By Army West Point Athletics, Office of Athletic CommunicationsJanuary 29, 2016
WEST POINT, N.Y. (Jan. 29, 2016) -- The U.S. Military Academy at West Point women's basketball team sprinted out to 16-2 lead and led throughout in a convincing 75-38 victory over Navy in the Patriot League action on Jan. 23 at Madison Square Garden.
Army collects its sixth win in a row to improve to 16-2 overall and 7-1 in the conference, while Navy slips to 9-10 and 3-5. The Black Knights also captured the women's basketball gold star in the 2015-16 Star Series presented by United Services Automobile Association (USAA).
Senior Cadet Kelsey Minato led all scorers with 22 points to include a 4-for-8 performance from three-point range. She also added five rebounds and four assists. Classmate Cadet Jean Parker finished with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and 3-of-5 shooting from deep, while sophomore Cadets Destinee Morris and Aliyah Murray each added eight points off the bench, with Morris' eight points coming as a career high.
Senior Cadet Aimee Oertner finished with seven points and a game-high eight rebounds, freshman Cadet Madison Hovren tallied six points and four boards, and sophomore Cadet Janae McNeal recorded five points and five rebounds.
Taylor Dunham paced Navy with nine points, while Sarita Condie added eight. "This was a tremendous performance by this group," said head coach Dave Magarity. "I was a little concerned with all of the distractions today, but we came out about as well as we've played to start a game all season long. I think today was the case of us executing the game plan, both offensively and defensively."
"The way this senior class has carried themselves and has shown the leadership with our younger kids, has been a pleasure to watch. We never stopped playing hard. We got great minutes off the bench from a lot of our younger kids, especially Destinee and Aliyah. For our seniors to win four consecutive Star games is impressive," Magarity added.
Army opened up a 16-2 lead early in the first quarter, during a run that included a 4-of-4 showing from three-point range, with two coming from Parker and one from both Minato and senior Cadet Brianna Johnson. The start marked the Black Knights' best of the season, as the score remained 16-2 heading into the game's first media break, with 4:29 left in the opening period.
Navy responded with a long jumper from Dunham at the 4:01 mark before three different Black Knights contributed to a 7-0 run that extended the lead to 19 points, 23-4, with 1:09 to play in the quarter.
The Midshipmen trimmed their deficit down to 14 with five unanswered points over the next 46 seconds, but Murray beat the first-period buzzer, sinking a lay-up with two ticks remaining to bring the score to 25-9 after the first.
Danielle Poblarp made a lay-in 11 seconds into the second period to cut Navy's margin to 14, and Morris buried three-pointer with 5:24 before halftime to cap a 7-4 run that brought the score to 32-15.
Navy came back within 14 points again at the 4:25 and 1:17 marks before Hovren pulled down an offensive rebound and converted the ensuing lay-up with seven seconds left in the half to give Army a 37-21 advantage heading into the locker room.
Both sides struggled to find the bottom of the net to begin the second half, as Army scored three points to Navy's two during the first 4:58 of the third quarter.
Minato converted a runner in the lane to bring the score to 42-23, with 5:01 remaining in the third frame before Murray registered a steal 12 seconds later and took the ball back the other way for a lay-up. The Black Knights forced another Midshipmen turnover on the ensuing in-bound pass and Minato took advantage of the opportunity with a jumper that capped a 6-0 run that lasted 40 seconds and increased the lead to 46-23.
Army closed the third period with seven of the next 13 points, including three from Morris and two points each from Hovren and Oertner.
Following a three by Navy's Christina Potts early in the fourth period that made the score 53-32, the Black Knights closed the game on a 22-6 run that lasted the final 8:18 of the quarter.
Army has a week off from competition before returning to Christl Arena to host Patriot League-leading Bucknell on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 1 p.m.