PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Kyle Wilson scored a career-high 29 points, but Myles Mack's three-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining lifted Rutgers (6-7) to a 75-72 win over Army (3-7) in men's basketball action at the Rutgers Athletic Center Sunday afternoon. Neither team held more than a four-point lead in the second half of the game that featured 10 ties and 19 lead changes.
Wilson scored 18 points after halftime, including 16 of Army's final 25 points. He had one final chance to send the game to overtime, but his running three-pointer at the horn glanced off the rim, clinching the Scarlet Knights' victory.
A dunk by Tanner Plomb with 6:46 to go gave Army a 63-59 lead, but Rutgers reeled off seven straight to take a 66-63 advantage. Plomb, who scored nine points in the second half, tied it with a three-pointer, but Rutgers quickly regained a two-point lead. Wilson tied the game at 68-68 with 3:46 to go and gave Army a one-point lead with a free throw at the 3:05 mark, but the Scarlet Knights hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 69-69 with 2:25 left.
Neither team scored until Mack converted a three-point play with 50.3 on the clock to give Rutgers a 72-69 lead. Wilson again came up big for the Black Knights, burying his fourth three-pointer to tie the game with 34 seconds left. Rutgers chose not to call time out on its final possession, and Mack rose up and fired from straight on for the game-winning basket.
Wilson's career-high effort was his third straight game with at least 20 points, tying his career high. He posted his point total despite playing only 24 minutes because of foul trouble. Senior Josh Herbeck scored 12 points on four three-pointers, while Plomb matches his career high with 11 points. Matt Gramling and Larry Toomey led the Black Knights with six rebounds each, while Dylan Cox handed out five assists and blocked two shots.
Mack led the Scarlet Knights with 18 points, including 16 in the second half, snapping his string of four straight 20-point games. His game-winning three-pointer was his only triple of the game (1-4). Wally Judge added 16 points, while D'Von Campbell scored 12 off the bench. Junior Etou grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
Rutgers held a 41-34 rebounding edge, including 21 offensive rebounds, but Army held a 21-11 edge in second chance points. Army shot 42.2 percent for the game, including a 37.9 percent effort from distance (11-29), while after a rough start, Rutgers shot 45.0 percent for the game, including a 48.1 percent accuracy mark in the second half.
The Scarlet Knights made 19 of their 31 foul shots, while Army was 7-for-11 from the free throw line.
Army jumped out to an 8-0 lead that included baskets by four different players. The Scarlet Knights got on the board on a pair of free throws with 15:20 to go and trimmed their deficit to 8-4 on a dunk by Judge five minutes, 14 seconds into the game. Herbeck buried his first three-pointer to extend Army's lead to 13-6, but Rutgers answered with four straight points. Wilson knocked down his lone triple of the first half to push the Black Knights' lead back to six points at 16-10 with 10:03 left in the opening half.
The Scarlet Knights whittled Army's lead to one point five times before taking their first lead at 31-30 with 1:24 to go in the opening half. The Black Knights regained a two-point lead on Herbeck's third three-pointer of the half, but a fallaway jumper by D'Von Campbell and a buzzer-beating layup by Mack sent the Scarlet Knights into the locker room with a 35-33 advantage, their largest lead of the half.
Wilson led Army with a game-high 11 points in the first stanza despite picking up his second foul with more than nine minutes remaining. Herbeck was 3-for-5 from long range for nine points. Judge led Rutgers with 10 first-half points. After missing its first six shots and starting 3-for-11, Rutgers made 11 of its final 20 shots of the first half.
Mack scored the first basket of the second half, but Army used a 5-0 run to take a 38-37 lead after layup by Cox with 19:05 to go. The lead continued to swing back and forth with the Black Knights taking a 54-50 lead after a free throw by Cox with 13:16 to go. Rutgers scored six straight to regain a two-point edge, but Wilson tied the game at 56-56 and put Army on top, 58-57, with free throws at the 8:38 mark.
The Black Knights will take a break for the holidays before returning to action on Monday, Dec. 30 versus Coast Guard. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. at Christl Arena. The game marks the Black Knights' non-conference finale before beginning Patriot League play on Thursday, Jan. 2 at Lafayette.
Game Notes: Dylan Cox made his team-leading 41st consecutive start … Sunday's game was the first meeting between Army and Rutgers since the 1978 NIT, a 72-70 Scarlet Knights' victory … Sunday was 2nd Lt. Ella Ellis's last game as the Black Knights' athletic intern … Ellis, Army's fifth all-time leading scorer (1,585 points), graduated from West Point in May and was commissioned in the field artillery branch … he will report to his Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill, Okla., just after New Year's Day … Herbeck moved into sixth place on the Army career three-point ledger (169) … Tanner Omlid made three steals in 15 minutes of work … Army is 15-0 all-time versus Coast Guard.
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