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January 15th, 2014

Army Grinds Out 60-55 Victory Against Navy

Army Forward Kyle Wilson (21) netted 12 points, all in the second half. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
ANNAPOLIS, Md.  – Army (8-7, 4-0 PL) outscored Navy (6-9, 1-3 PL) 18-11 over the final 9:05, holding the Mids to just two field goals in that span to come away with a 60-55 win in Patriot League men’s basketball action at Alumni Hall Saturday afternoon. The Black Knights have now won a season-high five straight games and seven of their last eight to extend their program record start to Patriot League play  and move above the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Army trailed 24-20 at halftime, but scored the first 12 points of the second half to take an eight-point lead with 16:51 to go. The Mids answered with a 14-4 run to regain the lead and led 44-42 after a basket by Worth Smith. Army’s Matt Gramling scored the next four points to give Army a 46-44 lead, but Smith tied the game at the line. A three-point play by Tanner Plomb with 6:13 on the clock started a 10-3 run that gave the Black Knights the lead for good.

Plomb led Army with 15 points and tied for the team lead with five rebounds. Kyle Wilson netted 12 points, all in the second half. He scored nine of Army’s final 10 points, including a three-pointer to beat the shot clock that stretched Army’s lead to 56-49 with 2:16 left in the game.  Gramling tallied a season-high nine points, while Dylan Cox dished out a game-high five assists.

Army overcame a 7-for-25 first half to shoot 44.9 percent for the game. The Black Knights were 15-for-24 in the second half, taking only three shots from long range in the final 20 minutes. Army, which averaged more than 26 three-point tries per game entering Saturday, were just 2-for-1 1 from distance. The Black Knights outscored the Mids in the paint, 36-16.

The Army defense harassed the Mids into a 35.2 percent field goal percentage, including a 5-for-20 showing from three-point range. Army forced 12 turnovers, while committing only nine miscues.
Navy jumped out to a 7-0 lead as Army missed its first three shots and turned the ball over three times. Mo Williams ended Army’s five-minute, 14-second scoring drought with a three-point play that jumpstarted a 12-1 run. Travis Rollo scored back-to-back baskets to give Army a 12-8 lead with 10:40 to go in the half. The Mids answered with a 14-5 spurt to take a 22-17 lead with 2:21 left and led by four at the break.

Army came out of the locker room  with 12 straight points to take their largest lead of the game at 32-24 with 16:51 to go. The Mids stopped the momentum with a three-pointer by Knorr at the 16:04 mark. Army led 34-29 when Brown and Brandon Venturini combined to make three-straight triples as part of a 14-4 spurt that put the Mids back on top by two with 13:17 left.

The teams exchanged baskets until Gramling tied the game at 44-44 and then put Army on top with two free throws. Navy tied the game one more time before Plomb’s three-point play gave Army the lead for good.

Army made just enough free throws, connecting on four of its six attempts in the final 31 seconds. Wilson’s free throws gave Army an eight-point lead, matching the Black Knights’ largest of the game.

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