WEST POINT – Army West Point (13-12, 7-5) fell on the road to the Bucknell Bison (10-15, 3-9) on Saturday night, 73-67.
Army’s Ethan Roberts did all he could in efforts to will the Black Knights to victory but his attempt came up just short. The freshman scored a career-high 32 points on 11-19 shooting from the field, shooting a lights out 6-8 from three-point. Roberts scored 21 of his 32 in the second half, including 12 by virtue of splashing four three-pointers in the games final minute, trying to keep Army in the game.
Bucknell’s Xander Rice splashed an early three-pointer as the Bison raced out to an early 9-4 lead.
Ethan Roberts got his night started making a three-pointer as he scored seven out of Army’s first nine points, as the Black Knights trailed 15-9.
Rice would make a jumper to give Bucknell a 10-point lead, 21-11 just over halfway through the first half.
Army trailed 26-15 before Coleton Benson made a three-pointer in which he was fouled and converted on a four-point play. Benson would make baskets on Army’s next two possessions cutting Bucknell’s lead to six, 29-23. With under a minute in the half, Benson was good from deep again, pulling Army within three-points, 33-30.
The electric freshman duo of Ethan Roberts and Coleton Benson combined to score 22 of Army’s 30 first half points.
In the second half, Army took its first lead of the game on a Roberts three-pointer, 41-40 at the 14:11 mark. The Bison responded with threes of their own when Ruot Bijiek and Ian Motta connected on a pair to give Bucknell a 48-41 lead around the 10-minute mark.
Army would get within one-point again, 50-49 following free throw makes by Roberts.
However, Bucknell would go on a 15-2 scoring run to push its lead to 65-51 with 2:31 to play.
Trailing by 12 with one-minute to play, Ethan Roberts caught fire to keep the Black Knights fighting. The freshman made three-pointers at the :57, :32, :23, and :15-second marks. Despite the impressive shooting it was not enough to mount the comeback.
Bucknell was led by Xavier Rice’s 17 points and six assists. Andre Screen (15), Ruot Bijiek (12), and Alex Timmerman (10) were also in double figures for the Bison.