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Service Academy Basketball Update: Midweek Blues for Air Force, Army, and Navy

All three service academy men’s basketball teams saw themselves on the losing side of the scoreboard in midweek action yesterday

NCAA Basketball: Army at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Army (11-11 overall; 6-3 in Patriot League)

The Army men’s basketball team was sitting pretty headed into a mid-week matchup with Patriot League foe Colgate in Hamilton, NY. They had won four straight conference games and their only two losses so far in PL play were by a combined three points.

However, they struggled from the get-go last night, with Tommy Funk accounting for 8 of their 11 points they got from their starters in the first half as they relied on the bench to spark them for 18 of their 29 points before halftime. Colgate, on the other hand, raced out to a 19-8 lead as Will Rayman was unstoppable, scoring 15 points in the game’s first 10 minutes.

Rayman would end up leading the way for the Raiders with 23 points and 12 rebounds as Colgate led by six at the half and continued their scoring surge in the second with a 20-9 run. The final score was a 76-56 loss for the Black Knights, a lone setback in a great stretch for the men’s team.

Funk scored 16 points with six assists for Army, which will return home to face Lehigh on Saturday at 1:00 ET.

Lehigh is 7-2 in the conference and in second place while the Black Knights sit right behind them at 6-3 in third place. Needless to say, this will be a big game on Saturday!

Team Leaders: PPG – Matt Wilson 14.0; RPG - Wilson 8.6; APG – Tommy Funk 6.3

Air Force (9-12 overall; 4-5 in Mountain West)

Similar to Army, Air Force had been on a tear lately, winning four of their last five games with the lone loss coming at #8 Nevada. Unfortunately, also similar to the Black Knights, the Falcons went on the road on Wednesday and got beaten by double digits against San Diego State.

Scoring only 19 points in the first half behind some sluggish shooting, the Falcons saw themselves down by 17 points at 36-19. Though they would outscore the Aztecs in the second half by a score of 32-30, the shooting woes in the first 20 minutes were too much to overcome as they fell 66-51.

Lavelle Scottie led the way with 22 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals. AJ Walker joined him in double figures with 10 points.

Air force now sits in 7th place in the Mountain West standings at 4-5 with 9th place Colorado State traveling to Colorado Springs and Clune Arena on Saturday for a game that has been dubbed a white out for the Falcons.

Team Leaders: PPG – Scottie 14.3; RPG – Ryan Swan 6.7; APG – Sid Tomes 2.7

Navy (6-14 overall; 3-6 in Patriot League)

The Midshipmen have continued their slide in the last week as they have lost six of their last seven in conference and are in desperate need of a big win to turn things around and get back to the middle of the pack in the standings.

It was eerily similar to the other two service academy teams as a slow starting first half doomed Navy against Bucknell on Wednesday night. Shooting only 24% from the field and being limited to just 21 points, the Mids found themselves down double digits by a score of 36-21 at the end of the first 20 minutes of game time.

Foul trouble played a role in the first half struggles as well as point guard Hasan Abdullah and leading scorer George Kiernan found themselves on the bench with two fouls.

Navy was able to outscore the Bison in the second half 36-33, but the first half deficit was too much to overcome as they fell 69-57.

George Kiernan continued to lead the way with 13 points and Abdullah had a nice overall game with eight points, seven rebounds, five assists, and five steals.

The Mids will take on Loyola at 2 ET on Saturday from Alumni Hall as they look to avoid falling out of hosting a first-round Patriot League tournament game in the standings.

Team Leaders: PPG - George Kiernan 12.8; RPG –Kiernan 5.3; APG – Hasan Abdullah 4.3