jumper with 1:30 on the clock. The Cadets countered though and Tucker Blackwell found an opening, drove the lane, and scored to put Army back on top.

With 39 seconds left to play, Cayne Edwards reeled in a timely rebound off an Air Force miss.

The senior was fouled and buried two clutch foul shots as the Black Knights went on to secure their first road win of the year.

The Black Knights will conclude their three-game road trip on Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they face off against Fairleigh Dickinson at the Rothman Center in Hackensack, N.J.

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