We are only two weeks into the basketball season so there is really no serious cause for concern, but no service academy basketball team is currently sitting above .500. Challenging early season schedules are the norm for mid-major programs and one must look no further than on the men’s side of week one to see just that. In the opening week alone, service academy basketball fans watched Army take on Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Maryland battle with Navy in the Veterans Classic and Air Force’s unique game against the, now famous, UMBC Golden Retrievers.
Air Force (2-3)
The Air Force Falcons took UMBC to double overtime in the Bimini Jam but fell just short of pulling out a signature win with a 77-72 loss. Last year’s UMBC squad defeated Virginia in the NCAA tournament pulling off the only 16 seed upset over a top-seeded team in the tournament’s history. After the heartbreaking loss, Air Force responded with a narrow 65-62 victory over South Dakota led by Lavelle Scottie’s 15 points, his third double digit scoring game of the season.
Team Leaders: Ryan Swan 13 ppg, 7.8 rpg; Sid Tomes 12.3 ppg, 2.5 apg; Lavelle Scottie 11.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Games this week: vs. Colorado (11/24)
The Black Knights looked strong against the Duke Blue Devils holding Coach K’s squad to only an eight-point lead at halftime before ultimately falling 94-72 in a game that was certainly more competitive than the Duke-Kentucky match up just days earlier. Since then, however, Jimmy Allen has struggled to get his team going as they have now dropped four straight games including a 79-78 loss to 2-3 Sacred Heart.
Team Leaders: Matt Wilson 17.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg; Thomas Funk 13.2 ppg, 7.8 apg, Jordan Fox 10.4 ppg
Games this week: vs. SUNY Maritime (11/21), at Miami (OH) (11/24)
The Navy Midshipmen dropped their first two games of the season, one against Old Dominion and the other at the hands of Maryland. The Midshipmen took the losses in stride and appropriately rebounded (pun intended) in their two most recent contests by defeating Coppin State and Bryant. Navy has been led by consistent and steady performances from George Kiernan.
Team Leaders: George Kiernan 12.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg; Cam Davis 10.8 ppg; Hasan Abdullah 4.3 apg, 1.5 spg
Games this week: at Morgan State (11/20)
Air Force (2-2)
The Air Force Falcons are 2-2 as they head into an Ike Award contest when they travel to West Point to take on Army this Wednesday. The Falcons have key victories over Western State and Farleigh Dickinson and a competitive loss against a solid George Mason squad showing they are certainly ready to improve on last year’s 6-25 mark. To continue their positive stride, Air Force will look to Kaelin Immel for her steadfast court leadership.
Team Leaders: Kaelin Immel 15.0 ppg, .538 3fg%; Emily Conroe 10.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg; Kassady Huffman 9.8 rpg, 8.8 ppg
Games this week: at Army (11/21), at Northeastern (11/24)
West Point opened up with a 57-42 road victory over LIU Brooklyn but followed up that win with two losses that included its home opener against St. John’s. The Black Knights will look to turn their losing ways around when they host the Falcons this week. Army has been led by Madison Hovren who is averaging a double-double on the season.
Team Leaders: Madison Hovren 14.7 ppg, 11.3 rbg; Jess Lewis 7.3 ppg, 4.7 apg
Games this week: vs. Air Force (11/21), at Binghamton (11/25)
Navy also opened their season with a victory, a dominating 81-36 win over Catholic University at home. Like Army, the Midshipmen have since dropped their next two games with a loss at home against Marist and a road loss to Norfolk State. The Midshipmen have been led by freshman Jennifer Coleman and will need the plebe to have another solid performance to pull out a victory over Pennsylvania this Saturday when they host the 2018 Navy Classic in Annapolis.
Team Leaders: Jennifer Coleman 14.3 ppg, 3.3 apg; Sophie Gatzounas 6.3 rpg, 7.7 ppg; Kolbi Green, 10.3 ppg.
Games this week: vs. Penn (11/24), vs. NC A&T (11/25)