No Tanner Plomb and no Kevin Ferguson means that Army is no match for Bucknell. This became evident in the first half on Saturday as the Bison torched Army for 53 points in the period on their way to a dominating 94-66 victory. Army just simply cannot compete at this level with its two best players as the rest of the team is asked to shoulder too much burden on both ends of the court. This runs the Army losing streak to three games as the Black Knights wait for their injured stars to return to fitness.
Here is a look back at what went wrong on Saturday:
1. Stop Chris Hass – Pass
Chris Hass averages 18.5 points per game for the Bison and he destroyed Army singlehandedly in the meeting between the two teams earlier this season when he poured in 40 points. On Saturday however he only had ten points, but this is a little misleading as he only had to play 26 points before making way for the Bucknell bench players. It was actually the bench that did a large chunk of the damage against Army, with Bison players that had started the game on the pine contributing 40 of the team’s 94 points.
2. Slow the game down – Fail
Any time the opponent scored 53 in a half and 96 in a game you have not succeeded in slowing the game down. I of course am not part of the Black Knights staff, so I have no idea if they were told to keep pushing tempo and play their normal game, but at some point it would surely have made sense to try to play the game in a different way. Instead Bucknell shrugged off an early Army advantage to completely dominate the game. Even when Army gets something going it way a roadblock invariably seems to appear. This weekend it was the ply of Luke Morrison who put up 13 points in the first half, keeping Army in reach, before rolling his ankle and not scoring at all in the second period.
3. Keep Bucknell off of the foul line – Pass
Bucknell came into this one averaging 26 free throws shot and 19 free throws made per game. About the one thing Army did right defensively was not foul, limiting the Bison to just 11 free throw attempts of which five were made. For a team that prides itself on doing all the little things right, even in a blowout win, this 45-percent free throw shooting night will give the Bison coaching staff something to work on with the players this week.