Both the Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen scored some big wins throughout the season, but came into this game as the #10 and #7 seeds, respectively. The military teams wanted to make runs to the NCAA tournament, but only one was going to make it out of this game.
After a back-and-forth affair, a late Zach Fong 3-pointer broke the 50-50 tie, and Navy held on for a huge win against Army in front of 1,271 fans in Annapolis. Center Will Kelly was able to get to the paint for some layups, and led the Midshipmen with a monumental effort of 13 points, 8 blocks (yes, you read that right), and 7 rebounds. Tilman Dunbar also scored in double-digits to lead the Navy backcourt with 11 points, and Shawn Anderson chipped in nine.
Tanner Plomb, Army's 6'7" big man, had a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead their effort, while leading scorer Kyle Wilson had 13 points, although on poor overall shooting of 5-15. A big problem for the Black Knights were their lack of scoring from the bench, which put up a big goose egg for their efforts. Zach Fong was the hero off of the bench for Navy, nailing what turned out to be the game winning shot late in the ball game, and the sophemore keeps the dream alive for the Midshipmen.
For the most part, this game was a battle between frontcourts, in which Navy won with a 41-32 rebounding edge. The blocks came in droves from Will Kelly, easily his most all season. Kelly has been hot as of late, and hopes to lead Navy to the promised land: A Patriot League championship. They will continue their quest on Thursday vs. Colgate in Hamilton, New York.