Army Black Knights Were Defeated by Navy

WEST POINT – Jalen Rucker’s 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short as the Army Black Knights were defeated by the Navy Midshipmen, 52-49, in this season’s Army-Navy Star Series presented by USAA on Saturday.

The Black Knights were looking for their third straight win in the series as they hosted the Midshipmen for the first time since 2020. However, Navy used a late push in the final minutes to slip past the Black Knights to split the season series.

Navy led 9-2 after six minutes and led 19-8 with nine minutes left in the opening stanza. However, Army outscored Navy 15-6 to close out the half. Rucker started a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer, followed by layups from Isaiah Caldwell and AJ Allenspach. The Black Knights tied the game at 21-21 with 2:31 on the clock after a pair of free throws by Charlie Peterson. A layup by Josh Caldwell tied the game at 23-23 before Tyler Nelson hit a jumper as time expired to give the Mids a 25-23 lead at the break.

Army started the second half brightly, reeling off nine straight points. A pair of free throws by Rucker gave Army its first lead of the game, 27-25, as part of the run which led to a 32-25 lead with 17:20 remaining. Navy answered with an 8-0 run in six minutes for a brief lead. Rucker put Army back ahead, 34-33, but the Mids scored six straight to retake the lead for good as they led 39-34 with eight minutes left.

Army trailed 43-40 with 4:28 left before Navy pushed its lead to 47-40 with three minutes remaining. Rucker connected a triple to cut Navy’s lead to 50-45 with 1:32 left. After forcing a stop, Army had a chance to cut into Navy’s lead on its next possession but came away with no points. Navy made two free throws for a 52-45 lead with 29 seconds left.

Chris Mann scored a layup on Army’s next possession with 23 seconds left. After a scoreless trip by Navy, Rucker was sent to the free-throw line where he made a pair to cut the lead to 52-49 with eight seconds remaining.

With four seconds left, Navy’s Nelson missed two free throws to leave the door open for Army. Josh Caldwell grabbed the rebound and found Rucker whose 3-pointer in front of the Army bench fell short as time expired.

Army West Point hosts Colgate on Saturday, February 16 at 6 p.m.

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