Army won a game they could have lost multiple times on Saturday with a dramatic come from behind victory over Navy in Annapolis. Navy led the entire second half until Kyle Wilson, who had not made a shot all game and who was the definition of ice cold, hit a three from the corner to take the game to overtime with eight seconds to play. Army made countless comebacks during the game from situations where it looked like Navy was about to take control and the win will be a huge boost for the Black Knights as Patriot League play comes to a close and the tournament looms large.
Here is a look back at how the three keys played out:
1. Kevin Ferguson gets his double-double - Pass
Kevin Ferguson has become an absolute machine for Army as this season has progressed. After putting up a career high 25 points last Wednesday night against Holy Cross, Ferguson put up a career high in rebounds against Navy with 19. He also poured in 22 points on 8-14 from the field, including the game winning tip-in at the buzzer at the end of the second overtime period. The 22 and 19 night was Ferguson’s sixth straight double-double and his contest with Will Kelly, who had 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks was as good of a big man battle as there was in the country on Saturday afternoon.
2. Stretch the Navy defense - Pass
Navy was better at stopping the three-point shot in this game, but the one three that really mattered Army hit through Kyle Wilson to take the game to overtime. After giving up 54-percent from behind the arc over their last the home games, Navy held Army to 11-of-27 from three-point range, just better than 40-percent. While it took Wilson all game to get his three ball going it was Tanner Plomb who paced Army from behind the arc on 5-of-9 shooting from downtown. Army is always better when Plomb is shooting at a high percentage and this game was no different as the match up nightmare of a forward never let the Midshipmen pull out to a meaningful lead.
3. Slow down Tilman Dunbar – Pass
Tilman Dunbar had himself a game for Navy, but on the two occasions where he could have beaten the Black Knights he was unable to do so. The first of these was at the end of regulation where his contested bank shot hit front iron and came out. This was followed at the end of the first overtime period by a drive into the lane that saw his desperation shot blocked cleanly. While Dunbar was able to dish out seven assists with just two turnovers, he was held to 5-of-20 shooting and missed a crucial free throw with 18 seconds to play that would have made it a two possession game.