Army Men’s Basketball Nipped By Holy Cross

WEST POINT – Jalen Rucker and Chris Mann each scored 11 points to share team-high honors as the Army Black Knights were unable to hold off a late push by the Holy Cross Crusaders in a 69-65 defeat on Saturday.

Army led for 27 minutes, but Holy Cross took the lead with 89 seconds remaining for the 14th and final lead change.

The Black Knights trailed 9-4 before going on a 13-3 run to take a 17-12 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half. The lead, then, alternated three times in the next two minutes.

Army grabbed control of the first half by outscoring the Crusaders, 15-4, to take a 34-25 lead with 3:24 remaining for the largest lead of the game. The Black Knights made 3 of 6 triples including a pair by Jared Cross during the stretch. The Crusaders closed the half on a 6-0 run to cut Army’s lead to 34-31 at the break.

Army scored six straight points to open the second frame for a 40-31 lead. The Black Knights maintained their lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the game, but the Crusaders continued to chip away at the lead. Holy Cross eventually took a 57-54 lead with seven minutes left, for its first lead since the 8:27 mark in the first half, as part of a 9-1 run.

Chris Mann and Josh Caldwell combined for five points to push Army back into the lead, 59-58, with four minutes remaining. After Holy Cross’s Judson Martindale made a 3-pointer for a 61-59 lead, Aaron Duhart and Abe Johnson provided the scoring as the Black Knights led 62-61 with two minutes left.

However, the Black Knights had four straight scoreless trips which opened the door for the Crusaders who scored six straight points to lead 67-62 with 31 seconds left. Jalen Rucker connected on a triple with 14 seconds left, but Holy Cross’ Kyrell Luc made a pair of free throws to cap the scoring at 69-65.

Army West Point is back on the road on Wednesday, February 9 to take on Boston University at 7 p.m.

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