Nov. 22, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. - In a game that saw Army set school records for three-pointers made and attempted, it was the Black Knights' defense that came through in crunch time of their 69-65 win over Bryant (1-4) on Tuesday night at Christl Arena. After the Bulldogs overcame a seven-point deficit to tie the game at 65-65, the Black Knights did not allow a point for the final four minutes, 27 seconds.
Army (2-4) ended a game on a cold streak of their own, missing their final seven shots, including six three-pointers, over the final seven minutes, four seconds. Four free throws by senior G Julian Simmons and junior F Ella Ellis provided the Black Knights' margin of victory.
"That was a great way to end the game," Army head coach Zach Spiker said. "It was great to see such a young team get a stop at the end. You don't want to end the game any other way than getting a defensive stop."
The Black Knights went 15-for-36 from three-point range, setting Academy records in both categories. Sophomore G Josh Herbeck was 7-for-16 from deep for a career-high 21 points. His seven triples were the most by an Army player since Jarell Brown tied the school record with nine against Brown on Jan. 2, 2008, while his 16 attempts were the most since Chris Spatola took 16 triples against Lafayette on Jan. 27, 2001. Herbeck's 21 points marked his first career 20-point game.
"Josh Herbeck is one of the best shooters in the Patriot League," Spiker said. "There is no disputing that. He certainly lived up to the billing tonight."
Simmons scored a season-high 19 points, including three three-pointers. Ellis registered 17 points on only five field goal attempts. The Houston native was 3-for-4 from deep and 6-of-7 from the line, including the game-clinching foul shots with 2.5 seconds to go.
Simmons, Herbeck and sophomore F Andrew Stire each grabbed six rebounds, while Ellis, freshman G Jalen Harris and rookie G Maxwell Lenox each dished out four assists.
Corey Maynard led the Bulldogs with 21 points, while Alex Francis netted a double-double of 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Bryant outrebounded the Black Knights, 43-30, including 14 offensive rebounds that led to 14 points.
Army's win snapped its 11-game losing streak against Division I competition.
Bryant got off to an early 4-2 lead, but the Black Knights hit three straight three-pointers, one each by Ellis, Herbeck and Simmons, as part of a 9-2 run that put them in front 11-6 with 17:20 left in the first half. The Bulldogs countered with seven straight points to retake a two-point lead on a jumper by Claybrin McMath.
The back-and-forth start continued with the Black Knights posting the next five points to reclaim a 16-13 edge on Ellis' second three-pointer of the half. Maynard knocked down a three for the Bulldogs to tie the game and Dobbs followed with a three-pointer to account for the fourth lead change of the first half. Ellis picked up his third foul of the half at the 13:29 mark and was forced to sit for the remainder of the half.
Army pulled within one at 19-18 on a pair of free throws by freshman Mo Williams, but the Black Knights went cold from the field, missing their next eight shots and turning the ball over four times. The Bulldogs took advantage, scoring the next nine points to claim a 28-18 lead with 7:01 to go in the opening half. Simmons ended the Black Knights' seven-minute, 18-second field goal drought with his second three-pointer to pull Army within seven at 28-21 with 6:46 left.
Bryant scored the next four points to take an 11-point lead, but seven straight points by Simmons, including his third triple of the half, cut Army's deficit to just four at 32-28 with 3:10 to go. The Bulldogs scored the next five points to re-establish an eight-point lead with 47 seconds remaining.
Army could not convert on its next possession, but Lenox drew an offensive foul on Dobbs, his third of the half with just four seconds to go. Herbeck then inbounded the ball to Lenox who dribbled toward the free throw line and dished back to Herbeck for a deep three as time expired to send the Black Knights into the locker room down just five, 36-31.
The Black Knights started the game 5-for-8 overall and 4-for-6 from three-point range, but made only five of their last 21 shots, including only three of their last 12 from behind the arc to finish the half at 34.5 percent from the field. Bryant knocked down 52.0 percent of its shots, including a 5-for-14 showing from three.
Simmons led all scorers in opening stanza with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Maynard paced the Bulldogs with 13 points and six rebounds.
Herbeck started the second half where he left off, knocking down a three-pointer to start a 12-6 run that put Army on top 43-42 with 16:38 to go. The Ann Arbor, Mich., native knocked down three triples during the run. The Bulldogs took a 44-43 lead, but three straight Army free throws put the Black Knights back on top 46-44 with 15:19 on the clock.
Bryant scored the next five points to take a 49-46 lead, but after two free throws by Ellis, Herbeck drilled his fourth three-pointer of the half to put the Black Knights back on top. Maynard answered right back to put Bryant ahead 52-51 with 12:35 to go, but Army answered with an 11-3 spurt to take its largest lead at 62-55 with 9:17 left.
A three-point play by Raphael Jordan that sent Ellis to the bench with his fourth foul jumpstarted the Bulldogs' game-tying rally. Bryant used a 10-3 spurt to knot the game at 65-65 with 4:27 left, but did not score for the remainder of the game. Simmons knocked down two free throws with four minutes to go, and both teams went scoreless until Ellis' two foul shots with less than three seconds on the clock.
Bryant chance to tie with 17.5 seconds left, but Francis whistled for a travel, setting up Ellis' final two free throws.
Army continues its three-game homestand on Saturday when it hosts Yale at 7 p.m. The Black Knights have won both their games this season at Christl Arena.
Game Notes: The Black Knights used their fifth different starting lineup in five games ... Jordan Springer is the only Army player to start all five games so far this season ... the win was just the sixth time since the start of 2009-10 that Army has won a game in which it trailed at halftime (6-23) ... Army shot just 37.7 percent for the game and made only five two-point field goals ... the win improved the Black Knights record to 13-74 when shooting less than 40 percent since the start of 2004-05 ... plebe G Mo Williams was the primary defender on Francis when he was called for traveling at the end of the game ... Williams finished with five points, including a three during Army's run that gave the Black Knights' a seven-point lead, four rebounds, two assists and a steal ... Bryant outscored the Black Knights 32-6 in the paint ... of the nine players that saw action, six were freshmen or sophomores ... Thirty (30) of Army's last 50 wins have been by less than 10 points and the Black Knights are 23-20 in their last 43 games decided by six or less points or in overtime.