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WEST POINT – Army West Point Women’s Basketball (13-10, 7-6 Patriot) claimed their third-consecutive Star Game victory after holding off Navy (7-16, 4-9 Patriot) 70-66 in the Star Game, presented by USAA, on Saturday afternoon at Christl Arena.
Alisa Fallon led the way with 17 points, five assists and eight rebounds. She was one of three Black Knights to record double-digit points, joined by Sabria Hunter, who poured in 11 to go along with five assists and seven rebounds and Lauren Lithgow, who went 4-of-6 from the arc for 14 points. Army dominated the boards, out-rebounding Navy 33-29 while ripping down 22 defensive rebounds.
The game was a battle from the start with five lead changes in the first quarter. Kamryn Hall was strong in the opening minutes, hitting two threes for the Black Knights to put Army up 11-9 before Navy fought back to take a 12-11 lead with 5:40 left on the clock.
Sam McNaughton hit a pull up jumper out of a media timeout to put the Black Knights back on top (13-12). The sophomore’s jumper ignited a 6-1 scoring run for the Black Knights. Lithgow hit her first three-pointer of the game in the final seconds to give Army a 20-15 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Black Knights kept their momentum going at the start of the second quarter with a 6-0 scoring run forcing Navy to take an early timeout (26-15). Navy’s offense started to give Army some trouble as the Midshipmen were able to get within two with a minute left on the clock. Taylor Sullivan hit a layup to put the Cadets up by four with 40 seconds left (33-29).
Navy was able to hit a three to cut Army’s lead to one heading into half time (33-32). Lithgow led the team with six points in the quarter.
Navy’s offense found its groove opening the third quarter with a 6-2 run to pull ahead (38-36). Fallon rallied the Cadets with a small five-point run of her own to get Army back on top with just over five minutes left in the period (41-38). The teams continued to trade points, but Navy was able to escape the quarter with 54-48 lead over Army. Fallon scored 10 points in the quarter, shooting 100 percent from all areas of the floor.
Just like the game earlier this season, it came down to the fourth quarter. Though Navy hit the opening shot to go up eight points, Kate Murray answered back with a three-pointer. It went back-and-forth until Army went on a six-point run to tie the game up at 57-57 with five minutes left. The Midshipmen fought back but Army knotted up the score two more times before Murray hit a trey to give Army the 67-64 lead. It was all about defense for the final minute of the game. Army was able to shutdown Navy’s offense as Fallon came up with the defensive rebound that sent her to the free throw line. She sank the two shots for Army to give the Cadets the 69-66 lead with 18 seconds left. On the next play, Hunter earned a trip to the free throw line and hit one of the two shots for the team. Army claimed the 70-66 victory over Navy to earn the gold star.
“The players demonstrated calm in the face of pressure, overcoming the fourth quarter deficit. The team responded with offensive efficiency and gritty defense when we needed it most. It was a privilege and an honor to coach in a star game against Navy. The atmosphere created by the cadets and our fans for this game was electric and I’m thankful,” said head coach Missy Traversi.
Army travels to Colgate for a midweek game on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.