BUFFALO – In an afternoon filled with career milestones, four cadets scored in double-figures to lift the Army West Point men’s basketball team to a resounding, 89-76, road win against Buffalo on Saturday afternoon.
The Black Knights (5-5) put together one of their best performances of the season en route to picking up the victory against the defending MAC regular and tournament champions.
Both Matt Wilson and Lonnie Grayson netted over 20 points and set career-highs in scoring. Wilson caused problems for the Bulls (6-4) all game as he drew seven fouls. The senior forward finished with a career-best 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting to pair with four boards.
Grayson caught fire from deep, shooting 5-of-6 from long range. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native flirted with a triple-double after setting career-highs in points (21) and rebounds (8), while tying his career-best mark in assists with seven.
In his third start of the season, Josh Caldwell made an impact by scoring a career-high 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Tommy Funk was the fourth cadet to reach double-figures in the scoring column after he finished with 14 to go with six boards and six assists.
Trailing 9-5 with 14:49 on the clock, the Black Knights went on an 8-0 run that featured five points from Grayson to put Army on top for the first time of the afternoon. Buffalo eventually retook the lead following an 8-0 run of their own, but the Cadets countered with nine unanswered points to go ahead, 26-24, with 6:59 left to play.
Army closed out the final 3:15 of the half on an 8-2 run and went into the break up by five, 39-35. The Black Knights carried that momentum in the second stanza and outscored the Bulls, 7-2, in the first two minutes to grab a double-digit advantage.
The Black Knights kept their foot on the gas and did not allow the Bulls to close the gap to fewer than eight points. Wilson was nearly unstoppable in the second frame, scoring 18 of his 25 on 7-of-10 shooting. Grayson and Caldwell also contributed heavily in the final 20 minutes, combining for 20 points. The duo paired to shoot 8-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-4 from long range.
The Black Knights return to action Saturday when Army visits Staten Island, N.Y., for a road tilt with Wagner slated for 2 p.m.