Army loses final tuneup, 55-42

The Black Knights played like they were looking past this final tuneup before the Patriot League opener on Saturday against Colgate. The offense was listless, often getting poor shots off as the 35-second clock would wind down or expire, and the defense had lapses. The result was Army scoring only 42 points against a previously 1-9 Dartmouth squad in a 13-point home loss on Wednesday evening.

This extends the current losing streak to 3 as Army heads into its Patriot opener with a 4-8 record.

The first half was similar to the Brown game. There were several lead changes and the largest lead any team had over the other was 4 points. Dartmouth opened up an 8-4 lead, but John Moonshower's first collegiate bucket and Grant Carter's long-range 3 gave Army a 9-8 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half. The teams continued a generally slow offensive pace and traded buckets over the next few minutes. With about 2 minutes left to play, Dartmouth held an 18-15 lead when Lance Dietz fed Corban Bates with a beautiful bounce pass from almost half-court for a layup. Bates was fouled on the play and converted the traditional 3-pt play to tie the game at 18. Bates hit another deep jumper with a minute left, and after a single Dartmouth free throw, Army held the lead at halftime, 20-19.

Dartmouth came out ready to play in the second half. Taking advantage of Army playing a zone defense at the start of the half, Dartmouth scored the first 7 points to take a 26-20 lead. The Big Green were paced by Mike Lang, who hit 2 long-range 3's during this period. After 2 free throws by Army's Matt Bell, Lang hit yet another 3-point shot from the corner. Leon Pattman followed with another 3-point field goal, and Dartmouth extended its lead to 32-22 with about 15 minutes left.

Army could not recover from this quick Dartmouth 2nd half start. Army closed to within 6 at 36-30 on a Colin Harris tip-in off an offensive rebound, but the duo of Lang and Pattman once again struck. Lang sent a nice backdoor pass to Pattman who hit a layup and was fouled, converting the 3-pt play to give Dartmouth a 39-30 lead. The teams basically traded buckets the rest of the way. Army never showed any urgency while falling behind, often taking the shot clock down to single digits and then getting off bad shots, if any at all. While Dartmouth did play tough defense and Calvin Arnold was very impressive on the defensive end with 6 blocked shots, Army also appeared very listless on offense, and this played right into the Big Green's hands. Coach Crews continued to shuffle the lineup in an attempt to ignite a spark, but Army was never able to find the right combination. The final result was a relatively easy 55-42 Dartmouth victory.

Mike Lang absolutely destroyed the Black Knights with 17 points, hitting 5 from behind the 3-point line. Leon Pattman, who did not play in the first half due to injury, contributed 12 second-half points.

Army was led by Colin Harris, who contribued 12 points and added 6 rebounds. Matt Bell jumped into 35th all-time on the Army career scoring list with another double digit effort (10 points) and also led the team with 7 rebounds. John Moonshower played his best game as the freshman scored a career-high 6 points.

Army will have to quickly step up its effort as it takes on Colgate in the Patriot League opener at 1 pm on Saturday at Christl Arena. The Red Raiders have already beaten Dartmouth earlier this season, so Army will have its hands full if it repeats this performance.


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