Navy Men's Hoops Beats Army in Star Game, 68-59
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Four players scored in double figures as the Navy men's basketball team (17-10, 8-6 PL) defeated rival Army West Point (13-12, 6-8 PL), 68-59, in the 2018 Star Game on Saturday afternoon at Christl Arena. Navy has won five straight Patriot League road games and the Mids move into a tie for third place in the conference standings with Boston University.
"These are always hard-fought games and they are always very emotional games," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "Our defense was pretty good today. I thought we did a good job of guarding. And our kids made some plays. I can't say enough about how proud I am of the kids and their effort and energy."
Navy senior guard Shawn Anderson scored 13 points with six rebounds and four assists. The senior captain went 11-of-13 at the free throw line.
Sophomore center Evan Wieck scored 12 points, while junior guard Hasan Abdullah scored 11 points with five rebounds. Senior forward Tom Lacey tallied 10 points and nine rebounds, while junior forward George Kiernan recorded seven points and eight boards.
Army's Jordan Fox scored a game-high 19 points, while Luke Morrison added 16.
A key factor of the game was free throw shooting, as Navy shot 85 percent at the line (28-of-33), while Army shot just 52 percent (12-of-23). Navy also outrebounded Army 41-26.
"We made our free throws down the stretch," said DeChellis. "That was one of the things we talked about -- getting to the free throw line -- and we did a good job of making them."
The Mids, who did not trail in the game, led by as many as 15 points in the opening half and did not allow the Black Knights to get closer than six points in the game's final 32 minutes.
Anderson had an early three-point play and then assisted on a transition layup by Wieck on the next possession as Navy started to stake out an early lead. Junior guard Ryan Pearson knocked down a 3-pointer before a long jumper by Abdullah put Navy ahead 19-9 at the 10:37 mark of the first half. Those two baskets ignited a 9-0 run as Lacey followed with four straight points. Army's Morrison broke the run with a jumper, but Navy senior guard Nourse Fox answered right back with a drive down the right side of the lane for two points.
Navy saw its lead grow to 15 points after freshman guard Cam Davis made three free throws and then senior guard Bryce Dulin sunk a 3-pointer for a 33-18 lead. Army then made five free throws to help cut the halftime margin to 12 (35-23).
Morrison hit two 3-pointers early in the second half as Army came out of the locker room on an 8-2 run to cut the margin to six points (37-31). However, Army was not able to get any closer than the six points as Navy would continued to counter back.
Abdullah hit a big 3-pointer with 5:09 remaining to put Navy up 11 at 54-43 and later Davis found Wieck for a fastbreak dunk and a 58-47 lead with 2:58 to play. Army sent Navy to the free throw line late, but Anderson (4-of-6), Abdullah (2-of-2) and Davis (2-of-2) scored Navy's last eight points at the charity stripe in the game's final 36 seconds to seal the 68-59 win.
Navy has now won six straight games at Christl Arena and the Class of 2018 (Anderson, Dulin, Fox and Lacey) became the third straight class to go 4-0 in their careers at Army.
"It's an incredible atmosphere here," said Lacey. "The fans here are right on top of you. It doesn't get any better than this from a player's standpoint. It was an incredible team win today."
The Class of 2018 also became the first class in Navy program history to have four players each play at least 100 career games as Fox made his 100th appearance on Saturday.
Navy increased its all-time lead against Army in men's basketball to 79-50 and the Mids are 57-38 all-time against Army in Star Games.
Army currently leads this year's all-sport Army-Navy Star Series presented by USAA, 8-6-2. The overall Army-Navy series for this year is even at 9-9-2.
Navy will next host Lafayette on Wednesday at 7:00 PM in Alumni Hall.
-- Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) February 10, 2018