EASTON, Pa. – Tremendous three-point shooting helped Army build an early cushion and the Black Knights never trailed in an 85-68 victory over Lafayette on Wednesday night at Kirby Sports Center.
Tony Johnson led Lafayette offensively, scoring 18 points, but the story was Army’s 13-of-24 shooting from distance and 55.6 percent overall. Kyle Wilson was one of three Army players in double figures, scoring a game-high 24 points in the win. Seth Hinrichs and Bryce Scott each added 16 points in the loss.
Six points by Wilson helped Army build an 11-2 lead in the game’s opening minutes and from there the Black Knights continued to have their way on both ends of the floor. An offensive rebound and putback by Joey Ptasinskikept Lafayette’s deficit at nine points at the nine-minute mark, but then Army strung together another 11-2 run to take a 33-15 lead. The run included four points from Ella Ellis (20 points) and was capped by a Wilson triple.
The Black Knights ran their advantage to as many as 21 points and took a 38-19 advantage into the locker room thanks to a 53.6 percent shooting performance and a 25-12 difference on the glass. Lafayette was limited to 8-of-28 in the period, including 1-for-12 from downtown.
Johnson’s three-pointer and pair from the line after an Army turnover put some life into the Leopards and the Kirby Sports Center crowd to start the second half. Alan Flannigan, who returned to the lineup after missing five games with a left knee injury, drew an offensive foul and Johnson fed Levi Giese in the corner for an open three on the ensuing possession.
Giese’s three punctuated the 8-0 run and cut it to 38-29, forcing Army to call timeout. Ellis then scored four straight and the Black Knights drilled back-to-back threes to push the lead back to 19 points four minutes into the half. A Ptasinski triple briefly interrupted Army’s run, but the Black Knights reeled off the next 10 to take a 26-point lead (58-32) with 13:31 to play.
Army went on to lead by as many as 31 points and ultimately came away with the 85-68 victory. In the end, the Black Knights finished with a 43-25 rebounding advantage and ended Lafayette’s nine-game home winning streak.
Lafayette returns to the hardwood on Saturday when its hosts Bucknell at Kirby Sports Center. Opening tip is set for 2 p.m.
Dan Trist missed the game with an injured right ankle.
Levi Giese became the fourth player in Lafayette history to reach the century mark in blocked shots. He has 100 in his career.
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