Courtesy of goARMYsports.com
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army men’s basketball team (4-7) started the game on a 12-0 run and never led by less than eight points the rest of the way in its 68-48 win over Coast Guard (2-7) Monday afternoon at Christl Arena. Kyle Wilson led the Black Knights with a game-high 16 points.
Kevin Ferguson started the scoring and a three-pointer by Larry Toomey with 15:11 left in the opening half capped the Black Knights’ opening run. Army harassed the Bears into six straight misses and two turnovers during the run. Coast Guard was able to pull within eight points at 24-16 with 7:32 left, but Army scored the next 10 points to take an 18-point lead and led by double figures for the remainder of the contest.
Wilson had an efficient afternoon, going 5-for-8 from the field, including a three-pointer on his only attempt from behind the arc. Josh Herbeck scored 12 points on four triples, while Larry Toomey matched him with a season-high 12 points. Tanner Plomb and Tanner Omlid each grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Omlid posted career high totals in rebounds, assists (4), blocked shots (3) and steals (4).
David Anderson scored 14 points, including the teams’ first seven, to lead the Bears. Ricky Rodriguez was also in double figures with 10 points. John Benedict snared a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Army defense allowed a season-low point total and limited Coast Guard to 30.8 percent from the field, including a 26.1 percent from distance (6-23). The Black Knights shot just 38.1 percent, including a 9-for-32 showing (.281) in the second half, but forced 13 turnovers and outrebounded the Bears, 45-37. The Black Knights were able to score in transition, posting 16 fastbreak points.
The win ran Army’s record versus Coast Guard to 16-0 and marked its 28th straight win against non-Division I foes since 1993.
Army led 19-4 with 12:25 left before an 8-2 Coast Guard run sliced its lead to 21-12 at the 10:22 mark. A three-pointer by Toomey re-established a 12-point lead, but back-to-back baskets pulled the Bears within eight at 24-16 with 7:32left. Army was able to reassert itself with a 10-0 run that was capped by a three-pointer by Plomb to make it 34-16 with3:37 left in the half. The Bears pulled within 14 points, but Herbeck buried a triple with 48 seconds left to send Army into the locker room with a 38-21 lead.
The Black Knights shot 48.1 percent in the opening stanza. Herbeck and Toomey each had nine for Army, while Anderson led all players with 10 first-half points.
Ryan McNeil connected on back-to-back three-pointers to start the half and pull Coast Guard within 11 at 38-27, but Army scored seven of the next nine points, including Plomb’s second triple, to regain control at 46-29 with 15:24 left. Army’s lead hovered between 12 and 17 points until Mo Williams’s three-pointer with 7:10 to go gave the Black Knights their first 20-point lead at 62-42. Army led by as many as 24 in the final minutes.
Monday’s game marked the end of the Army’s non-conference schedule. The Black Knights open Patriot League play on Thursday, Jan. 2 at Lafayette. Tip-off at the Kirby Sports Center is set for 7 p.m. Army took both meetings with the Leopards last season.
Game Notes: Dylan Cox made his team-leading 42nd consecutive start … Army has won three of its last four games after starting 1-6 … the Black Knights went 3-2 in December, their fourth winning December in the last five years … Army is 18-16 in December in that span … Army led wire-to-wire for the first time this season … the Black Knights’ 38.1 field goal percentage marked the first time they won a game when shooting below 48 percent this season … Army is now 3-0 this season when outrebounding its opponent … Army is now 35-12 in its last 47 games when allowing 62 points or less … Army played 15 of its 18 players in uniform.