We are finished with Ike Award competitions for 2018, but it’s still anyone’s race for the inaugural trophy between all three service academies as we head into 2019 and the spring sport season.
Since our last update, we have had five Ike Award contests, and we are here to wrap those up for you and let you know the final standings of 2018 as exams and the holidays carry us into the new year.
Army vs. Navy Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving-Navy win x 2
The Army and Navy swimming and diving teams met in West Point on December 1st for the annual star series meet between the two squads.
Navy used terrific performances by a number of Mids to run away with the competition. The women’s team won for the 30th STRAIGHT SEASON and the men’s team won its 28th in a row.
The women’s team, led by senior Lauren Barber, broke four Patriot League records, four Navy records, nine pool records, and seven Army-Navy meet records. The men, led by junior James Wilson, set one PL record, one school record, four pool records, and three Army-Navy meet records.
Lauren Barber went out in style in Army-Navy competition, as she played a part in four wins on the day, bringing her total to a perfect 11 for 11 in individual events and 16 overall wins, making her the winningest swimmer in Army-Navy history. She set two league records, two school records, three pool records, three meet records and attained three NCAA B cut times in her three individual events. Not a bad day in the pool!
Barber was selected as Patriot League Women’s Swimmer of the Week as well as NAAA Athlete of the Week for her performance. Wilson was chosen as Patriot League Men’s Swimmer of the Week and Bradley Buchter was chosen as Patriot League Men’s Diver of the Week.
Air Force vs. Navy Women’s Basketball-Navy Win
It was a tough weekend for the Air Force Falcons basketball teams as both the men and the women saw big leads evaporate in losses to other service academy teams. On Friday night, the Navy women’s basketball team traveled to Colorado Springs to take on a much improved Falcons squad.
After trailing by 12 points at the half, the Mids used a combination of improved third quarter shooting and a suffocating zone defense to climb back into the contest. Still behind 11 points with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Navy used a 14-3 run that ended with a layup by M.K. Ulasewicz at the buzzer to tie it at 37 a piece heading into the fourth.
Navy then dialed up the pressure even more, holding the Falcons without a FG attempt for almost the first four minutes of the fourth. This allowed them to get out to a 43-37 lead, but Air Force would respond and tie the game back up, but that run would be the last for the Falcons as Navy was able to eventually put the game away at the free throw line and win 54-47.
Jennifer Coleman led the way with 10 points and 13 rebounds, but coach Stefanie Pemper thought it was the confidence and play of Ulasewicz that set the tone for the team down the stretch. Though she only played 22 minutes, the team was +11 with the junior on the court.
GREAT WIN TODAY FOR NWB! VICTORY OVER AIR FORCE 54-47! FIRST TIME SINGING SECOND THIS YEAR! ⚓️ pic.twitter.com/okjqyUGTNn— Navy WBB (@NavyWBB) December 8, 2018
Air Force vs. Army Men’s Basketball-Army Win
The Army men’s basketball team must have seen what the Navy women did at Clune Arena on Friday and decided to up the stakes Saturday afternoon. Playing the same time as the Army-Navy football game, it looked like the Army men were going to go down emphatically to the Falcons on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing by 17 points at the half, 40-23, Army dialed up defensive pressure and shot the ball extremely well in the second half to mount their furious comeback. Behind Tommy Funk and Lonnie Grayson, who would combine for almost half the team’s points in the second half, Army charged all the way back to win.
They shot 50 percent from the field in the second half but the most telling statistic was that they turned the ball over ZERO times after halftime. Between that and limiting Air Force to just five made field goals after intermission, the Black Knights were able to get back in the game.
Air Force retook the lead briefly with a minute and a half to go at 61-60, but Tucker Blackwell drove to the lane on the next possession and put the finishing touches on the incredible rally.
Army vs. Navy Football-Army Win
The last Ike Award competition of the season was America’s Game, and well, you probably already know how that one turned out.
Army used four turnovers produced by the defense, and some clutch plays by Kelvin Hopkins, Jr. and Kell Walker on third downs on offense to hold on against the Midshipmen and secure a 17-10 victory.
That win, the third in a row by the Black Knights in the series, gave them the outright Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the second year in a row, and bragging rights for nearly 370 days!
Ike Award Standings heading into 2019:
Air Force: 5-5-1
As you can see, it’s literally a toss-up at this point, and will come down to some big 2019 matchups to determine the inaugural winner between the three service academies!