January 26, 2013

Second Half Surge Propels Army Past Men’s Basketball, 77-64

American men's basketball took a lead into the half against Army in West Point on Saturday afternoon, but the Black Knights used a strong second stanza to move past the Eagles, 77-64. AU got a big double-double from senior Stephen Lumpkins with 21 points and 10 rebounds, but four Army players scored in double digits with rookie Kyle Wilson leading the way with 20.

Army (9-11, 2-3 PL) actually started five freshmen in the contest, but none of them played like rookies, with each scoring at least six points and three topping 10. Leading scorer Ella Ellis came off the bench for just the third time in his career and added 12 points.

American (7-13, 2-3 PL) shot 41.1 percent from the field but the Black Knights trumped the mark, shooting over 50 percent from the field and from distance. Army knocked down nine 3-pointers, while the Eagles shot 31.6 percent from downtown, hitting 2-of-10 triples in the second half.

"We did not match the intensity that Army showed throughout the game," said head coach Jeff Jones. "We knew this would be a hard fought game and in the second half they played extremely hard while our shots were not falling."

Despite beating Army in the battle of the boards, 33-28, and scoring 20 second-chance points to the Black Knight's five, AU could not overcome a hot start in the second half by Army, with the Military Academy using knock-down free throw shooting (16-of-18) late in the game to disallow an American comeback.

Army started the game with a 10-2 run, but American countered the intensity with a 7-1 streak of their own after a called timeout, eventually taking the lead at 18-17.

American pushed out to its biggest lead at 27-19 on a 3-pointer by John Schoof and held off a late rally by the Black Knights, to enter the break up 32-30.

The Military Academy came in the second with a 7-0 run before pushing out to a 12-point advantage after a 3-pointer by Ellis with 12:20 to play.

The Eagles closed to within single digits of the Black Knights at 50-42 on a layup by Schoof at 10:57, but Army refused to back down any further, using a 9-2 run retake control.

Coming off a career-performance against Navy, Schoof chipped in 12 points, while netting a 3-pointer and two assists and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds.

Rookie Jesse Reed played well off the bench for the second-straight game with nine points, added three rebounds, a 3-pointer, an assist and a steal.

The Eagles return to Bender Arena on Wednesday, January 30, against Bucknell at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available to this game and to all AU home games by clicking here or by calling (202) 885-TIXX.