Navy scores 59-50 victory at Army

WEST POINT, N.Y.  -  Navy (7-12, 1-2 PL) used a 28-8 first-half run to overcome an early deficit, and went on to 59-50 victory over Army (8-10, 1-2 PL) on Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena.  Freshman Dylan Cox posted the Black Knights' first double-double of the season with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Black Knights trimmed a 16-point deficit first-half disadvantage to one in the second half, but the Mids never relinquished the lead.
The Black Knights' offense shot just 31.3 percent (15-48), including a 2-for-20 mark from three-point range. Army suffered through two droughts of more than five minutes without a field goal during the Mids' first-half spurt.
Ella Ellis led the Black Knights with 15 points, moving into 10th place on Army's all-time scoring ledger with 1,352 points. Plebe Kyle Wilson also reached double figures with 11 points. Cox also led Army with two assists without committing a turnover in 26 minutes.
Navy's offense was spurred by an 11-for-23  (.478) three-point effort. The Mids shot just 7-for-31 inside the three-point line. Worth Smith led the Mids with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Kevin Alter added 14 points.
Army got out of the gate quickly, scoring seven of the first 10 points. Wilson, who scored 11 points in the first half, put Army on top 7-3 with 15:55 left, but the Black Knights did not hit another field goal until the 7:39 mark when Kevin Ferguson converted an offensive rebound.
While the Army offense misfired, the Mids knocked down four three-pointers, including three by Alter. Alter made two free throws to give Navy its largest lead of the half at 31-15 with 1:43 to go. The freebies capped a string of 12 straight points for the Mids.
Army rallied in the closing minute, scoring the final eight points of half. A putback by Cox and a three-point play by Wilson pulled the Black Knights within 11 points, and Ellis drained a three at the buzzer to send Army into intermission down 31-23.
Wilson was 4-for-8 in the first half, while the rest of the team combined to shoot 4-for-15. Alter led the Mids with 11 first-half markers, including a 3-for-3 showing from deep.
Neither team hit a field goal in the first four minutes, 47 seconds of the second half. Ellis scored the first points of the half on free throws before Venturini put the Mids on the board with a three-pointer to push their lead back to nine points. The Black Knights rattled off eight straight points, including three-point plays by Ellis and Cox to make it 34-33 with 13:44 left.
Army had a chance to take the lead, but misfired on a pair of free throws. Gugliemo hit a three-pointer on the other end to spark a 14-3 run that pushed the Mids' lead to 48-37. Smith also knocked down two three-pointers during that span.
The Black Knights were able to get the lead to single digits on several occasions, but the Mids led by at least eight points for the rest of the game.
The loss was just the second of the season at Christl Arena. The Black Knights have won five of their seven home games this season.
The Black Knights are back on the road Wednesday, Jan. 23 at Colgate. Army swept the Raiders last season and have won its last two games at Cotterell Court.
Game Notes: Jordan Springer was back in the starting lineup versus the Mids … Springer started the first 15 games, missed the Bucknell game and was used as a reserve against Lafayette … Army started three rookies for the 12th straight game … the loss snapped Army's two-game winning streak in the series … the Black Knights have been outrebounded in their last four losses and have won the rebounding battle in their last four victories … Wilson scored in double figures for the 11th time this season and fifth time in the last seven games … Cox's double-double was Army's first since Ella Ellis had a 26-10 game versus Lafayette on Feb. 8, 2012 … Cox is Army's leading rebounder and the top rebounding freshman in the Patriot League … the "Star" Game rematch will be played in Annapolis on Feb. 16.