Men’s basketball sings second at Navy, tops Mids

By Matt Tedino Army Athletic Communications

January 30th, 2020 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
 The Army West Point men’s basketball team celebrates after singing its alma mater second after defeating Navy 73-66 in a Patriot League contest Saturday at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md.    Photo by Army Athletic Communications

Behind enemy lines, the Army West Point men’s basketball team battled to a 73-66 road Patriot League victory against service academy rival Navy Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Maryland.
The Black Knights (9-10, 4-4 Patriot League) not only extended their winning streak to a season-best four games, but also snapped the three-game win streak for the Midshipmen (11-8, 5-3 Patriot League).
Senior guard Tommy Funk set the tone for the Army offense from the start and tied his career-high scoring output with 26 points. Funk  also added three boards while tallying six assists with just one turnover.
Fellow senior captain Matt Wilson was a force to be reckoned with in the low post, going 9-of-11 from the floor for 18 points to pair with five boards.
Sophomore guard Josh Caldwell also had a  great day, finishing with a double-double after scoring 10 points and reeling in 10 rebounds.
Junior guard Tucker Blackwell, junior guard Lonnie Grayson and freshman forward Chris Mann additionally provided big shots in some key moments and the trio combined for 18 points on the afternoon.

Army highlights and game notes
• The senior class finished 3-1 at Alumni Hall during their four-year careers.
• The 73 points were the most by an Army squad in a win at Annapolis since putting up 80 in a double-overtime victory on Feb. 20, 2016.
• It was also the most points allowed at home by Navy this season.
• Funk extended his double-digit scoring streak to 15 games. It was his third 20-point scoring performance of the year and the 11th of his career.
• Over the past four games, Funk has handed out 35 assists with just six turnovers. He moved into 16th in all-time points in program history with 1,312.
• The Warrington, Pennyslvania, native moved into a tie for 11th with Alex Morris (‘97) in all-time steals at West Point with 92.
• Wilson recorded double-digit points for the seventh straight contest.
• Caldwell posted the second double-double of his career, tying his career-best mark in rebounds with 10.
• Army shot over 50% from the field as a team for the fourth consecutive outing.
• The Cadets are 7-1 in games this season when accomplishing that feat.
• 57% of Army’s made shots were assisted on.
• The Black Knights scored 55% of their points from inside the paint.
• The four-game winning streak is the longest by an Army squad since claiming four straight victories during the 2018-19 campaign from Jan. 16-26.

How it happened
• The Black Knights, who have made a habit of shooting the ball with efficiency as of late, continued that trend on Saturday against Navy. In the opening stanza, Army connected on over 60% of its shots and carried a 40-32 lead into the half.
• Funk was on the attack from the beginning and the senior point guard got the Black Knights off to a 7-3 start after he went 3-of-3 from the floor for all seven points over the opening three minutes.
• In typical Army-Navy fashion, the Midshipmen quickly evened the score and the two sides began to battle on the hardwood. Navy struggled to contain Funk and Wilson, who were consistently generating quality looks at the basket and combined for 26 points at the half. Majority of those buckets came from inside the paint as the Black Knights scored 22 of their 40 points from down low.
• Army began to build separation with 15:10 on the clock in the final stanza. Mann buried a shot from deep to spark a 12-2 run that put the Black Knights up by 16, 58-42. Navy fought to get back into the game and pulled within six, 59-53, following an 11-1 run that lasted until there was 4:31 left to play.
• The Cadets responded by bringing the lead back to double figures, but the Midshipmen immediately countered with five unanswered points to make it a five-point contest, 63-58. That was as close as Navy would get though as Army iced the game at the charity stripe en route to securing the road win.