Navy defeats Army 62-56 with 2nd Half Rally

Navy defeats Army 62-56 with 2nd Half Rally

Navy defeated Army 62-56 in their 111th meeting in front of a sold out crowd in Alumni Hall at Annapolis, Md. on Saturday afternoon. Things started well for the Black Knights as they took a 6-0 lead. Navy responded with two three point baskets from the Patriot League's leading scorer Chris Harris.

Twenty seconds later Harris committed his third personal foul forcing him to the bench for the remaining fourteen minutes of the first half. Navy struggled to score the remainder of the half without their star player. The Midshipmen only scored one basket from the field, a three pointer from Jordan Sugars, the rest of the way. Army was able to penetrate inside and scored a few layups, short jumpers and hit some free throws at take a 24-19 lead at the half. However the Black Knights shot a dismal 0-for-7 from three-point range in the first half and failed to take advantage of Harris being out of the game.

In the second half opened with Army looking like they were going to take control of the game. Chris Walker scored the first 4 points of the half to open a 30-19 lead for Army as Navy took a time out. Army then hit three consecutive three point baskets, two by Cleveland Richard, running dribble weave motion beyond the arc. It looked like it was going to be a Black Knights day as they took a 39-25 lead with 16 minutes to play forcing Navy coach Billy Lange to take another time out.

This time out however worked as Navy picked up the defensive intensity. After a 3-point play by Jordan Sugars Navy forced three consecutive Army turnovers. The tag team of Harris and Sugars then went to work and took over. They scored from the field and cut to the basket repeatedly to earn free throw attempts. Navy took an eight point, 54-46, lead after Sugars nailed a long-range, three-point bomb with 3:10 left. It completed a 29-7 Navy run as Army simply had no offensive answers to Harris and Sugars.

Zach Spiker's players fouled intentionally the rest of the way in an attempt to lengthen the game and mount a comeback. True to form Navy lived up to its reputation as an excellent free throw shooting team by hitting 8 of its next 10 free throws to ice the game. Two late Julian Simmons three point jumpers in the last twenty seconds made the final Navy 62-56.

Chris Harris led all scorers with 30 points as Navy improved to 9-12 (3-2 Patriot League). Army, which dropped to 12-7 (2-3 in Patriot League), was lead by Julian Simmons who finished with 16 points. Spiker became the seventh straight Army head coach to lose his first game against Navy. Army's next game is Wednesday night at Lafayette, which is undefeated in league play.

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