The Citadel rallies past Army in OT, 70-68

WEST POINT--Army controlled the game for over 38 minutes and held a 55-47 lead with 1:48 to go in regulation. However, the Black Knights missed 6 straight free throws from the line and failed to score for the rest of regulation. This failure to put the game away enabled a spirited Citadel rally, and a 3-point shot from Dante Terry with 28 seconds left gave The Citadel their first tie since 30-30.

Then, in overtime, it was the Demetrius Nelson show as the Bulldog sophomore dominated the inside, scoring 8 of his team-high 22 points in the extra session. Army could not recover and falls to 2-2 with the painful 70-68 loss.

The game was hard-fought the whole way with Army maintaining a slim lead for almost all 40 minutes, never stretching it beyond 10 points. Army looked to avenge 2 losses from last season against the Bulldogs and started out strong. Cory Sinning helped the Black Knights out to a 10-4 lead with 5 of his 10 points. The first half saw both teams exhaust the 35-second clock on several possessions. Matt Bell started to take over the offense at the end of the first half, hitting for 12 points over the last 12 minutes, and staking Army to a 26-22 halftime lead.

The Citadel started the second half strong as they started to pound the offensive boards. A Donny McLendon layup tied the game at 30-30 with 15:30 to play in regulation. Army's 2 offensive stars, Matt Bell and Jarell Brown, paced the Black Knights over the next 5 minutes, and a D.J. Jemibewon layup with about 10 minutes left gave Army a 41-35 lead. Army continued to match the physical play of the Bulldogs, and a Colin Harris 3-pointer as the shot clock expired gave Army a 10 point lead, 52-42, which held up until about 4 minutes left. At this point, though, Army's lack of inside strength and their terrible foul shooting (16-28 for the game, including the aforementioned 0-6 down the stretch) contirbuted to a quick downfall. The inside tandem of Nelson and Warren McLendon was too much for the Army team to handle, and The Citadel rallied to tie in regulation and then win in OT.

Matt Bell again was the star of the game, pacing the Black Knights with 26 points and a team-high 5 assists. Jarell Brown appeared to be the only other viable offensive option, once again contributing double digits with 14 points. Sinning added 10, and Colin Harris scored 7 points while pulling down 7 boards.

Army is now 2-2 after the loss and has their toughest test of the season coming up against nationally ranked Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Tuesday evening, Nov 29. Army will have all it can handle to even stay close to Rudy Gay and the Huskies. On Friday evening, Dec 2, the Black Knights invade Manhattan and take on the Lions of Columbia University. Columbia defeated Army last year at Christl, 75-59, and Army will look to return the favor in New York City.


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