Courtesy of goARMYsports.com
BANGOR, Maine – Kyle Wilson scored 24 points and Army (3-6)shot a season-high 47.6 percent from three-point range (10-21) in a 90-80 victory over Maine (1-8) at the Cross Insurance Center Friday night. The Black Knights’ posted their highest point total of the season en route to their second straight win.
In addition to Wilson, Kevin Ferguson added 15 points and Mo Williams scored 11 points. Wilson connected on seven of his 16 field goal tries, including a 3-for-6 night from distance. Ferguson tied for the team lead with six rebounds and blocked three shots. Tanner Plomb dished out five assists. The Black Knights had eight players with at least six points, including rookie Tanner Plomb who scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds, handed out two assists and made two steals in 14 minutes.
Army led for the majority of the game. The Black Knights were never down by more than two points and took the lead for good at 10-9 on a three-pointer by Josh Herbeck with 15:50 left in the first half.
The Black Knights outrebounded the Black Bears, 37-33. It was the second straight game Army held a positive rebounding margin. The Black Knights grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and held a 25-4 advantage in second-chance points.
Xavier Pollard led the Black Bears with 19 points off the bench. Garet Beal and Troy Reid-Knight also scored in double figures with 11 points each. Beal and Pollard both totaled six rebounds. Maine shot 51.7 percent (30-58) for the game, but committed 18 turnovers that led to 19 Army points.
Army scored first on a free throw by Wilson, but Maine answered with a three-pointer to take their first lead of the game. The two teams traded baskets and the Black Bears led 7-5 after a basket by Beal with 16:54 to go in the opening stanza. Maine led 9-7 before the first of Herbeck’s three triples put Army on top to stay.
Herbeck drilled another three-pointer to cap a 15-6 run that put the Black Knights on top 22-15 with 11:53 to go. Maine scored the next five points to pull within two. That was the margin when Wilson and Williams buried back-to-back threes to establish an eight-point advantage with 8:28 left in the opening stanza. Army took its first double-digit lead on a layup by Plomb at the 6:01 mark and led by 39-28 after a three-pointer by Omlid.
Maine rallied for the next six points to make it a five-point game and was able to trim the Army lead to just two points at 46-44 after an Ethan Mackey basket with five seconds remaining in the half.
Army pushed its lead to six points at 55-49 with 17:33 left, and following a Maine free throw, used an 11-0 run to take its largest lead at 65-50 with 14:16 to go. The Black Bears quickly answered with eight straight points, but Wilson buried a three-pointer from the left corner to push Army’s lead back to 10 points at 68-58 with 12:07 to go. The Black Knights were able to maintain a double-digit lead until the final 1:41. Maine got as close as seven points, but Army connected on three of its final four free throws while holding the Black Bears scoreless over the last 40 seconds. Williams set the final margin with a pair of foul shots and then made a steal to secure the victory.
The game marked Army’s first trip to Maine. The Black Knights are now 3-0 all-time against the Black Bears, including two wins at West Point.
The Black Knights have more than a week off during West Point’s term ending exam period before traveling to Rutgers on Sunday, Dec. 22. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. The game will be streamed live by ESPN3.
Game Notes: Dylan Cox made his team-leading 40th consecutive start … head coach Zach Spiker moved into sole possession of seventh place on Army’s all-time wins list (56) … Army snapped a four-game road losing streak … the Black Knights won consecutive games for the first time this season … Ferguson became the fourth Army player to block at least 60 career shots … Ferguson already ranks fourth on Army’s single-season blocks list (25) … Army won its first game of the season when its opponent had a higher shooting percentage … Army reached the 90-point mark for the first time this season after scoring at least 90 a school-record five times in 2012-13 … the Black Knights are now 3-40 in their last 43 games when allowing at least 80 points … Army’s last game versus Rutgers game in the 1978 NIT.