Men’s basketball battles to road win at Buffalo

By Matt Tedino Army Athletic Communications

December 19th, 2019 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
Junior guard Lonnie Grayson netted 21 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists as the Army West Point men’s basketball defeated the University at Buffalo 89-76 Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.   Photo by Army Athletic Communications  Photo by Army Athletic Communications

In an afternoon filled with career milestones, four cadets scored in double-figures to lift the Army West Point men’s basketball team to a resounding, 89-76, road win against Buffalo on Saturday afternoon in Buffalo, New York.
The Black Knights (5-5) put together one of their best performances of the season en route to picking up the victory against the defending MAC regular season and tournament champions.
Both senior forward Matt Wilson and junior guard Lonnie Grayson netted over 20 points and set career-highs in scoring.
Wilson caused problems for the Bulls (6-4) all game as he drew seven fouls. The senior forward finished with a career-best 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting to pair with four boards.
Grayson caught fire from deep, shooting 5-of-6 from long range. The Cincinnati native flirted with a triple-double after setting career-highs in points (21) and rebounds (8), while tying his career-best mark in assists with seven.
In his third start of the season, sophomore guard Josh Caldwell made an impact by scoring a career-high 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Senior guard Tommy Funk was the fourth cadet to reach double-figures in the scoring column after he finished with 14 to go with six boards and six assists.

Army highlights and game notes
• Army topped Buffalo for the first time since Feb. 11, 1978 with Mike Krzyzewski as the head coach.
• The Black Knights evened the all-time series with the Bulls, 5-5.
• Funk moved into third in the Patriot League in career assists with 580. He recorded his sixth straight double-digit scoring performance.
• It marked the eighth time this season that Funk had five or more assists in a game.
• Wilson extended his double-digit scoring streak to eight games.
• He notched his second 20-point scoring performance of the year and the 11th of his career.
• Grayson eclipsed the 20-point mark in a game for the first time in his career.
• His eight made shots tied his career best, which he set previously on Jan. 26, 2019 at Lafayette.
• It marked the second time this year that two cadets scored 20 or more points in the same game.
• Grayson handed out seven assists for the second consecutive outing.
• For the fifth time this season, Army had four cadets score in double-figures.
• The Army starters accounted for 82 of the team’s 89 points (92%).
• Fifty-six of the Black Knights’ points came from inside the paint.
• Army made double-digit treys in a game for the third time this year.
• The Black Knights had their most efficient shooting performance of the season after connecting on 55% of their shots.
• Nick Finke had a career-high four rebounds off the bench.
• Army set a season-high in assists with 28.
• The Black Knights assisted on 80% of their made shots.
How it happened
• Trailing 9-5 with 14:49 on the clock, the Black Knights went on an 8-0 run that featured five points from Grayson to put Army on top for the first time of the afternoon. Buffalo eventually retook the lead following an 8-0 run of their own, but the Cadets countered with nine unanswered points to go ahead, 26-24, with 6:59 left to play.
• Army closed out the final 3:15 of the half on an 8-2 run and went into the break up by five, 39-34. The Black Knights carried that momentum in the second stanza and outscored the Bulls, 7-2, in the first two minutes to grab a double-digit advantage.
• The Black Knights kept their foot on the gas and did not allow the Bulls to close the gap to fewer than eight points. Wilson was nearly unstoppable in the second frame, scoring 18 of his 25 on 7-of-10 shooting.
• Grayson and Caldwell also contributed heavily in the final 20 minutes, combining for 20 points.
The duo paired to shoot 8-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-4 from long range.