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December 12th, 2012

Black Knights’ defense stifles Marist in rout

Army senior forward Ella Ellis drives to the basket against Marist at Christl Arena in West Point, NY on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. Army defeated the Red Foxes, 91-57. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.

WEST POINT – Army (4-3) drilled 15 three-pointers, just one shy of the school record, and held Marist (2-5) to just 33.3 percent shooting in its 91-57 victory at Christl Arena Tuesday night. The Black Knights improved to 2-0 at home this season and have now won six straight non-conference home games at West Point.

Army turned a six-point deficit early in the game into a 20-point halftime lead. Senior forward Ella Ellis led all players with 23 points, including a career-high six three-pointers, and just missed a double-double with eight rebounds. Freshman Kyle Toth hit six of his nine three-point tries en route to a career-best 20 points in his first career start. Rookie Dylan Cox netted a career-high 14 points and eight rebounds. Freshman forward Larry Toomey registered his first career double-digit scoring game with 10 points. Senior Jordan Springer snagged a season-high 10 rebounds, and sophomore Maxwell Lenox handed out six assists.

"We came in having lost two in a row, and I think we played with a more desperate mindset that we didn’t have in those two game," head coach Zach Spiker said. "We had to find a way to win. The second half may have been more impressive than the first half because we didn’t let up."

It was the first time Army had two 20-point scorers since last season against Colgate (Ellis/Josh Herbeck).

Devin Price led the Red Foxes with 19 points, followed by Manny Thomas and Isaiah Morton’s contributions of 10 points each. Dorvell Carter snared a team-best five rebounds.

Army out-rebounded the Red Foxes, 53-24, including 18 offensive rebounds. The Black Knights held an 18-5 edge in second chance points and outscored Marist in the paint, 33-14.

The Black Knights shot 50.7 percent overall and 50.0 percent from deep (15-30). Marist managed just 33.3 percent overall and 25.0 percent (8-32) from long range.

Army struggled early, missing their first three three-point attempts and four of their first six shot attempts. The Red Foxes took advantage, staking claim to a 10-4 lead with 16:39 to go.

The Black Knights trailed 12-6 when a three-pointer by Ellis opened the floodgates on a 39-13 spurt to end the half. Army drilled nine three-pointers during the run, including four by Ellis and three by Toth. Nine of Army’s last 13 field goals during the half were from long range.

The Army defense held the Red Foxes with just one field goal during the final six minutes, 26 seconds and scored 17 of the final 20 points of the half to open up a 45-25 margin at intermission. Marist was set up for the last shot, but Cox stole the ball with seven seconds left, raced up floor and hit a trailing Toth who buried a 23-footer at the buzzer to send the Black Knights into the locker room up 20 points.

"It was my first start, and I was just trying to stay calm out there," Toth said. "I was kind of getting the jitters, but I told myself to relax and not rush things."

Ellis led all players with 12 points on four three-pointers in the first half. Toth hit three triples and scored a career-best 11 points in the opening stanza. As a team, Army shot 53.1 percent (17-32) overall and 56.3 percent (9-16) from deep. Chavuaghn Lewis led the Red Foxes with seven points.

Army picked up where it left off in the second half, scoring the first five points, including another three-pointer by Toth, to take a 30-point lead. A layup by Andrew Stire gave the Black Knights their largest lead of the game at 73-37 with 10:06 left. Marist cut the lead down to 27 points, but Army scored seven of the next 10 points to push its lead back to 32. The Black Knights kept the lead above 30 for the remainder of the contest, finishing off the 91-57 win.

Army’s 91 points were a season high, and the 34-point margin of victory was their largest against a Division I opponent since they defeated VMI, 82-47 in the 1970-71 season.

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