- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Kelsey Minato made the most of her first game at Madison Square Garden.

Army’s senior guard scored 22 points, her 98th straight game in double figures, to help the Black Knights beat Navy 75-38 on Saturday. It was the most lopsided win in the history of the series between the two rivals.

“It’s been a really great weekend,” Minato said. “Definitely a memory we’ll carry with us for the rest of our lives.”

The Black Knights (16-2, 7-1 Patriot) jumped all over Navy, behind Minato. The senior guard had three points and four assists as the Black Knights scored 16 of the first 18 points to take command. Minato, who is part of the first women’s class at West Point that can serve in combat, averages 23.3 points a game - seventh best in the country. She reached double figures early in the third quarter as the lead ballooned to over 20.

“Tremendous performance by this group,” Army coach Dave Magarity said. “It’s interesting, before the game I was really concerned about our focus with so many distractions today with the weather, playing at the Garden. It’s a huge venue and felt they were a little bit unfocused. I was wrong because they came out and played as well as we’ve played at the start of a game all season.”

Army had expected a huge crowd for Saturday’s doubleheader, but New York City was blanketed by a winter storm that was expected to dump 15 to 20 inches of snow in the area. Still about 1,000 fans braved the elements to watch the game, including about 20 cadets from West Point. The men’s contest between the schools was postponed shortly before the women’s game ended.

“They knocked on our door with about four minutes left in the women’s game and the Army AD said that they had to cancel the game because of the state of emergency in New York,” Navy men’s coach Ed DeChellis said. “I felt so bad for my kids who had the once in a lifetime chance to play here.”

Even though the game was postponed, the Navy players tried to make the most of their trip to MSG. The team ran out onto an empty court and pretended to do layups and dunks because there were no basketballs around. The Midshipmen then took photos at center court so they’d have something to remember. A makeup date hasn’t been figured out yet.

All four of the teams were going to remain in New York overnight. A game between St. John’s and Marquette that was to be played Saturday night was also called off. It will be played on Sunday afternoon.

“I don’t think we could get home even if we wanted to,” Magarity said of the 60-mile trip to West Point from New York. “We have rooms for the night so we’ll be fine.”

Taylor Dunham scored nine points to lead Navy (9-10, 3-5).

Minato helped her team win its fourth straight Star Game, bringing the trophy back to West Point again. The Black Knights earned special pins as well by winning.

“For them to win their fourth consecutive Star Game, that’s pretty much unheard of in the Army-Navy series,” Magarity said.

These two teams used to meet only once a season until Navy joined Army in the Patriot League in 1991. Now the second contest between the teams is designated as the Star Game. When Army had the opportunity to play the game as well as one between the schools two men’s programs at Madison Square Garden they jumped at the chance flipping the home-and-away game with Navy.

The victory gave Army a 33-32 edge in the overall series which dates back to 1980-81. It was only the fifth time they played at a neutral site and the first at Madison Square Garden. Army had played at MSG twice before as part of the Maggie Dixon Classic in 2007 and 2008. That event is played annually to honor the former Army coach who died in 2006.

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BUZZER BEATER: During a timeout there was a loud buzz throughout the arena as cellphones were going off as the text alert announcing for non-emergency vehicles to be off the roads by 2:30 p.m was being sent.

UP NEXT:

Navy: hosts Holy Cross on Saturday, Jan. 30.

Army: hosts Bucknell on Saturday, Jan. 30.

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Follow Doug on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

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