WEST POINT – The Army West Point men’s basketball team (11-10, 5-3 PL) fell to its rivals from Annapolis, the Navy Midshipmen (10-10, 3-5) by a score of 77-71, at Christl Arena Saturday in the second game of the doubleheader between men’s and women’s basketballs for Army and Navy.
Navy saw four players reach double figures, led by Christian Jones’ 21 points, connecting on 4-6 from three-point range. Army Senior Chris Mann erupted for a career high 28 points on 11-15 shooting to lead the Black Knights offensive attack. After struggling for a few games struggling from the field, Chris Mann found his stroke on Saturday afternoon.
Halfway through the first half around the 10-minute mark, freshman Coleton Benson hit on a three-pointer to give Army a 22-13 advantage. As the first half winded down, Jalen Rucker and Ethan Roberts also were true on three-pointers as Army took a 39-31 lead into halftime over Navy.
At the break, Chris Mann led all scorers with 12 points on 4-5 shooting. Freshman Ethan Roberts was 2-3 from three-point range for eight points and Rucker had nine points. Navy was paced by Christian Jones’ 11 points, which included three three-point makes.
In the second half, Mann picked up where he left off from the first half for Army, splashing a three-pointer to push Army’s lead back to 10, 46-36 at the 16:47 mark.
Navy would cut the lead back to five points, 48-43 on a layup from Tyler Nelson with 15:10 remaining.
The Mids would then cut Army’s lead to two points, on a three-point make by Sean Yoder with under 15 minutes remaining on the clock and would then tie it on a bucket from Daniel Deaver to cap off a 9-0 scoring run by Navy. Army’s Jalen Rucker would respond to break the scoring drought on a penetrating layup.
Navy eventually took its first lead in the game on a three-pointer by Christian Jones, his fourth in the game.
Rucker regained the lead for Army, 58-57 on a jumper.
Following back and forth action, Navy pushed its lead to three, 66-63 after an alley oop dunk by Tyler Nelson with an assist from Christian Jones assist.
Army tied the ballgame back at 66 apiece after Chris Mann foul shot make.
Navy Tyler Nelson sunk a three-pointer giving Navy a three-point lead, 69-66 Navy.
Down the stretch, Army struggled as Navy extended the lead with less than two minutes remaining as Nelson converted on three-point play, pushing the Navy lead to 74-66.