Army Survives Men's Basketball in 87-84 Final
March 1, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Kyle Wilson scored eight of his game-high 28 points over the final 3:30 and Army escaped with an 87-84 victory over Lafayette on Saturday afternoon at Christl Arena. Lafayette finishes the regular season in ninth place and will travel to No. 8 Loyola in Monday's first round of the Patriot League Tournament.
The Black Knights capitalized on a big run midway through the first half and never trailed, answering every Lafayette comeback attempt with a bucket of their own. Army shot 57.9 percent from the field in the game and had four players in double-figures, including Wilson. Kevin Ferguson scored 17 points, while Dylan Cox and Tanner Omlid each chipped in 11.
Trailing 76-74 with less than three minutes to play, Tanner Plomb drained a three-pointer to help Army grab a five-point cushion. Army's lead was four (81-77) at 1:14 after Bryce Scott's layup, Ferguson's two free throws and Dan Trist hitting one-of-two at the line for Lafayette. With the shot clock winding down, Wilson made a scoop layup with 43 seconds left, then hit his next four free throw attempts in one-and-one situations after Lafayette scored on the other end.
Seth Hinrichs' three-pointer cut the lead to 87-84 with 9.5 seconds on the clock and Ferguson missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving Lafayette a chance to tie the game. Zach Rufer found Hinrichs open for a deep three, but he misfired and Army held on for the win.
Hinrichs finished with 19 points and seven rebounds to pace the Lafayette offense, while Trist scored 17, and Joey Ptasinski and Nick Lindner contributed 16 apiece. As a team, Lafayette shot 52.2 percent from the field.
Leading 11-9 after Hinrichs and Plomb traded three-pointers, Lafayette opened up a 19-12 lead with eight of 11 points, capped by Scott's transition layup. The easy deuce was a result of Army's full court press, which Lafayette handled in the opening minutes and earned three uncontested lay-ins (three by Ptasinski).
In a seven-point hole, Army used an 18-4 run to go ahead 30-23 and forced Lafayette to call timeout at 7:36. Plomb started the stretch with a three, Wilson hit two from distance and Cox scored five points to support the run. A steal and score by Rufer stopped the bleeding and Lafayette trailed 30-25 at that point.
Army stretched its lead to as many as 11 points (39-28) when Ben Freeland's block went into the corner to Omlid, who connected from deep. Michael Hoffman's triple from the top of the key ignited an 11-2 stretch for Lafayette that brought it within two points (41-39) on Trist's two-handed slam from a Hinrichs bounce pass. Army called timeout at that point and Ferguson's layup completed the first-half scoring with the Black Knights up 43-39.
Ptasinski's steal and layup had the Leopards down four at 54-50 five minutes into the second half. A three-pointer by Omlid and Cox's putback stretched the lead to nine points. The Army lead stayed at nine by the 12-minute mark before Rufer and Lindner each hit threes to trim the deficit to 63-60. Cox's quick layup put the lead back at five when Lafayette called timeout at 9:42.
A Ptasinski corner triple made it a two-point game, before Wilson and Trist alternated jumpers. Up 67-65, Omlid drilled a three and then scored on a backdoor cut to make it 72-65. Lafayette continued to battle back, however, and was back within two on a pair at the line by Hinrichs and a Ptasinski trey at 5:48.
Lafayette's game against Loyola at Reitz Arena will start at 7:30 p.m. and be available online on the Patriot League Network.
Freshman Monty Boykins missed his fourth straight game with a right wrist injury.
Lafayette dropped to 0-10 on the season when surrendering 80 points or more.