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Army-Navy basketball: Mids men, Black Knights women take victories

The women of Army West Point sweep their rivals down in Annapolis. The Navy Midshipmen men’s team protect the home court.

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

Saturday highlighted the second Army-Navy Basketball Doubleheader of the season. However this time, the game would be played in Alumni Hall in Annapolis.

The Black Knights look to sweep the series

Entering the game between the Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen, the women’s teams held records of 9-14 and 9-13 respectively. So you could say they were relatively evenly matched before tip-off.

In the first game between these two teams, Army took the close win, 55-52. In that game, the Black Knights’, Madison Hovren, dominated down low with 15 points and nine rebounds. Therefore, the Midshipmen knew that stopping Hovren was going to be essential if they wanted a chance to win.

Early in the game, the Midshipmen got off to a good start and led at halftime, 26-20. Hovren was limited in scoring while Navy’s freshman guard, Jennifer Coleman dominated on offense. She led Navy in points, rebounds, and assists. Coleman finished the game with 14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

But at halftime, the momentum flipped. Army’s coach, Dave Margarity, transitioned his team to play a zone defense towards the end of the second quarter and continued it into the second half. This change in scheme, and Hovren getting more involved in the offense, was all that was needed to give Army the edge it needed. It also didnt help that the Midshipmen turned over the ball a massive, 21 times.

Navy’s lead slipped away into the fourth quarter, and eventually, became out of reach. The Midshipmen scored 22 points in the second half, while Army scored 40, bringing them to a 60-48 victory. Madison Hovren led all players with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Could the Navy men prevent the season sweep?

In their first game, Army took down the Midshipmen by a margin of nine in a second half comeback win. The Black Knights entered the weekend in fifth place in the Patriot League, with an overall record of 12-14. The Midshipmen, on the other hand, held a record of 8-16 and tied for sixth in the Patriot League.

The story line for the men’s game paralleled that of the women’s. Navy specifically needed to limit the productivity of Army’s junior captain, Tommy Funk. Additionally, a freshmen guard from the Midshipmen stole the show on offense. John Carter Jr. started the game scoring 11 of the Midshipmen’s first 14 points, shooting 3/3 from three point range.

Army went into the half trailing Navy by two points, 37-35.

Navy maintained their steady lead ahead of Army for the majority of the second half. Additionally, Carter Jr. continued to be the star of the show. On on end of the court he knocks down his sixth 3-pointer of the game. 20 seconds later he is making a block on defense while simultaneously saving the ball from going out of bounds.

John Carter Jr. finished the game with 26 points and 6 rebounds. He shot 75 percent from the field (85 percent from three).

In an intense and exciting second half, the Midshipmen pulled away with the win over Army, 79-68, splitting the weekend and season series.

Navy improved their record to 9-16 overall and 6-8 in conference play. This brings them to being one game back from Army, whose conference record in now 7-7. The Black Knight have an opportunity to rebound from this loss when they travel to take on Lehigh in their next game. Navy will also travel Wednesday to play a very winnable game against Loyola.