Women’s basketball knocks off Iona for first win

December 3rd, 2020 | Army and Community Sports
The Army West Point women’s basketball team notched its first win of the 2020-21 campaign, defeating Iona 67-52 Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena. After a slow shooting start for the Black Knights, junior forward Kate Murray ignited the Army attack, scoring 11 points in the third quarter en route to a 19-point, 12-rebound afternoon. Photo Courtesy of Army Athletic Communications

By JJ Klein
Army Athletic Communications

The Army West Point women’s basketball team notched its first win of the 2020-21 campaign, defeating Iona 67-52 Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena.
After a slow shooting start for the Black Knights, junior forward Kate Murray ignited the Army attack, scoring 11 points in the third quarter en route to a 19-point, 12-rebound afternoon.
Junior guard Natalie Stralkus posted 15 points of her own, knocking down two big three-pointers in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory. Junior guard Alisa Fallon made her mark on the game in the fourth quarter as well, converting on back-to-back three-point plays to extend Army’s lead from four to double digits.

Highlights and notes
• The Black Knights had a huge advantage at the free throw line, making 20 free throws to Iona’s one in the game.
• Army’s 20 free throws were its most in a contest since it went 21-of-24 from the line opposite Lehigh on Feb. 1, 2020.
• Murray registered her second career double-double and her first since Nov. 12, 2018 vs. Columbia, the second game of her career.
• Her 12 rebounds matched her career high, which she also set in the Columbia contest.
• Murray was 3-of-4 from deep and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.
• Stralkus’ 15 points marks her 10th career double-digit scoring effort.
• The junior was 5-of-9 on the day and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.
• Entering the season, only 10 of Stralkus’ made field goals in her career came from inside the 3-point line. This season she has hit five shots from inside the arc.
• After being held scoreless in the first three quarters of play, Fallon scored eight in the fourth on 3-of-5 shooting.

How it happened
First Quarter
• It was a slow start to the game for both teams offensively, as Army and Iona traded leads throughout the period.
• The Army offense got going in the final minutes of the period, going on an 8-0 run to take a 15-8 lead into the first break.

Second Quarter
• Iona started the second off strong, going on a 9-2 run early in the quarter to take the lead.
• Both teams struggled from beyond the arc to open the game, with each opening 1-of=9 from three.
• Army jumped ahead on two occasions with three-pointers, first with freshman guard Lauren Lithgow’s first career three and later when Murray drained a corner three to give Army a lead that they’d take into the half.

Third Quarter
• Iona found their range in the third, knocking down four of their first five attempts from downtown to take a 41-35 lead.
• The Black Knights struck right back, closing out the period on a 13-0 run, knocking down three of four from downtown.
• Murray led the charge with 11 points in the quarter.
• Army held Iona to just two free throw attempts through three quarters. The Black Knights were 15-18 from the stripe through three.

Fourth Quarter
• Iona fought closer to open the fourth, going on a 7-2 run to open the final quarter.
• After a quiet start to the game, Fallon came on strong in the fourth. The junior converted on back-to-back three-point plays to spark an Army run and give the Black Knights a 58-48 lead.
• Stralkus put the finishing touches on the victory, knocking down two three-pointers to give Army a 67-52 victory.

From the source
Head Coach Dave Magarity
(Ref.: Opening Statement)
“I’m really proud of the way that this team figured it out after Wednesday’s loss in our opener. We played really well in the second half of that game, as well, after being down double-digits for most of the first half and into the fourth quarter. We found a way to come back and take the lead, but we just couldn’t finish that game. I think it was a hard lesson to learn, but we learned something from it. Today was just the polar opposite — the way we finished this game. We went on a terrific run there. At one point we were down six and ended up forcing them to burn a timeout. We took a seven-point lead, so it was almost a 15-point swing.
“We figured it out in the second half. Our rebounding improved. We did a great job in the second half ending possessions. We had terrific contributions all the way around. Kate Murray had a great night with a double-double. Even with Alisa Fallon in foul trouble and having a rough beginning, she had some huge plays late in the game when the game was on the line. I think we found a way to get other people involved and our freshmen had two solid games back-to-back in terms of their contributions.”