Final Stats: Army 59, Dartmouth 46
HANOVER, N.H. – The Army men’s basketball team won its second straight game, defeating Dartmouth 59-46 at Leede Arena on Saturday night. The victory ran the Black Knights record to 7-2, while the Big Green fell to 1-6.
Senior F Cleveland Richard led the Black Knights with 13 points. Senior G Josh Miller added 11 markers, his first double-digit game in seven outings. Miller filled up the box score with a team-high eight rebounds, six assists and a steal. Senior C Chris Walker contributed eight points, six rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal.
Jabari Trotter led all players with 14 points, while Ronnie Dixon added 10 points for the Big Green.
The Army defense forced 15 turnovers and forced the Big Green to shoot just 30.0 percent from the field (15-50). The Black Knights have kept their opponents to less than 50 points in back-to-back games and have not allowed their foe to reach the 60-point mark in all seven of their victories this season.
The Army offense committed a season-low nine turnovers while shooting 42.3 percent overall. The Black Knights missed all seven of their three-point attempts, snapping a 28-game streak with at least one three-pointer. Sophomore G Julian Simmons had his personal 13-game streak with a triple go by the wayside with an 0-for-3 night. Army was able to score the win despite only five points from Simmons, the Black Knights’ leading scorer entering the game at 14.6 points per game.
The Black Knights held a 39-35 rebounding edge. It is the fifth time this season Army held the advantage on the glass, matching last season’s total.
Army jumped out to a 7-2 lead, forcing three turnovers in the first four minutes of the contest. The Big Green scored nine of the next 11 points to take an 11-9 lead with 9:08 left in the half. Army shot 1 for 7 from the floor and committed three of its nine turnovers during the spurt. The lead changed hands five times in the next four-plus minutes before Army took a 17-16 lead on two foul shots by senior F Eric Zastoupil. The Black Knights would not trail again.
Simmons and Richard followed with back-to-back baskets to give the Black Knights a 21-16 advantage with 3:08 left. The Big Green sliced their deficit to two points on a three-pointer by Dixon, but Army scored the final three points of the half to re-establish a five-point lead heading into the locker room with a 24-19 lead.
Army’s entire first-half margin could be traced to a 12-2 lead in the points off turnovers category. Army also held a 10-4 advantage in the paint.
The Black Knights opened the second half by scoring eight of the first 12 points to stretch their lead to 32-23 with 15:24 on the clock. The Big Green would not fold, however, slicing Army’s lead to four points. The Black Knights led 37-33 with 9:56 to go before a 6-0 run gave them their first double-digit lead of the night at 43-33 with 7:47 on the second-half clock.
Dartmouth closed the game to six points with 4:34 to go, but Army went on an 10-1 scoring spurt, including four points by freshman F Ella Ellis, to claim a 56-41 advantage with 1:58 left. Senior G Marcus Nelson capped the run with a dunk.
Army led by as many as 16 points before Trotter hit a three-pointer with 19 ticks left to set the final score at 59-46.
Army is now 4-0 against the Ivy League this season and has won five straight overall against the conference. The Black Knights have won four straight against the Big Green.
The Black Knights have the week off while attending to term-ending exams. Army is back in action on Saturday, Dec. 19 against Mount Saint Vincent. Tip-off at Christl Arena is set for 4 p.m.
Game Notes: Army utilized all 15 players that were available … Tyrell Thompson missed his fifth straight game with an injury … head coach Zach Spiker is the first Army mentor to win at least seven of his first nine games on the Black Knights’ sideline since Tates Locke in 1963-64 … Locke started his Army career 10-2 … Army has allowed less than 60 points in each of its last nine victories … the Black Knights have kept consecutive opponents under 50 points for the first time since a three-game run during the 2006-07 season … it is the first time they have held back-to-back Division I opponents under 50 points since the 1999-2000 season … Army has one game left against the Ivy League this season … the Black Knights will go for the season sweep against the conference on Jan. 6 versus Brown … Army was averaging a Patriot League-high 18.9 turnovers per game entering Saturday night’s contest … Army has now responded to each of its two losses with at least two straight wins … the Black Knights have won 10 straight games when allowing 60 points or less … Saturday’s game against Mount Saint Vincent will be Army’s first contest against a Division III team since playing SUNY Purchase and SUNY Maritime in 2006-07 … Army is not allowed to practice as a team during TEE week, but the Black Knights are allowed individual workouts.