Nov. 10, 2012
Air Froce 76, Army 65
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Army men's basketball team opened the 2012-13 season on Saturday afternoon with a 76-65 loss to Air Force in the first game of the Army ROTC All-Military Classic. The Black Knights led by as many as 15 in the second half, but the Falcons scored 44 of the final 62 points to claim the 11-point victory.
Army led by seven at the half and opened up a 47-32 lead on a three-pointer by freshman Kyle Wilson with 16:55 to go in the second stanza. The Black Knights led 53-40 when the Falcons went on a 19-5 run to take a 59-58 advantage with 7:14 showing on the clock. Army went 1-for-6 with five turnovers during the run.
The Black Knights came back to take a 62-61 lead on a three-pointer by junior Josh Herbeck, and after an Air Force basket, senior Ella Ellis drained a triple to give Army a 65-63 lead with 3:45 left. The Black Knights went scoreless for the remainder of the game, missing their last nine shots. Air Force made six straight free throws down the stretch to secure the outcome.
Ellis led Army with 16 points and six rebounds. All four of Ellis's field goals were from three-point range (4-11). He also added two blocked shots. Herbeck added 12 points, but struggled from the floor hitting only three of his 11 three-point tries. Wilson scored 10 points and snared four rebounds in his collegiate debut.
Four of Air Force's five starters scored in double figures led by Michael Lyons's game-high 19 points. Todd Fletcher added 16 markers on 7-of-10 shooting, while Taylor Broekhuis scored 14 points and corralled a team-high six rebounds. Kyle Green was Air Force's fourth double-digit scorer with 11 points.
The Black Knights shot 23-for-63 (.365) for the game and were just 10-for-34 from long range (.294). Army outrebounded the Falcons, 31-28. In addition to shooting 50.0 percent from the field (25-50), Air Force held a 20-9 edge at the free throw line. The Falcons made 20 of their 26 tries, while Army was 9-for-10 from the stripe.
Air Force scored the first seven points of the game and led 12-5 with 15:29 left the first half. Army then went on a 25-11 spurt to take a 30-23 lead with 6:39 left. Herbeck capped the run with a three-pointer, while Ellis scored eight of his 16 points in that span. Army took its largest lead of the half at 37-28 on a three-pointer by Wilson with 3:26 left. Air Force scored the final basket of the half with 3:07 to go, and the Black Knights took a seven-point lead into intermission.
Army has now lost two straight season openers against the Falcons at the All-Military Classic. The Black Knights also led in the second half of last year's game, but Air Force used a 17-3 run to turn a one-point game into an 87-71 win.
The Black Knights continue tournament play on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Black Knights will face the loser of the VMI-Citadel game in the consolation round.
Game Notes: Of the 13 players to see game action for the Black Knights, seven were freshman playing in their first collegiate game ... rookies Dylan Cox and Tanner Plomb were in the starting lineup ... the Black Knights have dropped five straight dating back to last season ... Ella Ellis moved into 26th place on Army's career scoring list with 1,053 points ... Army dropped to 7-52 in their last 59 games when allowing at least 70 points ... the Black Knights went 0-2 at last year's All-Military Class, losing to Air Force and The Citadel.