WEST POINT, N.Y. — Saturday afternoon brought one of college basketball’s top rivalries to the spotlight before a full day of action.
The Navy Midshipmen were in West Point, NY to take on the Army West Point Black Knights in the second meeting of the season between the two programs. Back on January 14th, 2018, the Black Knights picked up a 64-62 win in Annapolis, MD.
On Saturday, the Midshipmen were looking for a little redemption inside Christl Arena in front of a sold-out crowd.
Having won three of their last four outings, Navy was looking to keep their positive momentum rolling as they continue their climb in the Patriot League standings. With the exception of an early 2-2 tie against Army West Point in the opening minutes of Saturday’s tilt, the Midshipmen were in control of the contest from start to finish.
The Midshipmen never trailed on the road on Saturday, and picked up their fourth win in five outings with a 68-59 victory over the Black Knights.
With the win, the Navy Midshipmen won the Alumni Trophy in the rivalry series.
Despite going just 1-of-4 from the floor in 30 minutes, Shawn Anderson hit 11-of-13 of his attempts from the free throw line, scoring a team-high 13 points to go along with six rebounds to lead Navy. Evan Wieck had 12 points and four rebounds, while Tom Lacey fell just short of a double-double, adding 10 points and nine rebounds of his own in the win.
Hasan Abdullah chipped in with 11 points of his own, rounding out four Midshipmen players in double figures.
Guard Jordan Fox led all scorers with 19 points for the Black Knights. Forward Luke Morrison added 14 points and four rebounds of his own in the loss. Fox and Morrison were the only two players in double figures for Army West Point on the day.
Lonnie Grayson added six points off the bench to lead all reserves for the Black Knights.
Early in the game, a layup from Morrison at the 17:26 mark tied the game at 2-all. That was the only time that Army West Point would be tied on the afternoon, as they would never hold a lead of their own over the entire 40 minutes.
As the first half moved along, the Midshipmen would slowly build their lead. With just over eight minutes to play in the opening frame, Nourse Fox got a layup to drop to give Navy their biggest lead of the day, at 25-11. The Midshipmen would take a 35-23 lead into the break, and would continue to lead the rest of the way.
Army West Point would try to make it a game again in the second half. They managed to get to within six points on three separate occasions, but never closer than that. A jumper from Fox with 8:22 to play cut Navy’s lead down to 49-43, but the Black Knights wouldn’t be able to get any closer down the stretch.
The Midshipmen never trailed on Saturday, and rolled to the 68-59 victory over Army West Point in one of college basketball’s best rivalries.
With the win, Navy (17-10, 8-6) have now won four of their past five games overall, and are tied for third in the Patriot League standings. They will look to keep their positive momentum going on Valentine’s Day when they host the Lafayette Leopards.
With the loss, Army West Point (13-12, 6-8) have lost five of their past six games, and are trending the wrong direction in the conference standings. They will look to get back to their winning ways on February 14th when they welcome the Holy Cross Crusaders to Christl Arena.
– T. Bennett