Army falls to Colgate in league opener, 71-58

Army, sparked by the return of Jarell Brown after more than a month, played a very solid opening game against tough Patriot League competition. Army led at halftime, 30-27, and looked well on their way to an opening day victory. Unfortunately, the Black Knights encountered a slump not long into the second half, and this cold spell allowed the Colgate Red Raiders to take a lead they would not relinquish.

Both teams started out slow, almost feeling each other out as in a championship prize fight. Almost 5 minutes into the game, the score was only 6-3, Army. Then, both teams started to heat up. Jon Foss gave the Black Knights fits in the first half with his height, and scored the next 8 Colgate points. However, Jarell Brown initialized his return with a long 3-point field goal, and the game was tied at 11 with 12 minutes to play in the 1st half. Army then reeled off 3 buckets in a row, capped by a deep shot from the corner by Lance Dietz, to take a 17-11 lead. The Red Raiders countered with 9 unanswered of their own, helped by Dan Gentile's smooth shooting from the outside. Colgate led 22-19, when Army went on an 8-0 run, sparked by Matt Bell's 3-pointer (his first points of the game). Army showed a lot of heart in the first half, diving after several loose balls, and shooting 50 percent from the field. The Red Raiders proved tough as well, and despite Army's excellent effort, the Black Knights held a slim 30-27 lead at half.

Army actually continued its fine play at the very start of the second half. Cory Sinning hit a corner jumper to start it off. Matt Bell continued to score some points and Jarell Brown hit another deep 3-pointer to make the score 41-34 Army, with about 16 minutes to play. Then, Colgate went on its run that ultimately decided the game. After 2 free throws by Dan Gentile, Colgate scored 3 consecutive 3-point field goals, one by Kyle Roemer and the next two by Kyle Chones. Jon Simon hit a layup and Kyle Chones followed with another corner jumper. In a matter of 5 minutes, the Red Raiders had outscored the Black Knights 15-0, and jumped to a 49-41 lead. Colin Harris finally broke the drought with a nice bank shot, but buckets by Alvin Reed and Roemer extended Colgate's lead to 53-43.

Army still showed a lot of fight and moxie. Jarell Brown continued to pace the offense with outstanding shooting. Colin Harris provided some much-needed offense down low, and the Black Knights closed the gap to 61-56 with 2 minutes to play. Once again, though, the Red Raiders were up to the challenge. Senior Alvin Reed provided some real veteran leadership, hitting a key 3-point field goal on a kick-out from an offensive rebound. While Harris poured in another turnaround, Colgate kept the ball in Reed's hands, and Army had to foul. The veteran Reed calmly sank 5 of 6 from the free throw line, and Army could not overcome the deficit.

The Black Knights played their best game in over a month, and it was absolutely related to Jarell Brown's return. Brown shot 7-11 from the floor, including 3 of 6 from behind the arc, to lead Army with 18 points. Several of his shots were of the tough variety, and he's shown he will be a key player for Army this year. Colin Harris scored in double digits once again with 12. Unheralded Corban Bates added 7 points and a team-high 9 rebounds. Marshall Jackson also contributed 5 points to the Army cause.

The schedule does not get any easier. The Black Knights host the Holy Cross Crusaders on Wednesday night, January 11th, at Christl Arena. Holy Cross, who is certainly one of the favorites to win the Patriot League, routed Lafayette by 29 in its opener, and will prove to be a very tough test for Army. This will be the last of a 4-game homestand before Army embarks on a difficult 3-game road trip.


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