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Service Academy Basketball Update: Air Force and Army lead the way

The Air Force Falcons and Army Black Knights lead the way in service academy basketball performance. The Navy Midshipmen are in a slump.

NCAA Basketball: Boise State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Army (10-10 overall; 5-2 in Patriot League)

The Army Men’s Basketball team have won their last three competitions, including a huge 72-61 win over the Navy Midshipmen. In that game, Thomas Funk led the Black Knights with 22 points. Although just a junior, Funk is a Captain on the team. This win over Navy was their first victory over the Midshipmen, at home, since 2012. Following this win, Army continued their winning streak at home against Holy Cross. The Black Knights cruised to a 76-57 win, improving their Patriot League record to 5-2. Army is currently tied with Lehigh for second place in the league standings with Bucknell is in first place.

The Black Knights will be on the road for their next two games against Lafayette and Colgate. Army has a legitimate chance at the Patriot League Title if they can remain healthy and rebound the ball well. In their previous two games against each of these teams, Army came out on top. If they can repeat that again in the next week, they will really begin to separate themselves from the rest of the Patriot League pack.

Team Leaders: PPG – Matt Wilson 14.7; RPG - Wilson 8.5; APG – Thomas Funk 6.3

NCAA Basketball: UNLV at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Air Force (8-11 overall; 3-4 in Mountain West)

The Air Force Men’s Basketball team is in a good spot right now. They have won three of their last four games, with their lone loss coming to the No. 10 ranked, Nevada Wolfpack, in Reno. But even in that game, the Falcons held in there and only lost by 15 to a team that has been blowing out everyone this season. But what is arguably more important is that the basketball team has gained an enormous amount of support from the cadets at the school. Because students are often required to attend games, support for the athletic teams at service academies can be scarce at times. However, this season, support for the Falcon’s basketball team has seen a huge spike and their play has reflected it in recent weeks.

Lavelle Scottie, a junior forward for the Falcons, has lead the team in scoring and rebounds over the past two games against Nevada and Boise State. This past week he averaged 18.5 points per game and seven rebounds.

Air Force has a long way to go to climb the ladder to the top of the Mountain West Conference. Currently in 6th place, the Falcons hold a 3-4 conference record. Although they did hand UNLV their only conference loss a few weeks ago. Ultimately, the Falcons are trending in the right direction.

Looking ahead, Air Force travels to San Jose State and San Diego State, both of which are winnable games. Now, it’s time to execute.

Team Leaders: PPG – Scottie 13.9; RPG – Swan 6.2; APG – Sid Tomes 2.5

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Navy Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Navy (6-12 overall; 3-4 in Patriot League)

Navy Men’s Basketball has not shared the same success that their fellow service academy teams are enjoying. Part of that is due to the nature of Navy losing to Army a week ago. In their lone game this week, the Midshipmen lost to Lehigh by double digits, failing to bounce back from the Army loss. Uncharacteristically, Navy gave up 85 points at home and struggled to rebound in that game.

With these back-to-back league losses, the Navy Midshipmen will have an uphill battle just to make the Patriot League tournament.

Team Leaders: PPG - George Kiernan 11.9; RPG – George Kiernan 5.2; APG – Hasan Abdullah 4.7