Feb. 22, 2012
Holy Cross 82, Army 51
WORCESTER, Mass. – For the second straight game, the Army men’s basketball team (12-16, 5-8 PL) struggled shooting from the field, losing at Holy Cross (14-13, 8-5 PL) 82-51 at the Hart Center Wednesday night. The Black Knights shot just 30.3 percent overall (17-56) and were 3-for-27 (.111) from three-point range.
The loss placed the Black Knights as the sixth seed in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament. Army will play at the yet-to-be determined third seed next Wednesday.
Sophomore G Josh Herbeck led the Black Knights with 20 points, his third 20-point outing of the season. Herbeck made all three of Army’s three-pointers and seven of the team’s 17 field goals. Herbeck’s 72 three-pointers this season rank sixth on the Academy single-season ledger.
Freshman G Maxwell Lenox was also in double figures with a career-high 16 points, including a career-best eight points from the free throw line. Lenox led the team with five assists and three steals. Junior F Jordan Springer corralled a team-high six rebounds.
Junior F Ella Ellis, Army’s top scorer, was held to just two free throws and was 0-for-8 overall and 0-for-7 from three-point range. It was the first time this season he did not score at least 10 points, ending his 29-game run, the Black Knights’ longest streak in 25 years.
Devin Brown paced the Crusaders with 24 points, while R.J. Evans netted 13 points, including 11 in the second half. Eric Obeysekere grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. The Crusaders, who have won five in a rown, shot 51.7 percent for the game (30-58).
Phil Beans opened the scoring with a three-pointer and Herbeck answered to tie the game at 3-3 with 18:16 left in the opening half. The Crusaders used a 14-2 run, highlighted by 10 points from Brown, to take a 17-5 lead with 13:51 left. The Black Knights closed within nine points, but Brown scored four straight to start a 10-0 Crusader run that extended their lead to 29-10 with 6:43 to go.
Herbeck’s second three-pointer snapped a four-minute, 58-second Army scoring drought and started a 7-2 Army run that pulled the Black Knights back within 14 points. The Crusaders had another answer, scoring the next seven points to take their largest lead of the half at 38-17 with 2:19 left. Army got as close as 17 points before Holy Cross took a 40-21 lead into intermission.
Army shot just 7-for-33 (.212) overall and 2-for-19 (.105) in the first half. Herbeck led the Black Knights with 12 points, making both their three-pointers and four of the team’s seven field goals. Brown led all players with 16 points in the opening 20 minutes.
The Black Knights scored the first basket of the second half on a layup by Lenox and were within 17 points on multiple occasions before a three-point play by Brown put the Crusaders up 49-29 with 17:04 on the clock. Army was able to get as close as 16 points after scoring six of the next eight points, including four by Herbeck, but a three-pointer by Jordan Stevens stopped the momentum.
Holy Cross outscored the Black Knights 27-12 over the final 12:02 to take the 31-point victory. Army made just two field goals during that stretch, both by Herbeck.
The Black Knights conclude the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 25 when they host Lehigh. Tip-off at Christl Arena is set for 4 p.m. Army will recognize seniors Pat Harris, Josh Johnson and Julian Simmons before the game.
Game Notes: Maxwell Lenox made his first start since Dec. 21 against Dartmouth … Lenox now has 88 assists this season, the most by an Army plebe since 2000-01 (J.P. Spatola, 96) … the Black Knights have now lost 21 straight games when shooting below 33.3 percent … the Black Knights won the first meeting between the two teams at West Point … Holy Cross outscored Army in the paint 42-22 … Ellis’ streak of double-digit scoring games was the longest since Army’s all-time leading scorer Kevin Houston did it 57 straight times from 1984-87 … Ellis remains two points shy of becoming the first Army player since Houston (1986-87) score 500 points, grab 125 rebounds and hand out 50 assists in the same season … the Black Knights have lost 32 of their last 33 games when giving up at least 80 points.