Black Knights fall at Presbyterian, 71-64

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CLINTON, S.C. – Army (5-8) led by 11 points in the early going of the second half, but Presbyterian (7-5) used a 17-0 run to overcome the deficit and go on to a 71-64 victory on Wednesday night at Templeton Arena.


Army led by seven points at the break and scored the first four of the second half to take a 40-29 lead with 18:43 remaining. The Black Knights went scoreless over the next six minutes, six seconds as the Blue Hose rattled off their run.


The Black Knights trailed 49-43, but used an 11-3 run, capped by a post jumper by freshman G Milton Washington to regain a 54-52 lead, but the Blue Hose again had the answer, scoring the next nine points to take a seven-point lead with 4:17 left. Army had one last gasp, pulling within 63-62 on a three-pointer by freshman G Mo Williams with 1:35 left, but Presbyterian scored eight of the final 10 points to secure the victory.


Army held the Blue Hose to only one field goal in the final 5:50, but PC scored eight straight points at the foul line. They outscored the Black Knights 23-13 at the line in the game that featured a combined 40 fouls, including 25 whistled against Army.


Junior F Ella Ellis led the Black Knights with 22 points, his 15th straight game in double figures and third straight game with at least 20 points. Senior G Julian Simmons notched his second straight double-digit scoring game with 14 points. The Katy, Texas native moved into 26th place on the Army scoring list with 1,038 career markers. Simmons just missed his first career double-double, tying his career best with nine rebounds.


Washington scored a career-high 12 points in his first career start. He is the third Army freshman to post double figures in a game this season.


Al’lonzo Coleman led the Blue Hose with 19 points and grabbed six rebounds. Pierre Miller had 18 points, while Josh Johnson added 10 to round out PC’s top scorers.


Army shot 48.9 percent overall, but hit just five of its 18 three-point tries (.278). Presbyterian rebounded from an 8-for-23 first half to shoot 50.0 percent overall and 46.2 percent from three-point range in the second half.


The Black Knights jumped out to an early 7-2 lead on a three-pointer by sophomore G Josh Herbeck and four straight points by Ellis, but the Blue Hose scored the next seven points to take a 9-7 lead on a jumper by Coleman with 15:20 left. Army tied the game on a backdoor layup by Washington, and the lead changed hands five more times over the next two minutes.


Presbyterian did not make a field goal from the 15:20 mark to the 11:38 point of the half, but scored seven straight points from the line during that stretch.


Army led 13-12 after a Maxwell Lenox layup, but the Blue Hose scored the next eight points to claim a 20-13 advantage with 8:58 left in the first half. An Ellis jumper ended Army’s four minute, 46 second scoring drought and pulled the Black Knights within five at 20-15 with 8:27 remaining in the opening half and jumpstart a 9-2 Army run that tied the game at 22-22. Ellis scored six points during the spurt.


The Blue Hose went back on top by four at 27-23, but the Black Knights scored the next 13 points, including seven by Simmons and the last four by Washington, to claim its largest lead of the half at 36-27. Jay Reynolds, in for Coleman, who picked up his third foul with 1:56 left in the half, scored with just three seconds on the clock to cut Army’s halftime lead to 36-29.


Ellis led all players with 13 first-half points, while Simmons also reached double figures in the opening stanza with 10 markers. Coleman led the Blue Hose with 11 pints, including nine from the foul line. Army started the half 5-for-14 from the field, but made seven of its last 11 shot attempts to finish the half at 48.0 percent (12-25).


Both teams were whistled for a combined 21 fouls and shot 26 fouls shots in the first half, including 16 by the Blue Hose.


Washington and Ellis scored to open the second half and extend Army’s lead to 11 points, but a three-pointer by Mutakabbir started the Blue Hose’s 17-point run.


Simmons started Army’s comeback with an old-fashioned three-point play that trimmed the lead in half. Ellis tied the game with a layup and Washington’s basket gave Army its final lead of the game.


The loss was Army’s third straight on the road.


Army starts a three-game homestand on Saturday, Dec. 31 when it welcomes St. Francis (N.Y.) to Christl Arena. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. The Black Knights are 4-2 at West Point this season.

Game Notes: Jason Pancoe was only available in case of emergency due to a hand injury … Army has now used eight different starting lineups in the first 13 games … Presbyterian has won the last three games versus Army and leads the all-time series 3-1 … Josh Herbeck has made at least one three-pointer in all 13 games … Presbyterian has won a season-high three in a row, while the loss spoiled Army’s chances at its first three-game winning streak of the season … Army’s last three games have been decided by a total of 12 points … Milton Washington was the third Army freshman to start this season … Army has led by double figures at some point in three of its eight losses this season … Army dropped to 4-43 in its last 47 games when giving up at least 70 points … Army does not play on the road again until Jan. 11 at Lafayette.

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