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Army, Navy and Air Force men’s basketball recover from slump in league play

All three service academy basketball teams have struggled over the past two weeks. Can either Army, Air Force or Navy finish the season strong?

NCAA Basketball: Army at Wake Forest Brian Westerholt-USA TODAY Sports

Army (11-13 overall; 6-5 in Patriot League)

Just two weeks ago, the Army Black Knights looked to be a serious contender in the Patriot League, trailing only Bucknell and Lehigh in the conference standing. They are still in the hunt, however they now share their third place standing with two other teams, American and Colgate.

On Wednesday night, the Black Knights lost to Holy Cross 56-42, extending their losing streak to three. Army’s previously two losses came to Lehigh and Colgate. Army played Lehigh tough, losing by only five points. However, the loss to Holy Cross brings skepticism to the potential of the Black Knights moving up the Patriot League standings any time soon.

Next week, the Black Knights travel south to take on American, then host Bucknell. Should Army get hot and win both of these games, they will make a significant dent in their efforts to win the Patriot League.

Team Leaders: PPG – Matt Wilson 13.7; RPG - Wilson 8.5; APG – Tommy Funk 6.2

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

Air Force (9-13 overall; 3-4 in Mountain West)

The Air Force Falcons are having one of their most inconsistent season in recent years. Some games, they look unstoppable. Other days, they can’t knock down a shot. Wednesday night, they stopped their losing streak, at home, in a tight 81-76 win over the second worst team in the Mountain West, Wyoming. Air Force lost their previous two games, against San Diego State and Colorado State. Early this season they beat SDSU by 14 points.

The chance at competing in the Mountain West has been all but eliminated. But there is plenty of young talent on the Falcons’ squad who can grow and develop in preparation for next season. Next week, Air Force will head down to Vegas in an effort to win their second game of the season against the UNLV Rebels. The Falcons’ best game of the season came against UNLV in a 106-88 win. Let’s see if Air Force can repeat this performance.

Team Leaders: PPG – Scottie 13.8; RPG – Swan 6.7; APG – Sid Tomes 2.5

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

Navy (8-14 overall; 5-6 in Patriot League)

Before Saturday night, Navy’s season appeared to be in serious jeopardy. They entered the game against Loyola with a four game losing streak. After just barely beating Loyola 71-68, the Midshipmen took on American on Wednesday. Prior to entering the game, American held third place in the Patriot League. The Midshipmen took them down in a convincing 10-point win at home. Senior guard, Hasan Abdullah, led the way with 23 points, shooting 55 percent from the field.

Next week, Navy will face Lehigh and Lafayette. Lehigh is in a close race for first place in the Patriot League with Bucknell. Lafayette, on the other hand, is simply fighting to not find themselves in last place by the end of the season. Either way, Navy will be going up against two motivated teams.

Team Leaders: PPG - George Kiernan 12.6; RPG – George Kiernan 5.4; APG – Hasan Abdullah 4.4