Courtesy of goARMYsports.com
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army forward Tanner Plomb posted his first career double-double with career-high totals of 29 points and 10 rebounds, but Holy Cross (8-9, 2-3 PL) rallied from a 14-point deficit and scored a 78-75 win over the Black Knights (8-8, 4-1 PL) in Patriot League men’s basketball action at Christl Arena Wednesday night.
The first half featured six ties and 11 lead changes, and the game was all even at 43-43 with 14:33 left in the second half. Aided by a flagrant foul that resulted in a five-point possession, the Black Knights used a 20-6 spurt over the next five mintues to take a 63-49 advantage. The Crusaders then scored the next seven points to get their deficit back to single digits. A jumper by Kyle Wilson stopped the momentum for a moment, but a 14-4 run put the Crusaders back on top 70-69 with 3:13 remaining. Dylan Cox connected on a volleyball-style tip-in to quickly swing the lead back in Army’s favor, but Malcolm Miller’s layup with 2:40 to go put Holy Cross on top for good. The Crusaders were able to build a four-point lead in the closing seconds.
Plomb was 11-for-15 from the field, including a perfect 6-for-6 effort from long range. He made his first 10 shots of the contest. Wilson was also in double figures with 17 points, and Cox added 11 points and a game-high four assists without committing a turnover in 25 minutes. Plebe center Kieffer Jordan scored a career-high six points after being forced into extended duty after the Black Knights experienced foul trouble in the post.
Miller led five Holy Cross players in double figures with 17 points. Malachi Alexander was next on the list with 16 points followed by Dave Dudzinski (14), Anthony Thompson (13) and Eric Green (11). Green completed a double-double with 10 rebounds.
The Crusaders held a commanding 36-29 edge on the glass and outshot Army 50.0 percent to 45.3 percent for the game. Holy Cross was 28-for-37 at the foul line, while the Black Knights made nine of their 15 free throws.
The loss snapped Army’s five-game winning streak.
Holy Cross led 4-2 when Plomb buried his first three-pointer to give Army its first lead of the contest. Army led 11-8 with 14:04 left, but could not build a lead any larger than three points as the advantage swung eight times over the next six minutes, 15 seconds. Plomb buried another three-pointer to give Army a 26-24 advantage, a lead it would hold into the second half, with 4:49 showing on the first-half clock. Wilson’s fastbreak dunk made it a four-point game and the Black Knights were able to stretch the lead to five on two occasions. The Black Knights went into the locker room up 37-32 after Wilson buried a jumper with less than two seconds on the clock.
Holy Cross started the second half on a 9-4 run to tie the game at 41-41 with 15:15 left. With the score tied 43-43, Plomb buried another triple to give Army back the lead. After the Black Knights were whistled for a foul, the officials reviewed a previous possession and determined that Dudzinski had committed a flagrant foul. Jordan knocked down both free throws and Plomb hit another three-pointer to quickly push the lead to 51-43. A triple by Cox and two free throws by Wilson made it a 13-0 run and a 56-43 Army lead.
Miller hit a three-pointer to make it a 10-point game, but the Black Knights scored four straight to take a 63-49 lead, their largest of the game, with 9:45 to go. Alexander started the Crusaders’ comeback as they outscored the Black Knights 29-12 for the remainder of the game. The Black Knights were just 5-for-16 from the field after taking their 14-point lead.
After wins by American (5-0) and Boston University (5-0), and a loss by Bucknell (3-2), Army enters this weekend’s action in sole possession of third place. The Black Knights host the Bison on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. The game will be televised to a national audience by CBS Sports Network.
Game Notes: Dylan Cox made his team-leading 47th consecutive start … Tanner Plomb’s double-double was the second by an Army player this season (Kevin Ferguson vs. Delaware) … Plomb has scored in double figures in all five Patriot League games and is tied for the team lead at 18.8 points per game during conference action … the loss snapped a three-game home winning streak and a five-game home run in Patriot League play … Plomb’s 29 points tied Army’s season high … Kyle Wilson also scored 29 at Rutgers … Army has still won seven of their last nine games and nine of their last 11 Patriot League regular season games … the Black Knights will be trying to stop a seven-game losing streak versus Bucknell on Sunday … fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid traffic caused by the game and a concert at Eisenhower Hall Theater.