Senior captains shine in thrilling win at Lehigh

By Matt Tedino Army Athletic Communications

February 6th, 2020 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
 Senior guard Tommy Funk went 10-of-14 from the field for a career-high 33 points to go with seven assists and five rebounds to help Army West Point men’s basketball to a thrilling 80-79 victory over Lehigh Saturday in Bethlehem, Pa. Photo by Army Athletic Communications

With a combined 54 points from seniors guard Tommy Funk and forward Matt Wilson, the Army West Point men’s basketball team edged Lehigh, 80-79, in a road Patriot League tilt Saturday in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The win for the Black Knights (11-10, 6-4 Patriot League) was no ordinary victory though as it represented Army’s sixth straight, the longest in league play in program history.
Funk came to play against the Mountain Hawks (5-17, 2-8 Patriot League). The Warrington, Pennsylvania, native went 10-of-14 from the field for a career-high 33 points to go along with seven assists and five rebounds.
Funk’s shooting performance included a career-best seven makes from long range on nine attempts.
Wilson also had himself a game, finishing with 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting to pair with nine boards. He was a key piece in the second half, pouring in 13 of his 21 in the final stanza.
Junior guard Lonnie Grayson tallied 10 in the scoring column, while junior forward Nick Finke and sophomore guard Josh Caldwell chipped in with six and five, respectively.
As a team, the Black Knights had an efficient shooting performance on the road. Army shot 52% from the field and 53% from long range.

Army highlights and game notes
• The six-game winning streak is the longest by an Army squad since the 2006-07 season.
• The Black Knights bested Lehigh for the first time since Jan. 20, 2018.
• It was also their first win at Stabler Arena since Dec. 30, 2015.
• Army improved to 65-47 all-time opposite the Mountain Hawks.
• Funk extended his double-digit scoring streak to 17 games. He recorded his first career 30-point game.
• The Warrington, Pennsylvania, native became the first cadet since Jordan Fox (‘18) to score 30 in a game. Fox dropped 33 against Marist on Nov. 18, 2017.
• Funk handed out five or more assists in a game for the sixth straight outing.
• It was the first time in his career that he made 10 shots in a game.
• Funk catapulted his way into 12th in all-time points at West Point with 1,364.
• Wilson reached double-digit points for the ninth straight contest. He notched his fifth 20-point scoring performance of the season and the 14th of his career.
• The Alexandria, Kentucky, native made double-digit shots in a game for the sixth time in his career and the fourth time this season.
• Finke’s six points were a career high.
• Caldwell had a season-high four steals.
• Army shot over 50% from the field for the ninth time this season. The Black Knights are 8-1 in those contests.
• The Cadets knocked down double-digit treys for the sixth time this year.
• The Black Knights assisted on 50% of their made shots.
• Army’s starters accounted for 89% of the team’s points.
• The Black Knights only committed two turnovers in the second half.

How it happened
• Turnovers hurt the Black Knights early as Army committed five mishaps while Lehigh opened play on an 11-4 run. At 14:33, Finke checked into the game and provided a spark. The third-year forward went for six points on 3-of-3 shooting to help the Black Knights close the gap and pull within two, 14-12.
• After six unanswered Lehigh points, the Black Knights hit three consecutive treys as part of an 11-5 run to bring the deficit back to two, 25-23, with 6:50 remaining on the clock.
• The remaining minutes of the half turned into an offensive battle as the two sides combined for 44 points. Lehigh went 8-of-8 from the field and 5-of-5 from long range, while Army shot 7-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-4 from deep with Funk putting up 12 in the scoring column. The senior point guard knocked down a triple right before the halftime horn sounded, but Lehigh went into the break up by four, 48-44.
• It took just over two minutes for the Black Knights to take their first lead of the game, 53-51, as Grayson knocked down a trey with 17:41 left to play as part of a 9-3 Army run. It was a back-and-forth battle until the Black Knights went on a 12-2 run that was sparked by a 3-pointer from Funk with 11:13 remaining.
• The Army lead sat at nine, 76-67, with 6:09 on the clock, but Lehigh put in seven unanswered points to trim the deficit to two, 76-74. The game came down to the wire and Lehigh made a pair of foul shots to make it a one-point game, 80-79, with less than a minute left to play. Army came up empty on its ensuing possession, but Lehigh could not capitalize, and the Black Knights escaped with the narrow road win.