WEST POINT – Army West Point men’s basketball (15-14. 9-7 Patriot League) rebounded at home on Saturday night in a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network, defeating Lafayette (9-20, 7-9), 53-43.
Army’s defense was terrific, holding Lafayette to shoot just 16-63 (25.4%) from the field. Additionally, shooting just 6-30 (20.0%) from three-point. It was Lafayette’s worst shooting percentage of the season.
In a low scoring affair, Army guard Jalen Rucker scored a game high 16 points on 7-17 shooting and grabbed five rebounds.
Army’s defense was outstanding early holding Lafayette to just 10 points through the first 15 minutes of the first half, getting out to a 25-10 lead. During this stretch Army saw made three-pointers by Coleton Benson, TJ Small and Ethan Roberts.
Army held Lafayette to just 20.69% shooting (6-29) from the field and just 2-14 from three-point in the first half.
In the second half, Lafayette cut Army’s lead to just six points, 31-25 at the 11:59 mark, after a made layup by Josh Rivera.
Jared Cross would strike on a big three-point several possessions later to push Army’s lead back to nine, 34-25.
The Leopards cut into the Black Knights lead and got within five, 36-31, following made threes by Josh Rivera and Leo O’Boyle.
Later in the half, Cross made a clutch three again for Army with 4:04 to push Army to a 45-36 advantage.
Down the stretch, Rucker converted on pullup jumper to go up seven, 47-40 with less than three minutes to play.
Army would hold Lafayette scoreless over the last three minutes of play until they converted on a shot with just seconds remaining.
Jared Cross scored six points, shooting 2-3 from three-point.
Lafayette was led by Justin Vander Baan, who scored 13 points and Josh Rivera who scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.