NEW YORK (AP) - Jimmy Allen would not go so far as to say youth will be served.
Still, Army’s second-year coach is anticipating Patriot League play, and what transpired Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden is why.
“We’re mainly a lot of freshmen and sophomores. We’re looking to improve every time out,” Allen said. “I’m excited about this group.”
He should be.
Jordan Fox and Jimmy Funk scored 16 points each to lead Army to a 79-54 win over Air Force on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
The Black Knights (7-4) opened the game with a 25-12 spurt spanning the first 12:26. Crisp ball movement led to uncontested 3-point attempts for Army, which knocked down seven 3s during the stretch. It was 40-31 at halftime as the Falcons missed 22 of 31 shots in the first half, and committed 12 turnovers.
“We work really hard on that. We put a huge emphasis on in our program,” Allen said of the 3-point shooting. “If shooting the right 3s, we want to take as many of those as we can.”
Trevor Lyons scored 18 points for Air Force (5-6), which has lost three straight. Jacob Van added 14, and Ryan Manning finished with 12. The Falcons shot 24.6 percent from the field and committed 21 turnovers.
“We have to correct things,” Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich said. “We have to correct things on both sides of the floor.”
The Black Knights outscored the Falcons 20-13 in the first 8:13 of the second half, highlighted by Fox’s straightaway 3 as the shot clock expired. Army’s lead grew to as much as 27 in the second half after Funk’s shot-clock expiring 3 with 99 seconds left in the game.
Army: The Black Knights could be a handful for Patriot League opponents. Prior to Sunday’s matinee, Army averaged 80.4 points per game on 47-percent shooting from the field, including 42 percent from 3. Against Air Force, Army made 43 percent of its shots.
Air Force: The Falcons essentially entered the game with an even assist-to-turnover margin with 13.9 assists and 13.6 turnovers, but had 21 turnovers and nine assists against Army.
Army: The Black Knights are in the midst of a season-high eight-game road trip. Army has won four of the seven games it has played during the stretch.
Air Force: The Falcons have dropped four straight to Army, last winning on Nov. 8, 2013, and fell to 4-6 all-time in the series.
Army travels to Boston University on Dec. 29.
Air Force hosts Johnson & Wales Friday.
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