WEST POINT, N.Y. Two free throws by Karl Anderson with 10 seconds remaining provided the winning points for the Quinnipiac Bobcats in a 58-54 victory versus Army in men’s basketball action at Christl Arena on Sunday, Dec. 9. Army had a chance to tie or take the lead, but its final shot attempt was partially blocked and the Bobcats were able to secure the rebound and ice the game with two more free throws with 0.9 showing on the clock.
The Black Knights (4-5) fought back from a seven-point halftime deficit to take a 49-48 lead on a jumper by senior G Jarell Brown with 4:22 to go. The Bobcats (4-4, 1-0 NEC) took the lead right back on a pair of free throws, but a jumper by sophomore G Josh Miller and a three-pointer by Brown opened up a 54-50 lead for the Black Knights with 2:47 to go. Quinnipiac scored the game’s final eight points to take the four-point victory.
Brown recorded his sixth straight 20-point effort with a game-high 22 points. Brown shot 8 of 15 from the floor, including 5 of 8 from three-point range. The Cleveland native was also Army’s top rebounder with five boards and made a team-high two steals. Miller scored seven points and handed out six assists, while sophomore G Marcus Nelson scored a season-high eight points. Junior F Doug Williams also chipped in seven points.
Bryan Geffen led the Bobcats with 16 points, including four three-pointers. DeMario Anderson was the only other player in double figures with 12 points. Anderson scored eight points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Casey Cosgrove scored six points on two three-pointers.
“We just couldn’t really get over the hump,” said head coach Jim Crews. “Even when we had the four-point lead, there were two minutes in there when we could have done more than we did. We did some things defensively that were pretty good except for letting those two guards get threes. We left those guys when we shouldn’t have been leaving them.”
Army struggled from the field in the first half, hitting just 7 of 24 shot attempts (39.6 percent). The Black Knights hit 50 percent of their field goal tries after halftime to raise their accuracy rate to 39.6 percent for the game. The Bobcats hit 42.0 percent from the floor, including 50 percent from deep (8-16). Quinnipiac outrebounded the Black Knights 36-29.
A layup by sophomore Cleveland Richard tied the game at 8-8 in the opening minutes, but the Bobcats were able to score the next seven points to open a 15-8 advantage with 12:30 to go. Army got back within a single point at 18-17, but Quinnipiac went on a 10-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at 28-19 on a three-pointer by Geffen. Sophomore C Chris Walker scored the final bucket of the first half and the Black Knights went into the locker room down, 28-21.
Army scored 10 of the first 15 points in the second half to reduce the Bobcats’ advantage to two points with 16:20 to go. Quinnipiac withstood the run and pushed their lead back to seven points, but again the Black Knights surged to within a basket at 40-38 with 10:26 remaining. After a three-pointer by Anderson advanced the Quinnipiac lead back to five points, Brown hit a three-pointer and Nelson converted a put-back to knot the score at 43-43 with 6:54 to go. Quinnipiac scored five of the next six points before Brown capped a 5-0 Army run that provided the Black Knights with their first lead since 8-6. The Bobcats quickly retook the lead on a pair of free throws before Army’s five-point surge that gave them a 54-50 lead. The lead lasted just two more possessions as the Bobcats scored on two straight trips down the floor to tie the game, setting up Anderson’s heroics from the foul line.
Rebounding was a key in the second half as the Bobcats held a 7-2 advantage in second-chance points and a 14-12 margin in points in the paint after halftime.
“We need to have five guys out there looking to score. In the first half, I thought we were totally looking for Jarell. Everyone else was just watching. You can’t be very effective offensively like that. The second half we picked it up a little bit from an offensive standpoint.”
The Black Knights continue their five-game homestand on Thursday, Dec. 13 when they welcome Florida Gulf Coast to Christl Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Senior G Jarell Brown was the only Army player in double figures for the third straight game ... Prior to his game-winning free throws, Karl Anderson was 0 for 3 from the stripe in the game ... Army held Quinnipiac’s leading scorer, DeMario Anderson, to more than eight points below his average ... Aside from Brown, the rest of the Black Knights were 0 for 6 from three-point range ... Fifteen of Brown’s 22 points came in the second half ... His seven-point first half was only the second time he scored less than 10 points in a half in the last six games ... Nine of the 13 Army players that saw action scored at least two points ... Army entered the game shooting 63 percent from the free throw line, but made 11 of 14 against Quinnipiac (.786).