Dec. 11, 2012
NJIT 69, Army 67
NEWARK, N.J. - Chris Flores's layup with one second left propelled the NJIT Highlanders (5-4) to a 69-67 victory over Army (4-5) at the Fleisher Athletic Center Tuesday night. The basket capped a 7-0 run during the final 1:21.
Army led from the 3:28 mark of the first half until the final basket. The win kept the Highlanders unbeaten at home this season (5-0).
Senior Ella Ellis led the Black Knights with 16 points. Junior Andrew Stire scored a career-high 13 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Freshman Kyle Wilson added 10 points, his fifth double-digit scoring game of the season. Senior Jordan Springer led the Black Knights with seven rebounds.
Flores led all players with 17 points, while Ryan Woods added 16 points, including four three-pointers. Flores and Woods also had a team-high seven rebounds.
Army led by eight at halftime and by as many as 14 in the second half. The Black Knights led 52-41 with 7:35 left after a basket by Stire, but an 8-2 run trimmed the advantage to five at 54-49 with 6:34 on the clock. The Black Knights scored their next seven points from the free throw line and reclaimed a 59-49 lead with 4:09 left.
The Highlanders trimmed their deficit back to eight points, but a dunk by Wilson and two free throws by Gramling staked Army to a 63-51 advantage at the 3:06 mark. Army made just one more field goal, a pull-up jumper by Wilson, for the remainder of the contest.
NJIT whittled its deficit to 65-62, but two free throws by Ellis pushed the Army advantage back to five points with 1:21 left. A basket by Holiday made it a three-point game, and a three-pointer by Woods with 14 seconds left tied the game for the first time since the opening half. Ellis broke free on the break, but was whistled for an offensive foul, setting up the final sequence.
Flores missed his first attempt, but the ball deflected out of bounds off the Black Knights with 2.2 seconds remaining. A cutting Flores took the inbounds pass and laid it in while being fouled to provide the winning basket. He missed the free throw, but time ran out before either team could gain possession.
The Black Knights held NJIT to just 32.8 percent shooting (22-67), and outrebounded the Highlanders 48-35, but committed 23 turnovers that led to 27 points.
The second half featured a combined 96 points after Army led 24-16 at halftime.
Woods put the Highlanders on the board first with a three-pointer, but a dunk by Andrew Stire and a runner by Wilson gave Army its first lead at 4-3 with 15:52 left. NJIT went back up by a point when Howard snapped a three-minute, 54-second scoring drought, but the Black Knights scored the next five points, including an Ellis three-pointer, to take a 9-5 lead at the 11:32 mark.
An 8-2 NJIT run, capped by a three-pointer from Flores, put the Highlanders back in front 13-11, but back-to-back baskets by Larry Toomey and Jordan Springer exchanged the lead back to the Army side with 5:43 left in the half. NJIT came back to tie the score twice more, but with the game deadlocked at 15-15, the Black Knights ended the half on a 9-1 run to take a 24-16 lead into halftime. Army did not allow a field goal in the final five minutes, 24 seconds of the half.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first 20 minutes. Army shot 37.0 percent (10-27) overall and was just 1-for-10 from three-point range, while NJIT hit only 20.7 percent (6-29) overall and was 2-for-9 from deep. Army outrebounded the Highlanders, 23-20. Ellis led all players with five first-half points.
The last three games in the series have been decided by a total of six points.
Army returns home for just the third time this season when it hosts Maine on Friday, Dec. 14. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. The Black Knights and Black Bears have not met on the hardwood since the 1969-70 season.
Game Notes: Twenty-four of Army's 43 points in the second half came from the foul line ... Ella Ellis scored 16 points only six shots ... Ellis was 8-for-9 at the foul line ... he was 2-for-4 from three-point range and is shooting 50 percent from deep over the last six games ... six of the seven freshmen that saw playing time scored ... NJIT entered the game outrebounding teams by an average of 7.1 per game, but Army had a 13-rebound edge ... Army has scored more bench points than its opponent in all nine games ... Army carries a six-game home winning streak versus non-conference opponents into Friday's game.