WEST POINT - Three members of the Army women’s basketball scored in double figures to lead the hosts to a 54-48 win over Navy in Patriot League action on Saturday afternoon in front of a record crowd of 5,195 at Christl Arena. The victory gives Army its second-straight win in the "Star" Game, which is awarded annually to the winner of the second contest of the season between the service academy rivals.
The Black Knights improve to 17-5 overall and 9-2 in the conference following the win, while the first-place Midshipmen fall to 18-5 and 10-2. Three Army players scored during a 7-3 run that spanned the final 4:07 of the contest. As a team, Army finished 8-of-18 from three-point range, while holding Navy, which entered the contest with a league-leading 9.3 three-pointers per game, to 5-of-20 from deep.
Sophomore Kelsey Minato netted a game-high 14 points while tallying six rebounds and six assists for Army, and senior Jen Hazlett and sophomore Jean Parker each finished with 12 points. Hazlett added nine boards to her final output, while Parker knocked down a career-high four three-pointers as part of a 4-for-5 showing from beyond the arc. Sophomore Aimee Oertner contributed six points and four rebounds, and freshman Danielle Failor chipped in six points off the bench.
Navy senior Jade Geif registered 13 points and nine boards on 5-of-10 shooting, while classmates Alix Membreno and Kara Pollinger added 11 points apiece. Membreno also finished with seven boards to match senior Audrey Bauer’s rebounding total for the afternoon.
Navy scored eight of the game’s opening 12 points, with five coming from senior M.L. Morrison, in the first 3:27 before Oertner scored her sixth point of the afternoon to make the score 8-6 with 15:00 left in the first frame. After Navy extended its lead to four with 8:50 left in the half, Hazlett knocked in a three-pointer 22 seconds later to bring the Black Knights back to within one, at 12-11. Pollinger answered with a three of her own to put the Midshipmen back up by four before Parker buried a shot from long range to ignite a 13-6 Army run that gave the Black Knights their first their first lead of the contest with 2:50 remaining in the opening stanza.
Navy netted the next five points to regain a two-point cushion, but Failor converted a lay-in at the 1:06 mark to knot the score at 26 apiece. Both teams failed to convert their remaining chances in the final minute, as the tilt stood all even heading into the half. Army was 4-of-8 from three-point range in the opening period, including a 3-of-3 showing from Parker in seven minutes off the bench.
The Black Knights raced out of the halftime break by netting the first five points of the half before the Midshipmen responded with an 8-0 stretch that put the visitors back up by three, at 34-31. Hazlett put an end to Navy’s run with a three-pointer at the 12:20 mark, which sparked an 11-2 run over a 4:08 span to put the Black Knights up six. Army received points from five different players during the nine-point swing, including three from both Hazlett and Parker. The Midshipmen evened the contest at 42-42 after scoring six unanswered points, but Army regained its advantage after buckets by Minato and Failor.
Membreno hit a three-pointer to make it a two-point game at the 4:07 mark before junior Olivia Schretzman sank a baseline jumper to extend the Army lead to four with 1:27 left. Minato and Hazlett each knocked in a pair of free-throws during a 12-second span to raise the Black Knight advantage to eight. The Midshipmen hit a three-pointer with nine ticks left, but were unable to make up the deficit.
The Black Knights are back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 12 for a home contest against Holy Cross. Tip-off at Christl Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.