Carter car­ries Mids

Plebe scores 26 points as Navy evens score with archri­val Army

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL - By Bill Wag­ner

It was ob­vi­ous from the out­set that John Carter Jr. came to play.

Navy’s fresh­man swing­man stepped con­fi­dently into his first shot at­tempt just mo­ments into the game and did not hes­i­tate to pull the trig­ger – swish­ing a 3-poin­ter from the top of the key.

Carter’s con­fi­dence never wa­vered the rest of the way and his in­spired per­for­mance helped the Mid­ship­men hold onto the pres­ti­gious Alumni Tro­phy.

Carter recorded a ca­reer-high 26 points on the strength of six 3point­ers to lead Navy to a 79-68 vic­tory over archri­val Army West Point in the an­nual Star game in front of 5,448 bois­ter­ous fans at Alumni Hall. The 6-foot-4, 188-pound plebe from Spring Hill, Ten­nessee, made 8 of 11 field goals over­all and also grabbed seven re­bounds.

“This guy next to me played a heck of a bas­ket­ball game and re­ally scored the ball,” Navy head coach Ed DeChellis said. “You’ve seen a bunch of these games and some­body usu­ally steps up and does some­thing. Tonight it was John Carter who had a huge night shoot­ing the bas­ket­ball.”

Se­nior for­ward George Kier­nan to­taled 13 points, eight re­bounds and four as­sists for Navy, which closed the con­test with a 21-12 run over the last 7½ min­utes. Ju­nior for­ward Evan Wieck posted his third dou­ble-dou­ble of the sea­son with 11 points and 11 re­bounds for the Mid­ship­men, who avenged a 72-61 loss to the Black Knights on Jan. 19.

Se­nior point guard Hasan Ab­dul­lah added 11 points and seven as­sists for Navy (9-16, 6-8), which snapped a two-game los­ing streak and tem­po­rar­ily moved into sole pos­ses­sion of sev­enth place in the 10-team Pa­triot League.

“You’re ex­pect­ing your two se­niors in their last N Star game to step up and get some­thing done. I thought both George and Hasan were very good tonight,” DeChellis said. “We were count­ing on those two se­niors. We needed some­one else to help us and it was John.”

Navy came in ranked ninth in the Pa­triot League in scor­ing of­fense with an av­er­age of 67 points and last in field goal shoot­ing at 41 per­cent. The Mid­ship­men shot 55 per­cent (27-49) for the game and had their sec­ond-high­est scor­ing game against a Pa­triot League op­po­nent.

“I thought we shared the bas­ket­ball re­ally well. We had 20 as­sists on 27 bas­kets, which is re­ally good for us. Of­fen­sively, we ex­e­cuted fairly well,” DeChellis said.

Ju­nior guard Tommy Funk scored 20 points and dished off seven as­sists to lead Army (12-15, 7-7), which has lost five of its last six. Sopho­more guard Lon­nie Grayson came off the bench to score 13 points for the Black Knights, who made just 27 of 72 field goals (37 per­cent).

“Credit to Navy, I thought they ex­e­cuted bet­ter than we did in a lot of ar­eas,” Army head coach Jimmy Allen said. “We didn’t do the job de­fen­sively the way we have been. I thought Navy took ad­van­tage of us to­day, took ad­van­tage of some matchups and fin­ished around the rim re­ally well.”

DeChellis was pleased with Navy’s team defense, which harassed Army into 8-for-30 shoot­ing from 3-point range.

“We re­ally wanted to put pres­sure on the ball. We didn’t want to give them open threes,” DeChellis said. “I thought we did that pretty well and our defense in the half-court was pretty good. I felt if we could take their tran­si­tion away and get them to play in the half-court we could guard them.”

Dur­ing an on-court cer­e­mony af­ter­ward, Navy ath­letic direc­tor Chet Glad­chuk pre­sented the Alumni Tro­phy to DeChellis and se­nior cap­tain Ryan Pear­son. The Mid­ship­men have now cap­tured the tro­phy four times in the eight-year ten­ure of DeChellis.

PAUL W. GILLE­SPIE/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

Navy's John Carter Jr., who led the Mid­ship­men with 26 points, brings the ball up­court in the first half against Army in front of a crowd of 5,448.

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