BALTIMORE - The U.S. Military Academy scored the final 11 points of the first half and held Loyola University Maryland scoreless for more than five minutes spanning both periods, and the Black Knights handed the Greyhounds their first Patriot League loss of the season, 73-59, on Saturday night in Reitz Arena.
Franz Rassman tied the game at 25-25 for Loyola (4-11 overall, 3-1 Patriot League) with a turnaround hook 4:08 before halftime, but it was the Greyhounds’ last basket of the first half.
Kennedy Edwards scored nine seconds later, was fouled and hit the ensuing free throw to start the 11-0 run during which the Black Knights (11-5, 2-2) scored all but three of their points in the paint.
A Dylan Cox basket 43 seconds into the second half gave Army West Point a 38-25 advantage before Chancellor Barnard used a post move on the left side of the rim to score Loyola’s first points in five minutes, seven seconds.
Loyola cut the Black Knights’ lead to just seven, 40-33, on a Jarred Jones free throw at 16:13, but Army West Point scored the next four points to increase its lead back to double digits.
It would go up by 17, 55-38, on a Kevin Ferguson jumper with 9:27 left in regulation, but Loyola went on a 14-4 run that covered more than six minutes.
Andre Walker scored in the paint with 3:14 left, trimming the Army West Point lead to seven, 59-52. After two Black Knights free throws, Walker hit two at the line and the lead was seven again, this time with 2:30 remaining.
Tanner Plomb, who had a game-high 22 points, scored on a dunk on Army West Point’s next possession, and Kyle Wilson hit two free throws the Black Knights’ next trip down the court to put the lead to 11.
Walker led Loyola with 17 points, scoring 13 in the second half. Jones posted his second-straight double-double and his fifth of the season, with 14 points and game-best 10 rebounds. He matched teammate Franz Rassman for game-high honors with three blocked shots.
In addition to Plomb’s 22, Kyle Wilson scored 15 points, but the nation’s leader in 3-pointers made per game had just one on six attempts. Wilson entered the game averaging 4.07.
Army West Point’s 73 points also matched its fewest in a game this season. The Black Knights came into the game averaging a Patriot League-best 84.7 points per game. Loyola also had its best defensive night on the 3-point arc this season against a team that had made at least eight threes in its previous 15 games this year. The Black Knights were just 4-of-16 (25 percent) from 3-point range after having made 10 or more in 12 games this year.
The Greyhounds return to action to start a two-game road swing on Wednesday, Jan. 13, when they head to Annapolis, Maryland, to face the U.S. Naval Academy at 7 p.m.