WEST POINT – Natalie Stralkus led Army West Point Women’s Basketball (10-8, 5-4) with 18 points, solely off three-pointers, in the Black Knights 50-46 victory over Lafayette (7-11, 3-5) on Saturday afternoon in Christl Arena.
Stralkus hit six of the 13 three-pointers she shot for 18 points while contributing one rebound. Kamryn Hall followed with 12 points and seven rebounds along with three assists and two blocks. Sabria Hunter was dominant on the boards ripping down 10 rebounds.
Alisa Fallon dished out six assists or the team.
Both teams had a slow start in the first quarter, each shooting under 30 percent. The teams were scoreless for the first three minutes until Lafayette hit a jumper to take the early lead. Melanie George came in off the bench and immediately hit a pull-up jumper to get Army on the board (2-2). Army hit a scoring drought for the next five minutes allowing Lafayette to take an 8-2 with just about two minutes left. Fallon hit a three to end the drought for Army, followed by a buzz beater jumper off fingertips off Sam McNaughton to cut Lafayette’s lead to 8-7.
The Cadets continued to have offensive trouble in the open five minutes of the second quarter. With 5:07 on the clock, Hope Brown found Hall on the win for three-pointer first the team’s points of the period. Stralkus entered the game and immediately helped Army chip away at Lafayette’s lead with a three (16-13). Stralkus ignited a 10-3 scoring run for Army. Hall contributed five points to the team’s run. Taylor Sullivan made a huge defensive stop in the final seconds of the period, blocking the Leopards’ attempted layup. Army entered the half with a 20-19 lead. Hall had eight points in the quarter with two assists and two rebounds.
Army opened the third quarter with an 8-2 scoring run highlighted by two three-pointers from Stralkus. The Cadets hit a scoring drought, going cold for the next six minutes giving Lafayette the opportunity to take a three-point lead (31-28). Fallon hit a jumper for the team to cut the Leopards’ lead to one. With 41 seconds on the clock, Hall connected on a jumper to tie things up at 32-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
Another slow start for Army had the team down by eight with just under five minutes left
(44-36). Stralkus found her groove hitting three three-pointers for the Black Knights to help them rally from behind. Hunter came in clutch late in the period connecting on two free throws to tie things up with 24 second left in the game (46-46). With only seconds left on the clock Hall took a charge, causing an administrative technical foul to be given to Lafayette. Fallon sunk two free throws to put Army up by two (48-46). The next possession she drew a foul and cashed in two more shots. Army escaped with the 50-46 win over Lafayette.