WEST POINT – Army men’s basketball dropped a Saturday contest at Christl Arena, 84-74 to visiting Colgate University.
The Black Knights (9-5, 5-4 Patriot League) ran into a hot-shooting Colgate (8-1, 8-1 Patriot League) team that shot 51.7 percent (31-for-60) from the field and 46.4 percent (13-for-28) from three-point land. The also sunk 9-of-12 free throws on the night as they took the front end of two contests.
The Black Knights never led on the day, but pushed back multiple times throughout the contest to come within striking distance despite not having their best shooting day (41.5 percent, 27-for-65 from the field). The Black Knights shot 37.0 percent (10-for-27) from behind the arc and only shot 10-for-19 from the charity stripe after nearly three weeks off due to a positive Covid-19 case in the Tier 1 and subsequent contact tracing.
The Black Knights took care of the ball on the day however, turning it over just 10 times to Colgate’s 12. The Black Knights capitalized on those turnovers, scoring 16 points off turnovers to Colgate’s 12.
“We knew coming in if everything was right, it was going to be a challenge,” said head coach Jimmy Allen. “Colgate is very good. But for one, it was an opportunity for us to get back on the court. If you are going to gage where you are, you want to do that against who I think is the best team in our league. They are the most consistent team at both ends of the floor. I thought we had some moments where we looked pretty good, but we just could never get enough stops. They just scored the ball consistently throughout the game and we just weren’t as good as we needed to be throughout the game.”
Five Black Knights finished in double figures on the day, with Lonnie Grayson and Alex King leading the way with 14 points apiece. Jalen Rucker finished with 13 while Nick Finke had 11 and Josh Caldwell 10. Finke led the way with eight boards while Rucker had four assists.
Colgate also had five players in double-figures including Nelly Cummings and Jordan Burns with a team-high 16 points apiece.
Colgate jumped out to a 13-6 lead with 15:15 left in the first quarter and never looked back. A 13-2 run after the Black Knights cut the lead to two with a Blackwell three-pointer with 13:32 left in the first half pushed their lead to 26-13 with 10:10 left. The Raiders saw their lead grow to 14 points with 3:38 left, 31-17, but three-straight free throws by Grayson pulled them within nine, 31-22 with 2:26 left. At the half, the Black Knights trailed Colgate, 37-28.
In the second half, the Raiders saw their lead balloon to a game-high lead of 18 points, 66-48 with 10 minutes left. The Black Knights were able to cut it down to 10 after a Jared Cross three pointer with under 30 seconds, giving us the final score of 84-74, Colgate.