Knights Top Red Foxes In Hudson Valley Tussle

WEST POINT – Behind a strong second-half push and Jalen Rucker’s game-high 24 points, the Army Black Knights topped Hudson Valley rival Marist, 65-61, on Saturday afternoon.

The Black Knights used a 12-2 run to start the second half to seize control of the contest that featured seven lead changes and seven ties. After the teams played to a 27-27 tie in the first half, the Black Knights surged ahead in the early minutes of the second frame.

Jared Cross connected on a 3-pointer 47 seconds into the second half to give Army a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Cross’ 3-pointer was followed by four straight points by Jalen Rucker, a dunk by Matt Dove, and another 3-pointer by Cross for a 39-29 lead with 13:53 left.
The Red Foxes countered with an 11-2 run to cut Army’s lead to 41-40 with 10 minutes remaining. However, Rucker answered with a floater to spark a 10-2 run over the next three minutes with Rucker contributing eight points, including draining consecutive 3-pointers.

Marist trimmed Army’s lead to four points before the Black Knights pushed back with Charlie Peterson and Rucker combing for the next six points for a 57-49 lead with two minutes remaining. Army managed the final minutes by going 6-for-7 at the free-throw line.

The first half was story of runs which saw the lead see-saw. Trailing 13-6, Army reeled off 10 straight points coming from four different players – Kwabena Davis, Isaiah Caldwell, Jalen Rucker, and Matt Dove – for a 15-13 lead with nine minutes left in the opening half. Marist responded with seven straight, but Army responded with a 7-0 run of its own to retake the lead, 23-20 with 4:31 on the clock. The Red Foxes regain the lead with a 7-2 spurt, but a basket by Dove with one minute remaining knotted the score at 27-27.

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