NEWARK, N.J. – Three Black Knights scored in double figures as Army never trailed en route to a 66-49 win over the NJIT Highlanders on Friday night.
The Black Knights played one of their best defensive games of the season, while holding the host to season-lows in points and field goal percentage. Offensively, Army got contributions from several Black Knights with Jalen Rucker, Chris Mann and Josh Caldwell all scoring in double figures.
The Black Knights, who never trailed and led for over 38 minutes, closed each half with game-turning runs. Army West Point led 9-2 after five minutes. The Highlanders cut the Army’s lead to 21-20 with 7:33 remaining in the first half. However, the Black Knights closed the half on a 9-3 including holding NJIT without a field goal.
Army led 50-37 with nine minutes remaining before the Highlanders went on a 10-2 run in two minutes. Though, the Black Knights were unfazed and outscored NJIT 14-2 to end the game. Army held NJIT to 1 of 7 shooting from the field while the Black Knights made 3 of 5 shots from the field and went 7-for-8 at the free-throw line.
“I thought this was a tremendous win for us just coming off of two disappointing games against Siena and Air Force. I thought we put together 40 minutes tonight of consistent effort on both ends of the floor. I thought we were physical and didn’t settle offensively. We got the ball to the basket, and we did things that we really emphasized on like rebounded, especially on the offensive glass. I was really proud of our guys today and I thought they were locked in, and they competed in every second,” said coach Jimmy Allen
Army continues its three-game road trip at LIU on Sunday, December 19 at 2 p.m.