WEST POINT, N.Y. - Damon Huffman hit a jumper with 1.7 seconds remaining to propel the Brown University Bears to a 79-78 victory over Army in men’s basketball action at Christl Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Senior G Jarell Brown tied the Black Knights’ single-game record with nine three-pointers en route to a game-high 32 points in the losing effort.
Huffman’s jumper from the right wing capped a four-point comeback in the final 21 seconds. The Black Knights led 78-74 after junior F Kenny Brewer knocked down both ends of a one-and-one. Huffman then drove the length of the court and threw in a layup as he was falling down while being fouled. He completed the three-point play to make the score 78-77 with 15.2 seconds left. Army had a chance to extend its lead, but missed the front end of a one-and-one with 11 seconds on the clock. The Bears secured the rebound and called a timeout to set up the game-winning play. The Black Knights had one more possession, but the long pass attempt was tipped away and time expired.
The loss spoiled Brown’s record-tying performance. Mark Lueking made nine three-pointers in a game on two occasions with the last coming against Wesley on Jan. 20, 1996. It was Brown’s third 30-point game of the season and was just two shy of his career high. He hit six of his triples and tallied 21 markers before halftime. He finished the game 10 of 19 from the floor, including 9 of 14 from long range.
Sophomore C Chris Walker had his best offensive outing of the campaign with a season-high 14 points. He did not miss a shot, converting all six of his field goal attempts and both of his opportunities from the foul line. Sophomore G Josh Miller scored seven markers and handed out a career-best 11 assists. His assist total tied for fourth on Army’s single-game list and marked the first time a Black Knight reached double figures since J.P. Spatola had 10 helpers against Lafayette on Feb. 13, 2002. Junior John Moonshower and Brewer added eight points each.
Huffman led four players in double figures for Brown. He hit 6 of 9 shots, including 4 of 7 from behind the arc. Mark McAndrew posted a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Chris Skrelja narrowly missed a triple-double with 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Mark MacDonald chipped in 12 points.
Army outshot the Bears from the floor 51.9 percent to 48.9 percent, but Brown held a significant advantage at the foul line. The Bears were 24 of 31 from the charity stripe compared to an 11-of-13 performance for the Black Knights. The rebounding totals were even at 29 apiece.
The game was tight from the opening tip and featured a total of 13 ties and 12 lead changes. Neither team led by more than six points in the contest.
The Bears jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead, but Army knotted the game at 7-7 on Brown’s first three-pointer of the evening with 16:24 to go. The Bears tallied the next six points to take their largest lead at 13-7. Walker ignited Army’s comeback, scoring the Black Knights’ next seven points. Jarell Brown’s second three-pointer gave the Black Knights their first lead of the game at 17-16 with 12:31 to go. The Bears used another 7-0 run to regain their six-point advantage, but Brown scored the game’s next six points on three free throws and a triple to tie the game at 23-23. Army scored five of the next nine points to take a slim 28-27 lead after Miller hit a pair of free throws. The Bears quickly retook a one-point lead, but Brown drilled his fifth three of the half to put Army in front, 31-29. Brown scored the next four points to take a 33-31 lead, but Miller found a cutting Walker for an easy lay-in and a 33-33 tie. Jarell Brown drilled his sixth and final three of the half to put Army ahead, 38-35, but the Bears hit a pair of late free throws to go into the locker room down only one at the break.
The Black Knights scored on the opening possession of the second half when junior Doug Williams threw down a dunk to make it 40-37. The Bears scored the next seven points to retake a four-point lead and were able to stretch the advantage to five points on two occasions. Army then went on an 8-0 run on Walker’s second three-point play of the night, a three-pointer by senior Grant Carter and a bucket by sophomore Marcus Nelson that gave Army a 55-52 advantage. The Bears quickly erased the deficit with eight unanswered points of their own to take a 60-55 lead. Miller ended the run with a jumper, and Brown hit his eighth three of the game to tie the game at 60-60. The Bears made three free throws to reclaim the lead, but Brown’s final three-pointer of the night tied the game at 63-63 with 4:32 to go. With Army down by two points, Miller hit his only long-range shot of the night to give the Black Knights a 66-65 advantage with less than four minutes to go. Army nursed its lead, extending it to four points at 74-70 on a three-point play by Brewer with 1:28 to go. Skrelja hit two free throws, but Moonshower converted a feed from Nelson with 31.4 seconds remaining to push the advantage back to four points. Two more Skrelja free throws with 22.8 seconds left cut the lead back to one possession, but Brewer hit both ends of a one-and-one to set up Huffman’s frantic finish.
The loss marked Army’s first defeat in a game decided by three-or-fewer points this season. The Black Knights are now 3-1 on the year in such games.
Army ends its season-long five-game homestand on Saturday, Jan. 5 against Portland at 1 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the Black Knights’ women’s squad.
Game Notes: Army used its seventh starting lineup in 12 games when forward John Moonshower made an appearance in the first unit along with guards Jarell Brown, Josh Miller, Marcus Nelson and frontcourt mate Doug Williams ... It was Moonshower’s fourth start of the season and first since the game at Hartford on Nov. 28 ... Chris Walker played without a protective facemask for the first time since taking elbow to the nose at Cornell on Nov. 20 ... Eric Zastoupil was in uniform for the first time since playing in the season-opener at Minnesota ... Jarell Brown surpassed his scoring total from the Dartmouth game (10 points) with 12 points in the first 11:32 of the first half ... Brown finished the half with 21 points, the highest-scoring half of his career ... Brown did not make a two-point field goal until the 16:56 mark of the first half (fourth attempt) ... Army went 1-2 against the Ivy League this season ... The Black Knights allowed 70 points for the first time in five games ... Army has now lost 11 straight when allowing opponents to score at least 70 ... The Black Knights are 1-3 in Jarell Brown’s four career 30-point games ... The loss snapped Army’s 16-game winning streak in games in which it led at halftime ... Brown moved into 18th place on Army's career scoring list with 1,147 points.