For the second straight game Army struggled defending the perimeter against three point shots. Bucknell hit 7 of 15 shots from beyond the arc. By dropping their last two home games the Black Knights lost the chance to guarantee their first winning season since 1984-1985.
The loss means the Black Knights will be the eighth seed in the Patriot League tournament and have to face top seed Lehigh.
The game followed a remarkably similarly pattern to the last game against Lafayette. Army's defense forced the normally solid ball-handling Bisons into four turnovers in the first 10 minutes. Army limited Bucknell to only four baskets in the first ten plus minutes. However three of those were from long range and the score was tied at eleven. Army, even when it jumped out to an early lead, never seemed comfortable in its offensive sets. The Black Knights were unable to establish any interior scoring. After Daryl Shazier, who led the Bison with 19 points, hit a three point shot Bucknell took a 14-11 lead and they never trailed again. Bucknell went on a 12-4 run to end the half up 23-15.
Army's shooting difficulties continued in second half. The Black Knights made only two of their first twelve shots to open the second half as Bucknell extended its lead to 19 points. After Julian Simmons nailed a three to close the gap to 43-31 Bucknell called a timeout. Army's defense, which forced 19 turnovers, kept battling and held Bucknell without a field goal the last nine plus minutes. The Bison scored all the rest of their points from the free throw line as Army pressed and fouled to extend the game. Josh Miller, who led Army with 11 points, broke out of his month long offensive funk late in the game to nail two three point baskets. Army was never able to get closer than 9 points as the Bison hit five of six of their last free throws to win the game.
Bucknell 's win improves their record to (14-16, 9-5 in Patriot League) and with losses by Navy and Lafayette clinch second seed in the Patriot League tournament. Army's loss ended its regular season at (14-14, 4-8 in Patriot League). Army has lost eight of its last ten games.
Coach Zach Spiker complemented his senior class in the post game interview. "No one could ever have expected the situation these seven seniors came into when they came on campus in August. It was a difficult situation for them to deal with the change and a young coach with some new ideas. As I told these guys in the locker room, it doesn't matter what the scoreboard says today, they'll forever be winners. They are the winningest class to graduate from West Point in the last 30 years, and that is something.... is indicative of the type of personalities these seven seniors have."
Bucknell breezes pass Army, 62-51
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