WEST POINT - Columbia (8-5) used a 19-3 run in the early portion of the second half to overcome an eight-point deficit and went on to a 64-52 victory over Army (7-7) Saturday afternoon at Christl Arena. The loss was Army’s first at home this season.
Senior Ella Ellis and freshman Kyle Wilson led the Black Knights with 11 points each. Wilson was 3-for-3 from three-point range. Rookie Kyle Toth scored nine points on threes and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Plebe Larry Toomey had a team best three assists.
Columbia’s Steve Frankoski scored a game-high 13 points. Brian Barbour was also in double figures with 11 points. Mark Cisco snared a game-high 13 rebounds, helping the Lions to a 40-30 rebounding advantage.
Army led by five at halftime and extended their lead to eight points in the opening moments of the second half on a three-pointer by Toth. John Daniels answered to start the Lions’ decisive run. Columbia scored eight straight points before an Army free throw. The Black Knights were just 1-for-12 during the run, including a stretch of eight straight misses.
Both teams struggled at the start, going a combined 1-for-11 from the floor to begin the game. Columbia led 3-0 when Toth drilled Army’s first triple to tie the game and start a 7-2 run. Larry Toomey gave Army its first lead when he converted a back door layup off a feed from Maxwell Lenox with 13:00 showing on the clock.
The Lions tied the game at 7-7, but Ellis stroked his first three-pointer to give Army back the lead. The teams exchanged three-pointers on the next three possessions, tying the score at 13-13 with 7:44 left in the half. A jumper by Ellis put the Black Knights back on top and started what would become a 7-0 run.
Army led 24-16 when Lo buried his second triple of the game. Barbour scored an old-fashioned three-point play with just 9.9 seconds left to cut the Lions’ deficit to 26-24, but Toth was true from the right corner as time expired, sending Army into the half with a 29-24 edge.
Ellis led all players with 11 first-half points. Army shot 11-for-27 overall (.407), including a 5-for-7 showing from long range. The Black Knights’ defense limited the Lions to 31.8 percent shooting (7-22) overall. Columbia made four of its 13 three-point tries in the first half.
After the Lions’ second-half spurt, the Black Knights pulled within two points on a three-pointer by Wilson, but the Lions scored the next seven points to regain a nine-point lead with 8:22 left. Columbia led by as many as 13 in the closing minutes before taking the 64-52 win.