WEST POINT, N.Y. Brian Kreefer scored seven of his game-high 23 points in the final 1:38 as Cornell held on to defeat Army, 65-56, in a non-league men’s basketball game Tuesday evening at Christl Arena. The Big Red improves to 3-1 on the year, while the Black Knights fall to 3-2.
Following a furious 11-2 Army spurt that cut a 13-point Cornell lead to just four points, Kreefer nailed his fifth three-pointer of the night at the 1:38 mark to give the Big Red a 55-48 lead, and the Black Knights got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
The game was nip and tuck through the early going as the two teams forged three ties and two lead changes through the first six minutes. With the score knotted at 11-11, Cornell ripped off a 13-4 run to jump out to a 24-15 advantage. Five quick points off the bench from Jarell Brown cut the Big Red lead to 24-20. Cornell ended the half on an 8-5 spurt to carry a 32-25 edge into the lockerroom.
Kreefer had 11 points in the first half on 4 of 4 shooting. Army was led in the first stanza by Brown and Matt Bell, who each netted six points apiece.
Cornell opened the second half on a 9-0 scoring spurt to assume its largest lead of the night at 41-25 with 15:48 remaining. The Big Red retained a double-digit lead throughout the majority of the half until Army’s key 11-2 run that had the visitors back on their heels.
Kreefer’s three-pointer at the 1:38 mark proved to be the decisive shot, and Cornell hit its free throws down the stretch to ice the victory.
Bell led Army with 12 points. The senior guard hit a three-pointer in the waning seconds for his 1,000 career point. Bell became the 25th Army men’s basketball player to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.
Corban Bates added 11 points and six rebounds for Army, while Brown finished with eight points. Freshman Josh Miller chipped in a career-high nine points, while classmate Chris Walker had eight points and six rebounds.
Ryan Wittman (14 points) and Louis Dale (12 points) joined Kreefer in double-figures for Cornell.
Army returns to action following the Thanksgiving holiday on Saturday, Nov. 25, when the Black Knights travel to Providence, R.I., to take on Brown. Tip off from the Pizzitola Center is slated for 2 p.m.