The VMI Keydets had cut a double-digit deficit down to just one with under five minutes to go, thanks to five straight points by Stan Okoye, but the Army Black Knights answered with a 6-0 run and went on to defeat the Keydets, 80-74, in the third-place game of the All-Military Classic, contested Sunday in Charleston, S.C.
After a back and forth first half, Army (1-1) seized control over the final eight minutes of the period and cruised out to a 10-point halftime lead, 46-36. The Black Knights then controlled most of the second half, stretching the lead to double figures on several occasions until a hard Army foul on Keydet (0-2) guard Joe Carr, which came with just under six minutes to go, seemed to fire up VMI.
Okoye hit a three on VMI’s next possession, reducing the lead to three, and then scored again on the ensuing try to make it a 69-68 game. Army responded with a three-pointer by Josh Herbeck, and the next time down the floor may have been the biggest one of the afternoon.
VMI misfired on multiple shot attempts despite no less than three offensive rebounds by freshman Phillip Anglade, and when Army was finally able to snare a loose ball, Mo Williams converted a three-point play off a breakaway layup, pushing the margin to 75-68 and the Keydets could get no closer than five the rest of the way.
VMI basketball will be back in action Tuesday night, taking on Central Penn College in the team’s home opener at Cameron Hall. Tip time is set for 7 p.m.