Courtesy of goARMYsports.com
BOSTON, Mass. – Army (10-10, 6-3 PL) rallied from 22 points down in the second half to force overtime, but Boston University (15-7, 7-1 PL) escaped with an 86-81 victory in Patriot League men’s basketball action at Agganis Arena Wednesday night. The Black Knights trailed 47-25, but outscored the Terriers 47-25 in the final 16:48.
The loss snapped Army’s four-game winning streak on the road in conference play and marked the first time the Black Knights have lost two straight versus Patriot League foes this season.
The Terriers led 18-4 and built a 19-point halftime lead. BU stretched its margin to 22 points, but a three-pointer by Kyle Wilson started Army’s comeback. The Black Knights methodically whittled the lead into single digits and tied the game for the first time at 70-70 on a three-pointer by Dylan Cox with 1:29 left. D.J. Irving hit a jumper to put the Terriers back on top, but Wilson’s driving layup tied the game at 72-72 with 11.3 left in the second half. Irving had a chance to win it in regulation, but his jumper was off the mark, forcing the extra session.
The teams exchanged three-pointers to start the overtime and Wilson’s free throw with 2:34 to go gave the Black Knights their first lead of the game at 76-75. Irving then went to work from the free throw line converting six straight to push the Terriers back on top by five with 37.4 left. Wilson buried his fourth three-pointer of the game to make it 81-79, but Irving again drained two at the foul line to answer. Cox’s layup made it an 83-81 game. After the Terriers made one of two free throws with 20.8 seconds left, Army had two chances to tie the game, but both three-point tries were off the mark. BU rebounded the final attempt and was fouled with 0.6 seconds left. Malik Thomas hit both to set the final margin.
Wilson led the Black Knights with 23 points, his third 20-point game in the last four outings and fifth in Patriot League play. Cox posted a career-high 19 points, all in the second half and overtime. Josh Herbeck was also in double figures with 15 points, 13 of them in the second half. Rookie Tanner Omlid posted nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot.
Kevin Ferguson etched his name in the Army record book with a program-record six blocked shots. He extended his single-season record to 42 and became the Black Knights’ all-time leader with 77 blocked shots. Ferguson is the first Army player to block 40 shots in a season. He also led the Black Knights with four assists and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds.
Army shot 57.6 percent in the second half, including 7-for-10 from deep to force overtime. The Black Knights were just 8-for-24 (.333) overall and 1-6 (.167) from three-point range in the first half. For the game, Army shot 43.5 percent overall and 45.5 percent (10-22) from distance.
The teams combined for 46 turnovers, including a season-high 23 by the Black Knights.
Irving led the Terriers with 22 points, including a perfect 14-for-14 effort at the free throw line. Cedric Hankerson added 19 points, hitting five of his six three-point tries, while Thomas was also in double figures with 18 points. Dom Morris just missed a double-double with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Terriers jumped out to a 9-0 lead as Army missed its first six shots. Matt Gramling’s basket with 15:46 left ended the Black Knights’ drought, and Omlid followed with a basket to make it 9-4. BU answered with another 9-0 run to take an 18-4 lead with 12:31 left in the first half. Gramling again scored, but BU scored five of the next seven to make it a 23-6 game. Army was able to close within 12 points at 30-18, but the Terriers ended the first half on a 7-0 run to claim a 19-point halftime lead.
BU scored first in the second half and stretched its lead to 47-25. Wilson’s three-pointer ignited a 10-0 run that included back-to-back three-pointers by Herbeck that made it 47-35 with 15:30 left in regulation. The Terriers were able to rebuild a 15-point margin at 52-37, but another Herbeck three and three-point play by Cox cut the lead to single digits with 11:44 left.
The Terriers answered with a three-pointer, and led 62-50 with 8:41 remaining. A basket by Wilson started a 9-1 Army run that made it a four-point game with 5:28 to go. Hankerson’s fifth three-pointer gave BU a 70-62 lead with 3:28 to go, but Army ended regulation on a 10-2 run.
After Wilson’s free throw gave Army a one-point lead, the Black Knights had a chance to add to their margin, but was whistled for an offensive foul. Irving started the Terriers’ comeback from the free throw line on the next possession.
Army’s loss, coupled with a victory by Holy Cross, forced a tie for third place at 6-3 after the first half of Patriot League play. American remains unbeaten at 9-0, while the Terriers are in second at 8-1. The Black Knights stay on the road to start their second trip through the league schedule at Loyola on Saturday. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. The game can be viewed live online via the Patriot League Network at patriotleague.tv. Army scored a 91-82 win over the Greyhounds at Christl Arena on Jan. 5.
Game Notes: Dylan Cox made his team-leading 51st consecutive start … Army’s 18 first half points marked its lowest scoring half since posting 11 points in the first 20 minutes at American in the 2012 Patriot League quarterfinals … the 19-point halftime deficit was the Black Knights’ largest since being outscored by 19 in the first half at Holy Cross on Feb. 22, 2012 … Army lost back-to-back games for the first time since a five-game skid from Nov. 15-Dec. 4 … BU took a 10-6 lead in the all-time series and has now won five in a row against Army … Wednesday’s game was the teams’ first meeting since 1994 and the first as Patriot League rivals … Army dropped to 0-2 in overtime this season (Houston Baptist) …
Cox matched his career best with his third straight game in double figures.